Adriano de Souza: victory in sardine land

Adriano de Souza has conquered the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2011, at Supertubos, Peniche, after defeating Kelly Slater in another epic day of surfing, sun and a packed beach. Five-to-seven foot waves finished a marathon of world class surfing in one of the best beach breaks of the world.

Adriano de Souza started out with a 9-point ride that could've been a 10. He rode a long deep barrel and the crowd asked for the maximum punctuation from the judges. Kelly was only able to catch average waves in the last half of the final heat.

Adriano celebrated the Supertubos victory with his fellow Brazilian riders. There were tears, hugs, high-fives and total excitement.

"It is a great moment in my life. Kelly is the best surfer in the world. God sent me good advices and I'm really happy. It was amazing and I can't describe what I feel", said an emotional Adriano de Souza. "I came to Peniche 10 days before everyone. For me, it's my best event so far and this one will be in my memory forever", he added.

With this result Kelly Slater only needs a 9th place in the upcoming Rip Curl Search San Francisco to confirm his 11th ASP World Surfing Championship, which means a Round 5 participation.

“It’s been an amazing event,” Slater said.

“I can’t remember a time when we’ve had so many 9s and high 8s and we’ve all just got barreled off our heads for three days straight. It’s been pretty amazing. Unfortunately, there was really only that one good one in the Final and I made a priority mistake and let Adriano (de Souza) have it. It’s obviously a good result for me and it makes things harder on everyone else. Let’s hope for good conditions in San Francisco.”

The Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2011 will be forever remembered for the incredible barrels, atmosphere, crowd and for a very special and rare issue - claiming waves. Almost all surfers claimed their favorite wave rides with no external pressures.

They were simply enjoying and congratulated themselves. Is that a problem? Of course not and things may change after the unforgettable Portuguese stage.

In the first Quarter-Final, an Australia duel of generations - Taj Burrow versus Julian Wilson. The younger surfer finished his heat with a perfect 10, but Burrow's wave combination (17.94 points) was a little bit better by only 0.40 points.

Kelly Slater and Heitor Alves came next. The Floridian stormed Supertubos with his stunning tube riding skills. It all looked too easy, despite Alves' commitment. Slater locked in a total of 18.70 points.

The third Quarter-Final saw Adrian de Souza against Michel Bourez. The sun was out and the battle was hard. The Brazilian beat Bourez by a very narrow margin - 17.60 against 17.53 points.

All heats were delivering high wave scores and the Bede Durbidge versus Joel Parkinson encounter wasn't different. Durbidge dispatched Parkinson despite a last minute stress scenario.

Taj and Slater met again in a classic matchup. The road to the Final was going to be tough, as Slater opened the hostilities with a 9.50 waves and Burrow answered with a 9.80 ride. A few minutes later, Kelly fetches a perfect 10 to close things out. What a heat. It looked like a final.

The Floridian had secured another ASP final in 2011 and he waited for his last opponent.

It would be Adriano de Souza, a man with whom Kelly Slater had exchanged a few sharp words at the Hurley Pro Trestles. The 2011 ASP World Tour now heads to San Francisco, where a new world surfing champion may be crowned.

Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2011 | Final

Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.67 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.73

Top Stories

The most successful competitive surfer of all time, Kelly Slater, rode what may have been the last heat of his 24-year professional career.

Big wave surfing is an industry with an industry.

Jack Robinson and Gabriela Bryan have taken out the 2024 Margaret River Pro.

Ryan Crosby is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the World Surf League (WSL).