Junior Faria: new wonder kid?

Brazil's Junior Faria (Guaruja, São Paulo), 23, clinched the first ever ASP win of his career by defeating surfer from Santa Catarina Pedro Norberto. Beautiful sunny skies, big crowds and classic conditions set the stage for the last day of the South to South Santa Marta Pro, an ASP 5-Star event held for the first time in the Cape of Santa Marta.

Junior Faria surfed quietly through the early rounds of competition before gaining momentum towards the final day.

The surfer from Guaruja unleashed a consistent backhand attack on the Cardoso lefthanders and combined his heats with a repertoire of powerful carves and rail turns to eliminate Jeronimo Vargas, in round of 16 surfers, former ASP World Tour surfer Rodrigo Dornelles, in the Quarterfinals, and Hizunome Bettero in the Semifinals, before taking out the South to South Santa Marta Pro title over Pedro Norberto.

Junior Faria scored a 6.83 ride early in the final, Pedro paid back with a 7 - point ride and that was it as he was unable to catch another wave in the heat while Faria continued to build on his lead scoring with a 7.40 and a 7.73 in his last ride where he threw a fantastic aerial 360, after that Norberto was left chasing an 8.13 ride to bridge the enormous gap.

"I was tremendously lucky to say the truth," said Junior Faria. "I just took advantage of the waves that came to me and suddenly the sea stopped braking waves. Making that aerial during a final was also special and I credit this win to physical trainer Ricardo Vilalva, he's the guy who believes me most. We're working together for 10 years now and it's time to celebrate."

Surfer Hizunome Bettero who took equal third place along with young Caio Ibelli made history in the Hawaiian Island Creations Expression Session. Right after he left the semifinal defeated by Junior Faria, he decided to participate of the Expression Session.

Towards the end of the heat, Hizunome as he's known by his peers took a big set wave and posted the best moment of the whole contest as he pulled in and completed an incredible tube riding. So sensational that it was considered the best maneuver of the year in all ASP South America events.

"I kept watching this wave braking before the semi final, but I decided not to take the risk as the big sets weren't braking consistently enough , but in the Expression Session I decide to wait for the big sets seated way outside. I stayed there till it came, as I took of it started peeling way down the line, I pulled in so deep I couldn't believe, I'm totally stoked that I've made that," said Hizunome

Saturday's greatest attraction of the event, Caio Ibeli repeated the third place posted in the last ASP contest held in Brazil at Florianopolis.

"The objective this time was to be in the finals, but unfortunately the waves took a long time to come in this semifinal. Pedro (Norberto) caught the best set waves and won, nevertheless I'm very happy with the results. It was a great event, with great waves and the people here showed a true love for surfing at this marvelous place called Farol de Santa Marta", said Caio.

Kolohe Andino: wonder dude

Today Surfing America announced that it would keep tradition alive and award the 10th Annual State of California Governor’s Cup to first place finishers in the Boys U18 and Girls U18 Divisions at this week’s Surfing America USA Championships. The event kicked-off Wednesday, June 23 and runs through Monday, June 28 at Lower Trestles in San Onofre State Beach, CA.

“We're deeply honored to have this opportunity presented to us by the California State Parks,” said Mike Gerard, Surfing America’s executive director. “It's exciting to see the State of California recognize the country's best young surfers this way--and very appropriate to connect this with the USA Championships at Lower Trestles in San Onofre State Beach.

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Jason Shibata: home winner

Make no mistake: Jason Shibata isn't ready to pass the competitive torch just yet. Just when the 29-year-old starts talking about a life after pro surfing life, he turns in the biggest result of his career, in front of a home crowd, to take first place in the $25,000 Sponsor Me Hawaii. Shibata's win of this 2-star rated Association of Surfing Professionals event earned him $5,000 and a long-awaited turn on the victory dais.

Shibata couldn't have written the script any better for himself: Perfect five-foot surf at his childhood stomping ground of Ala Moana Bowls with all of his peers there to enjoy it with him. He rarely surfs the place these days, opting for something a little less crowded and intense.

But the opportunity to dominate the coveted South Shore lineup with just three others out was one he couldn't help but put to good use. His backhand attack was vertical, critical and lightning fast. His tube-riding, which earned him an 8.6 and ultimately clinched the final, was deep and committed.

"I was tripping because I wasn't really in the spot (for the tube)," said Shibata. "I was really deep and it swung wide. I just paddled... got in, it started off really tight and almondy and I'm going for it. But it let me out and from then on I had a huge smile on my face and thought, maybe today is the day, and I just went with it."

Along with his fellow finalists Kai Barger (Haiku, Maui, 2nd), Pancho Sullivan (Haleiwa, 3rd), and Casey Brown (Kona, Hawaii), Shibata surfed through five rounds over 11 hours today. It was a grueling day that was well worth the effort.