Brazil’s Jadson Andre, a 20-year-old ASP World Tour rookie, defeated former nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater today to claim victory at the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina.
The young Brazilian was a standout in every round of competition, blending full-rail carves with effortless air reverses, and dominated the challenging Final conditions to best Slater. The win vaults Andre from 13th to 4th on the elite ASP World Tour rankings, where he is now tied with Mick Fanning.
Andre becomes the first rookie to win an ASP World Tour event since Bobby Martinez in 2006, and the first South American since compatriot Adriano de Souza (pictured at left) won last year in Spain.
"Adriano has been my hero for a long time," Andre said. "All the pressure has been on him these past years and I have learned from him. He is an inspiration and has helped me so much this year. It feels amazing to represent my home country and win here for Brazil."
While Slater never quite found his high-scoring form in Brazil, the Floridian adapted to the conditions each and every round, exhibiting his dominant nature throughout the Billabong Pro Santa Catarina. The Runner-Up Finish sees Slater ascend to the top of the ASP World Tour rankings - a dangerous place considering the upcoming events.
"It definitely puts me in a good spot this season heading into Jeffreys (Bay) and Tahiti," Slater said. "I think it's been almost two years since I've led the rankings and yeah, it feels good. Obviously, you want to win every heat, but that said, I didn't lose to a Mick (Fanning) or a Joel (Parkinson) or a Jordy (Smith) who are probably bigger threats in terms of the title. Jadson winning here today is special and it's probably something that he'll remember for the rest of his life."
The current ASP World No. 1 showed little, if any, weaknesses throughout the event, only falling to Andre's hyper-kinetic forehand in the Final.
Jordy Smith (pictured at top) was ousted by Slater in the Quarterfinals but remained a standout in Brazil. The powerful South African's Equal 5th place finish sees him move to the ASP World No. 2 spot, an excellent position to be in heading into the next stop in South Africa.
"Any time you get the chance to surf against Kelly (Slater) is a privilege," Smith said. "I stuck to my game plan of hunting the lefts, and he stuck to the rights which hadn't really been breaking all day. But he's Kelly and he can summon waves like that. I'm disappointed, but still happy with the way I surfed. It's another good result for me and I'm looking forward to getting good waves at J-Bay."
Also going out in the Quarterfinals was Michel Bourez (pictured below), who fell to Andre, while Mick Fanning bowed out in his Round 4 match to Taylor Knox.
The next stop on the 2010 ASP World Tour will be the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay from July 15- 25, 2010. For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com.
BILLABONG SANTA CATARINA PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.40
2. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.00
SF 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 17.70 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.67
SF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.56
QF 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.50 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.27
QF 2: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.27 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.17
QF 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.34 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 12.43
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.43 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.87
CURRENT ASP WORLD TOUR TOP 5 (After Brazil):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 21750 pts
2. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18500 pts
3. Taj Burrow (AUS) 18250 pts
4. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15500 pts
4. Jadson Andre (BRA) 15500 pts