The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia, stop number two of the ASP World Tour, concluded Tuesday with another great day of surfing, with Brazilian Adriano de Souza taking the win over California rookie Nat Young.
De Souza became the first Brazilian to ever ring the coveted Bells trophy (before breaking it). Meanwhile, Young became the first goofyfooter in 13 years to make the final at Bells Beach.
The historic righthand point has been kind to forehand surfers over the years, but its long lumpy walls are torture for goofyfooters. The last finalist to stand with his right foot forward was Brazil’s Flavio Padaratz, who lost to Sunny Garcia in 2000. The last goofyfooter to actually win at Bells was the legendary Mark Occhilupo in 1998.
Young, the pride of Santa Cruz, California, earned his career best result with the second place finish in just his second appearance as a world tour member. The huge result puts the rookie into the top five for the year, and into a commanding spot for the coveted rookie of the year award. Most important for Nat, such a solid performance at a difficult wave like Bells puts his name in very elite company in backside surfing, and earns him some much deserved respect.
De Souza, a compact and powerful regularfooter, blazed through every round of the event with solid scores, and Tuesday was no different. Both surfers got great waves in the final, and while some will undoubtedly argue that Nat deserved the win (which is the case in every close heat), the judges gave it to de Souza in a very close finish, 16.26 to 15.83. The next event is the Billabong Rio Pro in Adriano’s home country of Brazil.