BARRA DA TIJUCA, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil: An epic Finals day at the Billabong Rio Pro and Rio Women’s Pro presented by Billabong, Stop No. 4 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), saw Michel Bourez (PYF) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) claim victory after a day of barreling waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Michel Bourez (PYF) won his second WCT event of the season, besting defending event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) and veteran Taj Burrow (AUS) before his win over California prodigy Kolohe Andino in a hard-fought final. The Tahitian struck first in the 30 minute affair, posting his two keeper scores of 7.17 and 6.67 in the opening half of the heat. The win vaults Bourez to No. 4 on the ASP WCT rankings.
“This win is amazing and I feel great,” said Michel Bourez. “I didn’t expect to win two events in the same year so it feels brilliant. It’s great to be here in Rio and have another win – I’m so happy. I’m really glad I came and to have a final against a good friend of mine is wonderful. He (Kolohe Andino) is someone I think will be huge in a few years. Rio is beautiful, I love this place. There’s so many things going on and so many people that are passionate about sports and surfing.”
Kolohe Andino (USA) was in stellar form throughout the entirety of the Billabong Rio Pro blending his prowess for the barrel with his above-the-lip game. The progressive talent topped Travis Logie (ZAF), Bede Durbidge (AUS), and 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) while advancing to his first career WCT final, but failed to find the scores needed to surpass Bourez for the win.
“I have so many good memories of Brazil,” said Kolohe Andino. “To make my first WCT Final here in front of the wonderful crowd is a pleasure. I’m very happy with the result.”
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) claimed her first major victory this year, winning the Rio Women’s Pro presented by Billabong with a sensational performance against reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW). While Moore jumped out to an early lead, Fitzgibbons fought back, posting scores of 9.27 and 7.00, securing her second career Rio Women’s Pro victory. Fitzgibbons defeated Coco Ho (HAW) and defending event winner Tyler Wright (AUS) before defeating the Hawaiian for the win. Her effort moves her to No. 2 on the ASP Women’s WCT rankings behind Moore, who remains at No. 1.
“A lot of hard work went into this victory and I’m so happy,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “There’s a great rivalry between myself and Carissa (Moore). We always have such great battles and I knew I had to step things up after the Semifinal to take the win. The crowd was sending me great vibes out in the water and that really helped. It’s a long year but I think I have a lot of strong surfing left in me. I’m really excited to get over to Fiji and try and get another result like this.”
Carissa Moore (HAW) entered her third consecutive final of the season on fire, smashing an excellent 8.50 on her opening ride against Sally Fitzgibbons. While the Hawaiian was unable to put a stop the Australian’s retaliation, the second place finish extends her lead on the ASP Women’s WCT Rankings.
“I wish I had won here in Rio like I did three years ago,” said Carissa Moore. “You come so close and then you don’t get it so of course you’re upset. It’s okay – this is what happens in competition.”
11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) earned the only perfect 10-point ride of Billabong Rio Pro competition on the very first wave of finals day against Brazilian favorite Adriano de Souza. Slater was unable to maintain his momentum, however, falling to Andino in the Semifinals. Slater’s third place effort vaults the Floridian atop the ASP WCT rankings entering the upcoming event in Fiji.
“I owe that guy (Adriano de Souza),” said Kelly Slater. “He’s been killing me – I think he won six in a row against me before today. I felt good this morning and spent a lot of time last night thinking about the situation. It’s important to get into the Quarterfinals. I’ve had enough of losing to that guy for now. I wanted to try and do well here because I haven’t done well here in a while.”
Billabong Rio Pro Final Result:
Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.84 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.43
Rio Women’s Pro Final Result:
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.27 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.27
Billabong Rio Pro Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.73 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.17
Semifinal 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.30 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.33
Rio Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.97 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 6.00
Semifinal 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.17 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.80
Billabong Rio Pro Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.37
Quarterfinal 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.44 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 7.40
Quarterfinal 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.83 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.67
Quarterfinal 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.66 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.20
Rio Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.47 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.26
Quarterfinal 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.50 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 7.00
Quarterfinal 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.37 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.43
Quarterfinal 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.77 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 12.90
Billabong Rio Pro Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 3.37
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.83 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 8.17
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.60 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.10
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.76 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.17
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