Jordy Smith (ZAF), 25, has won the Billabong Rio Pro in a hard-fought final over national favorite Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, by a score of 17.80 to 16.34 in clean two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Stop No. 3 of 10 on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Billabong Rio Pro utilized the entirety of the event waiting period, culminating in a high-performance showdown from the ASP Top 34 amidst a bevy of barrels and ramps of Barra Da Tijuca.
Smith showed an incredible variety of technical airs and turns in the Final against De Souza, launching a massive straight frontside air for a 9.33 and a stailfish air-reverse for an 8.50 to top De Souza for the win. The Billabong Rio Pro victory marks the third career ASP WCT event win for Smith and his first away from South African soil.
“This win feels unbelievable,” Smith said. “It’s another dream come true. I knew I could win a World Tour event, but I had to prove to myself that I could do it away from South Africa. Thanks to crowd and Adriano (de Souza). He’s been ripping the whole event. Thanks to all of my friends and family for all of the amazing support.”
Smith’s run to the final was nothing short of amazing as the South African powerhouse defeated dangerous rookie Filipe Toledo (BRA), 18, and two-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, en route to the Final. Smith attributed today’s success to his ability to adapt to both his competitors and the ever-changing conditions of Barra Da Tijuca.
“I knew it was going to be tough,” Smith said. “I was really nervous in the first heat against Filipe (Toledo). Luckily I got through that one and when I came up against Mick I waited for better waves. When the swell dropped against Adriano and he took to the sky, I knew I was going to have to do the same, but luckily I got a couple of scores.”
Smith now sits at No. 2 on the ASP WCT Rankings.