Iain Buchanan and Nathan Webster crowned in Rio de Janeiro

August 1, 2011 | Surfing
Nathan Webster: young and wild

Iain Buchanan and Nathan Webster have conquered the Grand Masters and Masters titles respectively of the Supersurf ASP World Masters Championships, in clean-but-small surf at Arpoador, Rio de Janeiro.

Buchanan bested defending ASP Grand Masters Champion and former World Champion Wayne Bartholomew in a closely-fought Final to become the first-ever New Zealand title holder.

"It’s a pretty awesome feeling," Buchanan said.

"My waves today played out. I knew if I got past Shaun (Tomson), I had a chance, he’s a good competitor. With Glen Winton, small left, he’s riding a wide board, that’s pretty dangerous. But I had to stick to my game plan, get a couple of rights because I’m better on my forehand than my backhand. And that worked out. And then the Final, the tide was coming in and the waves were getting less consistent, and pretty flat. And Rabbit (Wayne Bartholomew) just wasn’t getting the good turn. I was lucky the time ran out."

Buchanan, who now serves as a full-time judge on the ASP World Tour, was humble in his victory and reserved when considering his plans to return next year to defend his title.

"I’m hoping they’ll ask me to judge (next year)," Buchanan said. "That what I was originally going to do. Al Hunt and Richie Porta talked me into surfing, and I’m glad I did! I’m happy to get the spot I did, but there will be other guys that qualify next year, and I’d love to judge. But this is awesome!"

Bartholomew, who is regarded as one of the most notable surfers in surfing history, was in sterling form throughout the morning, taking out compatriots Terry Richardson (AUS) and Simon Anderson before falling to inconsistent conditions in the Final. Ever the statesman, Bartholomew remained jovial and gracious in defeat.

"I was hoping for a win, but that was a good one for Ratzo (Iain Buchanan), congratulations," Bartholomew said. "It was great to be in the Final, and great to be here, back in Brazil surfing the Masters. I had a fantastic week. Bainy (Rob Bain), Buzzy (Kerbox), Hans (Hedemann) and I did a trip to the favela . We met some really great people and there’re some great programs to inspire the kids. Great event, and really looking forward to next year."

Webster, who enjoyed an esteemed tenure on the ASP World Tour, navigated a field of Brazilians before overtaking an in-form Fabio Gouveia to attain the ASP World Masters Title.

"I’d like to thank everyone," Webster said. "Thank the city of Rio. I’ve been here many times, but not to this part of town. It’s really beautiful and I’ve had a fantastic week here. Thank you to all the spectators, the local and kids, those joining us for our free surf during the day. And, all of the competitors in the event, damn, such a strong field, and a list of legends."

"These guys have been an inspiration to me. Not only on a competitive level, but on a personal level. I have a lot of great friends here and it was a really great week to spend with everyone. Thank you to the competitors for the super high standard they brought – especially the Brazilian boys. They really dominated those early rounds and were surfing really great. I’d like to thank the Narrabeen boys at home and the RVCA crew.”

Gouveia, who had been a standout all week in the challenging conditions, put up a healthy fight in the Final but lost out to Webster’s onslaught.

"So good to make the Final," Gouveia said. "Congratulations to Nathan Webster. This has been such a good event, and I’m so happy to be here and get a good result for Brazil. I’ve enjoyed surfing with my friends that I haven’t seen in long time."

Supersurf ASP World Masters Championships 2011 | Finals

1 – Nathan Webster (AUS) 14.50
2 – Fabio Gouveia (BRA) 10.75

Grand Masters
1 – Iain Buchanan (NZL) 8.75
2 – Wayne Bartholomew (AUS) 8.35