Adriano de Souza is the 2015 World Surfing Champ
Words by Elliot Struck Adriano de Souza is your 2015 World Champ. Fairy tales don’t come true, and while all eyes, and momentum, were with Mick Fanning, Adriano won a deserved world title in the only fashion that he could have, or should have: As a sheer, determined work horse. After yesterday’s heroics, it was […]
Words by Elliot Struck
Adriano de Souza is your 2015 World Champ.
Fairy tales don’t come true, and while all eyes, and momentum, were with Mick Fanning, Adriano won a deserved world title in the only fashion that he could have, or should have: As a sheer, determined work horse.
After yesterday’s heroics, it was bizarre to watch so intense a title race unfold in such underwhelming waves. But, that’s the reality of surfing. When we reached the biz end of the event, Adriano’s objective was simple: Finish one place ahead of Mick. And at scrappy Backdoor, that’s exactly what he did.
No one can say Adriano isn’t a deserving champ. He’s as silently committed, as steely, as determined as is required to win a title. Adriano was raised in a Sao Paulo favela, and when competitive success and its financial benefits found him, he built beachfront apartments and moved his entire family into them. When he claims, it is genuine, because he needs to win. “I’m a worker. I’m not a famous surfer.”
Adriano’s title push started when he finished third at Snapper. He then tied with Mick in the final of the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, losing on a countback, before going on to win the next event, the Drug Aware Pro, Margaret River. The two would meet again in a final, this time at Lowers, with Mick winning a second time. A third in France kept Adriano in the mix. And then, he landed in Hawaii, and it emerged that Ads was under the Pipeline tutelage of Jamie O’Brien (who’d eventually chair him up the beach, twice). And, it’s shown. After beating Mason Ho in the semis, Adriano made it to the final, with Mick being eliminated by Gabriel Medina in the prior heat via a 6.50 frontside full rote on a windy Pipe left. And that was that. Adriano De Souza is your 2015 World Champion.
“It’s an incredible feeling. Special dedication to my good brother Ricardo Dos Santos, I have this tattoo in memory of his life, he had the same tattoo in the same spot, and it says Strength, Balance, and Love. That’s all I needed this year to win this world title. At the middle point of the title race, I thought Mick deserved it more than me. He’s such a strong man and a three time world champ, when there’s people fighting for their first one. I wish so much I could give a hug to Mick’s mum.
“The (best) day of my life has arrived. I don’t know if I have power enough to make the final against the defending world champ (Gabriel). In my memory, all the time I see Gabriel giving me the trophy in my hands, and now we have a final together. I need to have a break, and a Red Bull, and back out there I guess.
“When I lost in Portugal I was so sad inside, I looked at myself and said, that was the chance for the world title. Then I saw Mick once after that and he said, “Don’t worry Adriano, the champ will be decided at Pipe.” I looked at him and said, “You have more chance than me.” But it all came together, I’ve dedicated so much to this. Jamie (O’Brien) has helped me, Jason Frederico, all the boys at home and here.
“And I want to dedicate this world title to my brother. He bought me my first surfboard for $7. And I’m on top of the world, with $7. For him at that time, $7 was too much money, but he bought me my first surfboard with it.”
Photo: WSL/Laurent Masurel
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