American Shaun Ward has survived a heavy field of top Brazilian talent to claim the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) Local Motion Guaruja Surf Pro, bolting up the ratings from 77th to 30th with his impressive win.

Ward’s victory came as no easy feat as the natural-footer dispatched of Brazilians Tomas Hermes and Andre Silva before besting Simao Romao (BRA) in the Final.

“I have never been in an ASP WQS 5-Star before and I am so happy to be here,” Ward said. “I never imagined I could’ve won, but I worked hard every day to make it happen. It’s a dream come true.”

In similar conditions to his hometown in Huntington Beach, Ward came from behind in the Final to take down Romao.

“I have surfed and trained every day to get good results and it paid off here so I am very happy,” Ward said. “I faced very strong contenders all the way to the final but felt no pressure. The waves here are similar to my home break, Huntington Beach, and I have no problem surfing here. We had good waves pumping the whole week and now I want to celebrate my victory which is the highlight of my career.”

Romao opened the final strong, with a 7.33 out of a possible 10, but failed to find a strong backup.

“I needed a good result to raise my self-esteem,” Romao said. “I’m working and training hard and I was not going very well in the contests. Then I tried to understand what was going on and decided to keep cool, forget about it all and just surf – this is what I did here.”

The next stop on the ASP WQS will be the 6-Star Mr. Price Pro in Durban, South Africa from June 30 through July 6, 2008.

Source: ASP World Tour