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Ace Buchan's Road to the Final at Saquarema

Adrian "Ace" Buchan has built his reputation on smarts, tactics and one of the world's best backhands. But if you think his best results on the Championship Tour have all come while going right you'd be dead wrong. His two wins on Tour have come at the left reef pass of Teahupo'o, and on a chest-high lefthand sand bank in France. Once again, he's bucked convention and refused to be pigeonholed, using razor sharp, forehand carves and vertical snaps across the Saquarema sand bar to take runner-up at the Oi Rio Pro. Ace won every heat he surfed leading up to the Final against Adriano de Souza, a true testament to his great run of form there.

Adrian Buchan of Australia advances to the final of the Oi Rio Pro after defeating Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in Semifinal Heat 2 at Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Adrian Buchan WSL / Daniel Smorigo

"It feels amazing to make the Final here," said Buchan, "I felt like I'd done some good surfing during the Australian leg, but I just wasn't getting the results, so I just stuck to my guns and it's worked out." The fact that the two Tour vets battled tooth and nail in the Final was not lost on Buchan. "It feels good to surf a Final against Adriano [de Souza]," Ace added up on the awards podium, "We grew up competing against each other and I'm so happy he was able to win in front of his home crowd."

Despite losing to De Souza in the Final (by a mere .40pts), Buchan has leapt up the Jeep Leaderboard 12 spots, to No. 12. Headed into three events well-suited to his style -- the Outerknown Fiji Pro, Corona Open J-Bay and Billabong Pro Tahiti -- Buchan's carrying serious momentum into a critical phase of the Tour.

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