Adriano de Souza: Mineirinho wants to grab Teahupoo

Adriano de Souza has stormed the first day of action at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, in the iconic spot of Teahupoo.

The Brazilian surfer also known as "Mineirinho" posted a near-perfect 19.43 out of a possible 20 heat total and a Round 1 victory, in shifting three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves.

"I’m so happy right now," De Souza said. "Last year was really big and today is only four feet, but still very fun. I just had fun and caught the good barrels and the judges liked it. I’m very happy right now".

"I’m having a good year. Every year, I focus on what I need to improve on and go out and work on it. I feel more confident at every spot, I feel strong and have good boards right now."

John John Florence put out a solid performance and keeps proving that his solid surf may well secure him a world title, in the next years. With solid scores, barrels and maneuvers he is through to Round 3.

"It’s actually cleaned up a lot from this morning," Florence said. "This morning was really bad. The sun’s come out now though and there are a few, little barrels. It’s still really fun. We’re here in Tahiti and I’m loving it"

Kelly Slater, 40, may have waited until the 11th hour to arrive in Tahiti, but the American was completely at ease in his Round 1 heat, finding a number of solid barrels and advancing directly to Round 3.

"I actually caught the last plane I could have caught to make my heat and I barely made it this morning," Slater said. "It’s not often that the waves in California are better than Tahiti, but there hasn’t been a whole lot of surf here and we’ve had pretty good waves at home".

"It doesn’t look like there’s a ot forecast for this year which is a shame, but there’s still fun surf to be had. It’s Teahupo’o and you can sometimes take for granted how beautiful the waves are here".

"I’ve been coming here since ’93 so it’s about 20 years and I still love it," Slater said. "It’s still so raw. There’s no real big business here. It’s all families and we stay with them and it’s still a very special place."