Wednesday, May 17, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Adriano de Souza (BRA) wins the 2017 Oi Rio Pro after taking down Adrian Buchan (AUS) in the Final by a slim 0.4 point margin.
The Brazilian set the pace early on the 27-minute mark when he dropped into the first wave of the heat and executed a combination of long bottom turns and completed his ride all the way to the beach, earning him a 7.50.
Buchan caught the next wave and answered with a few turns of his own but got wiped out as the wave closed out and he earned a 4.33. He took off on another wave a few minutes after, and completed a 5.83 ride off a combination of four cutbacks and finished up with a solid snap through the lip.
De Souza answered back by dropping into another nice open-face wave where he executed a combination of solid vertical maneuvers, making the crowd cheer for him as he completed his ride. He earned a 7.83, taking the lead and applying pressure on the Australian.
With less than 17 minutes left, de Souza paddled into a wave with a solid vertical but couldn’t complete the ride and lost priority. Buchan needing a 9.50 used priority and lodged a series of solid vertical turns and earned a 9.20 to close the gap.
At the 10-minute mark, de Souza paddled into a wave and had a solid hook followed by a beautiful carve then kicked out as he ran out of open face to surf on and earned a 4.33 which wasn’t enough to further push his score higher.
Two minutes later, he paddled into another wave and started off with a floater, then a series of solid vertical turns, spraying a lot of water in the process, and finished with a lip glide and kept his balance as he completed his ride on the white water. The crowd went wild as de Souza, earned an almost perfect 9.80 score, the biggest of the Final.
Buchan needed an 8.44 to win but would not go down without a fight. He answered back with a solid wave of his own, executing a combination of two solid carves and topped off with a snap through the lip to complete his ride. He earned an 8.03 for the effort but wasn’t enough to win.
With less than three minutes left, both surfers sat out to wait for a good set but time ran out and de Souza took the win in his home country. He proudly raised the Brazilian flag as he rode the jet ski back to the beach. He got chaired up the beach all the way to the podium, surrounded by an ecstatic crowd of fans. This is Adriano’s second Oi Rio Pro title as he also won the event back in 2011.
It was not an easy road to the finals for Adriano, he faced formidable opponents along the way including fellow Brazilian and former world champion Gabriel Medina in Round Four, and Joel Parkinson who is another former world champion in the Quarterfinals.
He now sits in equal second place in the Jeep Leaderboard along with Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Owen Wright (AUS). He’s only a few points below John John Florence (HAW), who had an early exit after getting eliminated by the Brazilian phenomenon Yago Dora in Round Three. De Souza will head over to Fiji with a solid chance of snatching the Yellow Jersey from Florence.
Here is what the Jeep Leaderboard’s top rankings now look like following the conclusion of the Oi Rio Pro:
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