Adriano De Souza (Brazil) and Carissa Moore (Hawaii) have taken out the ASP 6-Star Qualifying Series (QS) divisions at the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing at Manly Beach. The best waves of the event set the stage on the final day, with three foot (1.5 meter) runners rolling into the Manly shoreline that was packed with dedicated surf fans, braving the rain with umbrellas, towels and raincoats.
De Souza shut the door in the final in the first few minutes against fellow ASP WCT surfer Julian Wilson, nailing a pair of 8-point-rides that would stay in his scoreline until the Final siren sounded. De Souza put himself in the perfect position, put pressure on Wilson and most importantly when the waves came through he surfed fast and hard and with loads of flair.
"It feels amazing to be the first Brazilian to win the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing!" De Souza said. "I've got so much respect for Julian Wilson, he's number six in the world and the best guy in the event. I was lucky that he fell off a few times in the final. It's great to have the support from the Brazilian guys in the event and the fans on the beach. It's the perfect start to my year."
Wilson has had the spotlight on him from opening day of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Wilson is the number one seed, it's his sponsor's event and his surfing has been near-flawless. In the Final it all fell apart. De Souza got two quick scores and then a massive southerly wind squall came through, bringing wind and heavy rain. Wilson never gave up, knowing he had to go big he attempted multiple big aerials, but wasn't able to land them.
"I fell a few times out there and I couldn't shake it off," Wilson said. "I was so frustrated. I just couldn't build any momentum and I just felt like I was rushing. There's a lot of positives to take out of the event. I had a really fun week in challenging conditions, I had some good heats and I was only one spot from the win. If I came here and lost early it wouldn't have done me any good, but I'll take a lot of confidence into the rest of the year."
Moore, reigning ASP Women's World Champion was teetering in second position in the mid-way point of the Final, needing a good score to steal first place from countrywoman Alessa Quizon (HAW). A super clean right hander popped up and Moore made her move, and executed an ultra stylish rail-grab floater and then built up speed and unloaded a beautiful, yet explosive finishing turn. The wave scored a 9.43 (out of a possible 10), and from there the final was done.
"I didn't come here expecting to win," Moore said. "It's been a while since I had a jersey on and it was good to get back into it, then this morning I started getting nervous and I just had to tell myself to relax and have fun. The conditions really smoothed out and the waves were super fun today. I got that 9.43 in the Final and it was such a nice wave, but I didn't expect to get that score. I did a speed floater and then tried to push the last turn as hard as I could and I'm just stoked that I popped back up after it."
Quizon is having a breakthrough year, next month she will make her debut as one of the Top 17 surfers on the ASP Women's World Championship and today she made the Final of an ASP 6-Star QS event for the first time. Quizon is in great form posting two scores in the 7-point-range in the Final, but unfortunately for her she just ran into a rampaging Carissa Moore and had to settle for second.
"I'm super happy to have had a final against Carissa (Moore)," Quizon said. "We grew up surfing with each other and have surfed against each other our whole childhood. I'm so happy for her, and I'm happy that I made it this far. I feel like I'm building momentum and I'm looking forward to the first WCT event at Snapper. I'm being positive and focused, but I'm also having fun. Hawaiian girls rip!"
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