Italo Ferreira sure knows how to make a statement. In the final round of the 2018 Rip Curl Pro, the electric Brazilian defeated three-time World Champ Mick Fanning to clinch his first ever CT win.
With Bells Beach being Mick’s turf and with the crowd rooting for his win, the 23-year-old Ferreira is clearly the underdog of the match. That didn’t faze the young surfer though, as he charged and scored an 8.33 on his final wave, putting a damper on what could have been a perfect closing salvo for the retiring Fanning.
“I can’t believe it,” said Ferreira in an interview. “It’s just amazing. Mick Fanning is a hero to me. He’s inspired me every single day, at every single competition.”
Mick obviously didn’t go down without a fight. The Aussie favorite kept Ferreira on his toes when he earned 8.10 on his first scoring wave. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find an answer to the young Brazilian and fell short with a heat total of 12.83 vs. Ferreira’s 15.66.
“I always wanted to finish here at Bells,” Fanning said. It’s a very special moment with the crowd, with my friends here. Just to see how much it meant to [Italo] made me feel better. It’s been an amazing career and I just wanted to say thanks. I’ve learned so much. I walk away with so many great memories.”
Congratulations to Italo for being just the second Brazilian to win Bells, and of course to Mick for an incredible run.
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