adriano de souza.jpg Peter Wilson/Red Bull photofiles

Brazilian surfer Adriano de Souza ousted defending champion Fred Patacchia as the ASP Prime 6.0 Lowers Pro kicked off in San Clemente, California, on Wednesday.

Some of the world’s best surfers have descended on the iconic cobblestone pointbreak of Lower Trestles, and it was ASP Tour number eight de Souza who was quick to catch the eye.

In increasing three-to-five foot surf, the former ASP World Junior Champion used the conditions to his advantage in Round Two, detonating a variety of moves including some massive air-reverses, tail-free turns and power gouges to match the day’s highest single-wave score of 9.40 en route to the day’s highest heat total of 17.90.

The 23-year-old defeated defending event champion and current ASP Tour number 13 Patacchia and tour stars Nathaniel Curran and Nic Muscroft, with the latter following De Souza into Round Three as runner-up.

"It was like a four-man world title event heat out there." –de Souza

“I’m happy with that heat and the waves are cranking,” de Souza said. “I’m really motivated for this year. I have all of the boys at home, Jadson (Andre), Miguel (Pupo) and Jihad (Khodr), so I’m just motivated because Jadson won the last contest [the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina]. I’m excited because I was with him in Brazil and now he’s here with me.”

De Souza’s friend, Jadson Andre, suffered disappointment 24 hours earlier in the Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior, with the 20-year-old ASP Tour rookie eliminated due to interference.

That competition, which is also taking place at Lower Trestles, saw 16-year-old Florida native Evan Geiselman lead an elite field of international ASP Pro Junior surfers through to the Semifinals, which resume on Saturday.

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