Brazilian Adriano De Souza Claims ASP World Title

Sunday January 4, 2004 (North Narrabeen, Sydney, Aus) Brazilian Adriano DeSouza today became the youngster surfer to ever clinch an ASP world title bywinning the Billabong Junior Championships, defeating Australian ShaunCansdell (Mullaway, Aus). Competition commenced with remaining round threeheats this morning, before the prestigious tournament made its way throughthe business end of the draw and climaxed with the dramatic final.

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Clean 3ft (1m) lefthanders graced the long sandbank throughout the day, withconditions improving as the tide dropped this afternoon and swell pulsed.The summer crowd soaked up the world’s best U/21 surfers in action.

16-year-old De Souza, from Sao Paulo, was one of the youngest competitors inthe in the field and still has an unbelievable four years left in thisdivision. Regardless, the diminutive natural footer showed no nerves againsthis more experienced opponents, posting the highest combined total of theentire tournament in round one for 17.9-points. From there he progressedwith similar form, toppling some of the biggest names in the event.

Against Cansdell in the decider he opened with a rare righthander, settingthe early pace following his 7.67 score. He then focused on the lefthandersand found another gem, belting a massive backhand re-entry and collected an8.33 for the commanding lead that never wavered.

De Souza has now added his name to an honor roll including reigning two-timeworld champion Andy Irons (1998), Australian Joel Parkinson (1999 & ’01) andfellow Brazilian Pedro Henrique, who claimed the title in 2000.

“I have to speak in Portuguese, cause it’s my heart,” began an emotional DeSouza through the aide of a translator, once his fellow Braziliancontestants carried him up the beach. “I have to thank all my friends andpeople who have helped me.

“Shaun was the best in the whole contest, but I just tried to place firstone more time,” he added. “Now I plan to study English here in Australia,get some more good waves and have fun being the world champion.”

20-year-old Cansdell capped off a brilliant junior career with the runner-upplacing. He was in blistering form throughout the day, and posted the secondbest combined tally of 17.5-points in his quarterfinal clash. Against DeSouza however, he was unable to pick off the desired waves and required anear-perfect 9.27 score.

“I just couldn’t get over a six during the final,” explained Cansdell. “Mywaves didn’t really wall up or offer much and I was a bit tired, I suppose.He’s been surfing well the whole week and deserved it. Just to be in thefinal was unreal though. I would have liked to win of course, but he wasripping.”

Equal third today were Hawaiians Daniel Jones and Sean Moody. Jones, whohails from a great family of Hawaiian surfers, took out some of the bignames in the tournament, including good friend and yesterday’s high scorerKekoa Bacalso this morning. Against a fired up Cansdell he trailed from thestart however, and ultimately needed a combination of waves totaling16.84-points.

“I wanted to do my best and I’m happy with third,” said Jones. “I justwasn’t really able to put anything together in that last heat.”

20-year-old Moody was extremely unlucky in his match against De Souza. TheHawaiian posted the best single score of 8.33-points, but then waited anagonizing 9-minutes for another ride. After his opponent fell on a last goodwave, priority went to Moody, but even still he was unable to find the 2.17he was searching for. Returning from a serious leg injury however, theresult is a great confidence boost.

“He fell on a good one, so I kind of had a chance, but nothing came in,”explained Moody. “This is my last year in the event, so it’s nice to doalright. Third’s third though, and I didn’t want that. I came here to getfirst. I’m pretty bummed, but I’ll take. I was out of the water for fourmonths after shattering my leg (at Pipeline, Haw, last year) and had to gpretty gnarly surgery. Stoked to be back, for sure.”

Finishing equal fifth in the Billabong World Junior Championships wasBrazilian Jihad Kohdr and Australians Leigh Sedley (Sunshine Coast, QLD),Daniel Ross (Yamba, NSW) and Luke Munro (Gold Coast, QLD).

Sedley, who finished runner-up in the Von Zipper Trials, created a hugeupset by knocking out the event’s #1 seed Joel Centeio (Haw) in round three,as well as another Hawaiian TJ Barron in the fourth. Cansdell ended hiscampaign, but nonetheless, the 19-year-old impressed all with his overallperformance.

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“It was always going o be hard to try and beat Shaun in really longlefthanders,” reasoned Sedley. “I gave it my best and still had fun thisevent and was happy to make it this far. Unfortunately it came to a halt inthe quarterfinals. Still a great start to the year.”

Ross – the 2003 ASP Australasian champion – suffered a surprise loss to DeSouza following a fantastic season last year. The 20-year-old was eager toadd the world junior crown to his ever growing lit of accomplishments, butrequired another ride worth 7.84-points at heat end to match his youngeropponent.

“I knew all the Brazilians were surfing pretty good, so I had a fair ideawhat he’d be doing if he got the waves,” acknowledged Ross. “I just didn’tget the right ones, so that’s what happens. I’m still stoked to have gottenthrough a few heats. There were so many good surfers in this event and I’mhappy with a fifth.”

Munro – winner of the ASP Australasian junior championship in 2000 & ’01 -became stuck on the wrong side of a wave-starved match against Moody.

17-year-old Hideyoshi Tanaka secured Japan’s best result with an equal 9thplacing. Likewise, South African Damien Fahrenfort also made round four andposted his nation’s strongest finish.

An special exhibition heat was also staged between the second semifinal andgrand finale, with World Championship Tour (WCT) surfers Luke Egan (GoldCoast, Aus), 1999 world champion Mark Occhilupo (Gold Coast, Aus) andNarrabeen local Nathan Hedge. Egan, the event contest director, offered thefollowing comment afterward.

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“Stoked we got it finished,” began Egan. “We really broke the contest’s backyesterday, since the reports indicated an unfavorable southerly changecoming through. The surfing has been incredible and I’m so stoked with thesetup here. Billabong did the full-blown WCT deal for the kids, and theman-on-man experience is great for them.”

The Billabong World Junior Championships were proudly supported byPanasonic, Coca Cola, Banana Boat, Qantas, Garnier Fructis, Polaris and VonZipper.

Billabong World Junior Championships Final Results
1st Adriano De Souza (Brz) 16.0 – US$6,000
2nd Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 12.9 – US$3,200
Semifinals (1st>Final; 2nd=3rd receives US$2,700)
SF1: Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 16.83 def. Daniel Jones (Haw) 12.64
SF2: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 10.5 def. Sean Moody (Haw) 9.83

Quarterfinals (1st>Semifinals; 2nd=5th receives US$1,400)
QF1: Daniel Jones (Haw) 10.67 def. Jihad Kohdr (Brz) 10.57
QF2: Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 17.5 def. Leigh Sedley (Aus) 13.07
QF3: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 15.43 def. Daniel Ross (Aus) 13.1
QF4: Sean Moody (Haw) 9.16 def. Luke Munro (Aus) 6.9

Round Four (1st>Quarterfinals; 2nd=9th receives US$900)
H1: Daniel Jones (Haw) 14.33 def. Kekoa Bacalso (Haw) 4.67
H2: Jihad Kohdr (Brz) 11.93 def. Tommy O’Brien (USA) 7.0
H3: Shaun Cansdell (Aus) 14.0 def. Ben Dunn (Aus) 13.53
H4: Leigh Sedley (Aus) 15.56 def. TJ Barron (Haw) 11.0
H5: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 15.83 def. Simao Romao (Brz) 12.77
H6: Daniel Ross (Aus) 15.06 def. Anthony Walsh (Aus) 11.7
H7: Luke Munro (Aus) 13.1 def. Damien Fahrenfort (SAfr) 8.24
H8: Sean Moody (Haw) 11.67 def. Hideyoshi Tanaka (Jpn) 9.53

Round Three Heats (1st>Rnd4; 2nd=17th receives US$600)
H10: Adriano de Souza (Brz) 10.23 def. Fabrice Gelez (Fra) 6.0
H12: Daniel Ross (Aus) 13.23 def. Jarrad Sullivan (Aus) 10.76
H13: Damien Fahrenfort (SAfr) 10.33 def. Bede Durbidge (Aus) 10.1
H14: Luke Munro (Aus) 12.16 def. Tim Boal (Fra) 7.56
H15: Sean Moody (Aus) 11.6 def. James Wood (Aus) 10.27
H16: Hideyoshi Tanaka (Jpn) 14.67 def. Hodei Collazo (Spn) 6.56

H12: Daniel Ross (Aus) 13.23 def. Jarrad Sullivan (Aus) 10.76
H13: Damien Fahrenfort (SAfr) 10.33 def. Bede Durbidge (Aus) 10.1
H14: Luke Munro (Aus) 12.16 def. Tim Boal (Fra) 7.56
H15: Sean Moody (Aus) 11.6 def. James Wood (Aus) 10.27
H16: Hideyoshi Tanaka (Jpn) 14.67 def. Hodei Collazo (Spn) 6.56