SAQUAREMA, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil (Sunday, May, 27, 2012) – In an all-Australian Final, Matt Wilkinson, 23, scored an outstanding 18.43 (out of a possible 20 points) for the event's highest heat wave total to defeat Kai Otton, 32, in waves in the 3-5 foot range (1-1.5 meters) at the lefthand point break of Itauna, in Saquarema, Brazil. For his victory at the Quiksliver Saquarema Prime, Wilkinson takes home U$ 40,000 dollars in prize money and an additional 6,500 points towards his ASP World Ranking, which catapults him from 43rd place up to 17th.
"I'm so stoked and now I've got a hard on for Brazil," joked the ever-playful Wilkinson. "No, I'm just kidding around, but I really am almost crying from all of the emotion. I'm really happy with what I was able to accomplish in the Semis and the Final. I had a lot of fun, my board felt really good under my feet and now Saquarema is my favorite place in the world!"
Wilkinson began his campaign on Sunday by eliminating the "Brazilian highlight film", Gabriel Medina, 18, in the Quarter-Finals. He followed by defeating Keanu Asing (HAW), in the Semi-Finals, where 3 out of the 5 judges gave Wilkinson a 10-point ride (averaging out to a 9.83) for the highest single wave score of the entire event. And finished off by placing last year's event winner, Otton, in combination in the Finals.
"I've never gotten a good result here in Brazil," continued Wilkinson. "So, I'm happy that there were such great waves during the event and we we're pretty much able to pull off every kind of maneuver out here. My last Finals appearance was two years ago, when I won the event in Santa Cruz (California). It's been a while that I haven't made it up to the podium and it's such a good feeling. Now, with the forty grand in my pocket, I can leave happy and go party with my friends back home."
Kai Otton showed inspired surfing throughout the event defeating stand-outs such as Sebastien Zietz (HAW), in the Quarter-Finals and Kolohe Andino in the Semi-Finals, but was no match for Wilkinson's bashing, and was not able to replicate his feat from the year before.
"Everything went wrong for me at the end there," declared Otton, who takes home U$ 20,000 for his Runner-Up finish. "I was unlucky in my wave choice and when I decided to paddle into one, I couldn't complete the first turn. And to make things worse, Matty (Wilkinson) was doing great all heat long. But congratulations to him, he deserved the victory. I'm still happy with my result because I surfed such good waves while I was here. Second place is still pretty good and I'll have to wait until next year to win again."
The Quiksilver Saquarema Prime presented by Coca-Cola is brought together by Adding Sports and sponsored by Coca-Cola and Quiksilver, along with the support of the State of Rio de Janeiro through the Secretary of Sports and Leisure, the City of Saquarema, CCR Via Lagos, 900 Graus, the Saquarema Surfing Association and the Rio de Janeiro Surfing Federation. The Quiksilver Saquarema Prime is an ASP South America sanctioned event and the official media partners are ESPN Brasil, Fluir Magazine and the Waves/Terra website.
QUIKSILVER SAQUAREMA PRIME FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 18.43
2 – Kai Otton (AUS) 8.63
QUIKSILVER SAQUAREMA PRIME SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.00 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 4.67
SF 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 17.76 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.67
QUIKSILVER SAQUAREMA PRIME QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.77 def. Sebastien Zietz (HAW) 7.84
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.50 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 7.17
QF 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.26 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 8.67
QF 4: Keanu Asing (HAW) 12.50 def. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 12.00