Filipe Toledo took his first CT win this year on his home turf, as he defeated tour rookie Wade Carmichael in an intense final heat of the Oi Rio Pro.
During the first few minutes of the heat, Toledo snapped his board in half, but that didn’t stop the Brazilian aerial wiz from overcoming the competition by a wide margin. And though it was his big airs that brought him to the finals, it was his expertise in riding tubes that sealed the deal.
Twenty-six minutes into the Finals, Toledo managed to sneak in an eight-foot bomb, pulled off an almost impossible exit, got the crowd on its feet, and scored a 9.93. He then backed this up with a 7.17, beating Carmichael by a wide margin – 17.10 vs. 8.00.
“The final is a win or it is a second. It is the last heat and the last chance,” Toledo said. “That is what I put on my mind. It is time, the big show, my stage, and my passion. I think Barrinha the last few days has been amazing, and I’ve been training here since I’ve gotten here. It was amazing to surf over here.”
“It is emotional to win here in Brazil in front of this crowd. Coming back home and having this amazing support from the crowd. My son and my family are motivation for me.”
His win placed him right behind current World No. 1 Julian Wilson.
Toledo’s opponent, Wade Carmichael, certainly made a statement when he took down surfing powerhouses Jeremy Flores and Gabriel Medina to secure his spot in the Finals. And though he didn’t win, his runner-up finish shot him up to fifth place on the Jeep leaderboard and told everybody that he means business.
“I am glad I made it worth my time for sure. It has been hard being away from my little girl and my wife, and to come over here and dig out a good result feels really good,” said Carmichael. “I am happy to have a third, but I would have loved to have won.”
Filipe Toledo, Wade Carmichael, and the rest of the CT surfers will be back in fighting form for the Corona Bali Pro on May 27th.
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