Adriano de Souza (BRA) increased his lead on top of the WSL Championship Tour rankings, after winning a hard-fought final against John John Florence (HAW) to claim the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro title in powerful surf.
Adriano, on top of the world!
Main Peak can often flatter to deceive, leaving webcast viewers disappointed, but it was lining up on the final day and offering big, bowly rights. The kind of waves that get John John amped, and the Hawaiian was in-form to kick-off the day in Heat 1 of the semi finals. JJF’s patented carves were being laid down on some solid rights with precision and style, leaving his opponent, Nat Young (USA), behind in his path.
After watching that performance it wasn’t hard to imagine that John John would be lifting the trophy, but Adriano was having none of that imagination stuff. The Brazilian didn’t start his semi final against Taj Burrow (AUS) on-fire, however, he picked up rhythm as the heat went on and finished strong. By the end, Adriano was carving solidly and stomped a committed closeout bash to finish.
John John was laying down some sublime tracks on the final day.
He carried that momentum into the final and picked off the first wave of the match-up, John John seemingly happy to let the Brazilian have it. Adriano made no mistakes on the beautiful, blue wall, and once again landed a big closeout finisher to score an 8.93. JJF fell on the wave behind, leaving Adriano in the driving seat.
The Hawaiian failed to finish his second ride too, but he did score a 7.87 to take an attainable lead. Needing just a 5.94 to take back first place, Adriano didn’t hold back, hammering another powerful right all the way to a committed finish. This left JJF requiring a 9.66 to win with 18 minutes remaining. And he nearly got the score he needed on his fifth ride, after finally milking one from start to end. His opening carve was the best of the final, but it wasn’t enough – 9,00pts.
No mistakes! Adriano has been in top-form throughout the Australian leg.
This left John John requiring an 8.53 to take the win. But he couldn’t find a wave with a big finish despite two attempts, before Adriano used his priority to stop the Hawaiian from having a third try with just a minute left on the clock.
The Australian leg of the tour once again proved to be a good one for Adriano, finishing the 2015 leg with a Drug Aware Margaret River Pro trophy to add to his mantle alongside the Bell he won at the 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. More importantly, he extends his lead to 7550pts on top of the WSL Championship Tour rankings by registering a solid third, second and first in the opening three events of this year’s Dream Tour.
Here’s how it stands after the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro:
1 Adriano de Souza (BRA) 24,500pts
2 Mick Fanning (AUS) 16,950pts
3 Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15,700pts
4 Julian Wilson (AUS) 14,950pts
5 Nat Young (USA) 14,750pts
6 Taj Burrow (AUS) 13,450pts
7 Josh Kerr (AUS) 12,250pts
8 John John Florence (HAW) 11,500pts
=9 Kelly Slater (USA) 10,950pts
=9 Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10,950pts
=9 Owen Wright (AUS) 10,950pts