BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Tuesday, April 2, 2013) - Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, has claimed the 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford over ASP Dream Tour rookie Nat Young (USA), 21, in clean three-to-five foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Bells Beach today.
Event No. 2 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach culminated in dramatic fashion today with the young Brazilian claiming the first South American men's title in the event's storied 52-year history.
"This is the most important event on tour to me," De Souza said. "Guys like Andy Irons, Kelly Slater, my hero Mick Fanning, they have all rung the Bell. I have been coming here a lot of years. I love the place. It has been a tough time for me recently. I started 2013 without a sponsor for the first time in many years. I had to believe in myself that a company would believe in me and one did. I have to say thanks to Pena for believing in me. I have a lot of people to thank, but all I want to do right now is ring the bell."
De Souza's win today vaults the young South American ASP WCT No. 4 heading into the third event on tour in Brazil.
"Next stop is at home in Brazil," De Souza said. "I feel comfortable at home, but there is also pressure to perform. I am going to enjoy this win, recharge for the next one and hopefully I can keep it going."
Young, the rookie goofy-footer from California's Santa Cruz, posted a career-best result today, wowing spectators and competitors alike with his run to the Finals.
"It was a huge event for me," Young said. "Just to be in the field is a dream for me. I've looked up to the surfers in this event my whole life. The event has such a history behind it and I was honestly just excited to be here. Making the Final, I don't even have words for it. Of course I wanted to win it. I want to ring the bell as much as anyone else on tour. Don't get to it this year, but a Runner-Up finish is a big result for me and I'll take that into the next one."
Young's Runner-Up finish today pushes him to No. 5, tied with reigning ASP World Champion ([Joel Parkinson]/athletes/556/joel-parkinson) (AUS), 31, on the ASP WCT rankings.
Taj Burrow (AUS), 34, perennial ASP World Title threat, continued his blistering Bells Beach run this morning against compatriot Kai Otton (AUS), 33, in the Quarterfinals before coming up short to Young in their Semifinal bout.
"It's a hard one to take but you can't give anyone an inch on tour these days," Burrow said. "Nat (Young) has been surfing so well. He's a rookie, but he's really polished and really dangerous. I'll take a 3rd though and refocus for Brazil."
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 25, was one of the form surfers at Bells Beach throughout the event window, consistently notching up high-scoring rides. The powerful South African's run was ended, however, in the Semifinals at the hands of De Souza.
"Definitely disappointed that the score didn't come in for me at the end," De Souza said. "I really wanted to ring that Bell and felt like I've been surfing well all week. Congrats to Adriano (de Souza) though. He's been ripping. Everyone's been ripping and there have been some interesting results. Makes the year interesting. I'll take the momentum into Brazil."
Highlights from the 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be available via www.live.ripcurl.com
The next stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) will be the Billabong Rio Pro from May 8 - 19, 2013.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com