Taj Burrow: he deserves it

Taj Burrow has claimed his first Reef Hawaiian Pro title, in Hawaii, and leads the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing ratings. The Australian surfer has been competing in Hawaii for 15 years. Watch the final highlights, here.

Runner-up was East Coast Australian Adam Melling, third was Adriano De Souza and fourth was Nat Young, from Santa Cruz. The Reef Hawaiian Pro is the first jewel in the prestigious $830,000 Vans Triple Crown.

Burrow surfed through four rounds today, gaining momentum in each. While aerials were at the front of most surfer's minds, Burrow got creative with every heat, strategically building scores with a mixed plate of form-bending tube rides and lip-belting close-out snaps.

He eclipsed his challengers in the final, posting a two-wave total of 16.90 out of 20 (9.37 and 7.53). "I had a good run, it feels good scoring in the 9-point range and it's hard to do," said Taj, world #3. "I just really wanted to win an event here. I am really happy".

"It's funny I have never really gotten a good shot (at the Vans Triple Crown). I was thinking, maybe I should really have a go at one of these things so I actually have it right in the front of my mind.

"I love being in Hawaii. I was saying to a few of my friends it is so good to come to Hawaii and sit and make a base for six weeks. We are getting on a plane every other weekend normally, it's draining. Coming to Hawaii you just get in a good routine, you unpack your bags and you can kind of relax. We train and eat good food and just the whole routine of it all I feel much better then having to skip town every two weeks."

FINALS

Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.90pts ; Adam Melling (AUS) 12.12.60pts ; Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.50 pts ; Nat Young (USA) 6.10 pts

SEMIFINALS

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.84pts ; Nat Young (USA) 12.70pts ; John John Florence (HAW) 11.50pts ; Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 10.67pts
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 13.54pts ; Adam Melling (AUS) 13.16pts ; Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.30pts ; Roy Powers (HAW) 4.57pts