Adriano de Souza wins Billabong Pro Mundaka as world title race widens
Brazil's Adriano de Souza defeated Australia's Chris Davidson in the final of the Billabong Pro Mundaka at Sopelana, Spain, to post his first ASP World Tour victory and climb into the race for the world title.
De Souza, who lives in Laguna Hills, became the first South American to win an ASP World Tour event.
He dominated the crumbling left-hander at the backup site of Sopelana -- poor conditions at Euskadi caused officials to seek an alternate venue -- and won with a best-two-waves score of 16.40 to 11.83.
The triumph, in the eighth of 10 World Tour competitions, propels De Souza to No. 3 in the standings and gives him an outside shot at winning his first world title.
“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 race for the world title widened after Australians Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning lost in the second and third rounds, respectively. Fanning has overtaken Parkinson and leads the race by a slim margin.
Florida's C.J. Hobgood is ranked fourth. Next up is the Rip Curl Search event, scheduled Oct. 19-28 in Peniche, Portugal.
-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Adriano de Souza goes backside on a left-hander en route to winning the Billabong Pro Mundaka. Credit: ASP/ CI / Scholtz via Getty Images