- 12 May 2014 | Surfing
Michel Bourez has clinched a historic victory at the Billabong Rio Pro 2014, in the punchy three-to-four foot waves on offer at Barra da Tijuca, Brazil. The Tahitian sealed the second Dream Tour victory of the season.
Kelly Slater opened the last day of competition at the Billabong Rio Pro 2014 with a perfect 10 wave ride against the local surfing star, Adriano de Souza.
With a semifinal clash against Slater, Kolohe Andino was securing the best result ever in his World Championship Tour career. Michel Bourez, who had eliminated Jordy Smith in the quarterfinals, was en route against an in-form Taj Burrow.
The show looked promising. The beach was packed with thousands of Brazilian surfing fans, even though their idols were sent home in Round 5.
In the first semifinal, Andino used his aerial arsenal to defeat Slater by a narrow margin. Only 0.56 separated both generations.
Taj Burrow was completely fired up. He was surfing fast and in an effective way. He looked like a young 18-year-old surfer wanting to win really hard. But Michel Bourez was not willing to pay the price, and used tail-high reverses and vertical turns off the lip to steal the Australian's show.
The Tahitian opened the Billabong Rio Pro 2014 final with a bang. Two powerful rides from Bourez put the American young gun against the ropes. Despite a last-minute effort, Andino was not able to change the course of the final.
"I still can't believe. I didn't expect to win two events in the same year so it feels brilliant. The conditions are always changing. It's incredible to win two events in the same year. As soon as you have a victory, you think of world titles. It's going to be a hard one," says Bourez.
"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 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."
There are dramatic changes in the 2014 ASP World Tour rankings. Kelly Slater leads the fleet, and Michel Bourez enter the world title race.
In the Rio Women's Pro, the clash between Carissa Moore and Sally Fitzgibbons went the Australian's way.
Billabong Rio Pro 2014 Final:
Michel Bourez (PYF), 13.84 def. Kolohe Andino (USA), 10.93
Billabong Rio Pro 2014 Semifinals:
Kolohe Andino (USA), 14.73 def. Kelly Slater (USA), 14.17
Michel Bourez (PYF), 15.30 def. Taj Burrow (AUS), 12.33
2014 ASP World Championship Tour Rankings
1. Kelly Slater, 23400
2. Taj Burrow, 22750
3. Joel Parkinson, 22400
4. Michel Bourez, 22250
5. Gabriel Medina, 20950