Mick Fanning

With the completion of the Billabong Pro Mundaka yesterday, won by Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, the 2009 ASP World Title race has heated up to a boiling point heading into the last two events on the ASP World Tour: the Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal and the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

Renato Hickel, ASP World Tour Manager, has run the scenarios of what it would take for current ASP World No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, to clinch the 2009 ASP World Title at the upcoming event in Portugal:

“At this stage, mathematically, there are 10 surfers in contention for the 2009 ASP World Title, from current ASP World Tour ratings’ leader Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, to current ASP World #10 Damien Hobgood (USA), 30.

For the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal these are the scenarios most likely to happen:

If Mick Fanning were to win the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Search Portugal:

Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, would need a 9th or better and Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, would need a 3rd or better to prevent him from clinching the 2009 ASP World Title in Portugal.

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Adriano de Souza

Adriano de Souza (BRA), 22, claimed his inaugural ASP World Tour win today, taking out the Billabong Pro Mundaka, eliminating fellow Finalist Chris Davidson (AUS), 33, in punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the backup venue of Sopelana.

Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka experienced an array of conditions for the event, from clean surf on the opening day at Mundaka to a lengthy seven-day wait before a marathon 24-heat session yesterday, culminating into today’s dramatic finale.

De Souza, who had previously experienced in the ASP World Junior Championships (winning in 2003) and on the ASP World Qualifying Series winning in 2005), was rapt with his inaugural ASP World Tour victory.

“I don’t have words to express how happy I am right now,” De Souza said. “I have been working so hard for this ever since winning the ASP World Junior Championships and the ASP WQS. To finally win here in Mundaka, where the culture is so rich and the people love surfing so much, is an incredible thing. This is the most special day of my life.”

The young Brazilian dominated the crumbling lefthander of Sopelana, racking up an insurmountable 16.40 out of a possible 20 to overtake his Australian opponent, resulting in his history-making win as the first South American to take out the prestigious event win.

“The conditions have been hard for this event but we surfed the best waves that were available to us,” De Souza said. “Davo (Chris Davidson) is such a strong surfer and he has been going after a win for so long. When he beat C.J. (Hobgood) in the Semifinals, I knew it was going to be a battle. I was able to get the better waves today and that’s why I won.”

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Reunion Island

The recently selected 2010 South African Junior Team were impressive over the weekend with two wins out of a possible three in the individual finals and a strong points victory in the team contest in the Reunion Island Challenge at Kalk Bay Reef in Cape Town Sunday (October 10).

Hosts Western Province came second and the visitors from Reunion Island were third. The Emerging South African team took fourth place ahead of Boland.

South African team member David Brand, fresh from a third place finish in the Quiksilver International King of the Groms in France, made good use of the 3 foot Kalk Bay barrels to take honours in the U18 Boys Final beating current SA Champion Matt Bromley of Western Province into second spot. Hugo Dubosc of Reunion Island was third and Mikey February of the South African team came fourth.

Brand, a bronze medal winner at the ISA World Junior Championships in Ecuador in April, is the top seed in the U18 SA Team which will compete in the ISA World Junior championships in New Zealand in January 2010.

Sarah Baum of the SA Team underlined her class and experience in the Under 18 Girls Final when she took the title ahead of Camilla Davila of Reunion Island. Heidi Palmboom of the SA Junior Team came third and current Under 18 South African Champion Alice McGregor of the Emerging SA team had to settle for fourth place.

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