Brazilian Jadson Andre has taken the win at the 2009 Quiksilver Pro Durban at Ansteys Beach on Durban’s Bluff over the weekend, defeating Australian ripper Owen Wright after putting on an amazing display of backhand power surfing.
Jadson walked away with US$20,000 in prize money and 3,500 WQS ratings points for the win. With a heat score of 18.00 out of a possible 20, the highest score of the entire event, Andre proved the surfer of the event and deservedly took home the title.
In clean four foot conditions and a pushing tide, the Brazilian goofy-footer was in amazing form, blasting some inverted backhand vertical moves on his way to victory. After two early waves, Andre officially announced his intentions when he logged a 7.00 to take an early lead. Wright quickly answered back with a 5.00, but as Andre arrived back in the lineup he found himself sitting directly in the path of a heaving right. Flying off the bottom, Andre squared up and went vertically up the face to smash a huge
re-entry, sending kilo-litres of spray flying into the air. Racing down the line Andre then backed up his initial cracker with two additional turns to secure a near perfect 9.33 out of a possible 10 and leave Wright needing a combination of scores to usurp the Brazilian’s lead.
Not one to lie down, the plucky Australian paddled into a solid left-hander that walled up perfectly for him as he boosted a beautiful aerial move to pick up an 8.33 and close his required score down to 8.10. With just nine minutes to go Wright found a similar looking left and again boosted a huge 360 aerial, but unfortunately came unstuck on his second move, a vicious forehand layback, and scored only a 6.83.
In the 32nd minute of the 35 minute final, Andre put the nail in Wright’s coffin as he paddled into a big left and smashed two powerful forehand turns as the crowd on the beach showed their appreciation and the judges awarded him an 8.67 to effectively end Wright’s hopes of taking home the title.
“I’m really happy to have won this event,” said the elated victor after spraying the crowd with champagne, “and I’d just like to thank all my friends and everyone who was on the beach today supporting me. When I was out in the water I just concentrated on surfing as well as I could and I am really happy to have won such a prestigious event.”
Andre has been in great form the entire event, eliminating a host of big name surfer on his way to the final, among them world tour stalwart Victor Ribas (Brazil), superbly talented Kirk Flintoff (Australia) and Bluff local
“I’ve had a great time here in Durban,” said runner-up Wright at the prize-giving, “and I’m super stoked to have made the final. This is the second final I’ve surfed against Jadson, so I guess now it’s one all buddy!”
Both semi-finals were close fought affairs with each of the winners only sneaking through on the siren. In the first semi-final new school standout Julian Wilson took on compatriot Wright. Starting off slowly Wilson was behind for most of the heat until a huge forehand 360 aerial saw the judges award him an 8.00 to push him into the lead. Needing a low six to take back the lead, Wright found a meaty looking left right on the siren, milking it all the way to the beach where he finished with his own 360 air to post a 6.33 and knock his 21 year old compatriot out of contention.
In the second semi-final Australian Matt Wilkinson found himself having to contend with an in-form Andre who had put on a phenomenal display of aerial surfing in the quarter finals to eliminate Ireland’s Glenn Hall. But as the tide pushed in, Andre changed tact and began using his rail as he carved some beautiful turns. Andre had a terrible start to the heat, breaking his board on his opening wave and losing time as he had to swim in and get a back-up of the beach. In the mean time Wilkinson went to work and began to build a lead over the unfortunate Brazilian.
Andre began his fight back but in the dying seconds Andre found himself in second and facing elimination. Needing a low score, Andre paddled into a medium size left-hander and carved it up all the way to the beach, ending in the shorebreak before stepping off his board and running on to the sand. When the commentator announced his wave score, a 5.23, enough for him to advance to the final, a clearly elated Andre punched the air with his board.
Durban’s favourite surfing son Travis Logie bowed out of contention in the quarter finals of the event as Australian surfers came to the fore and dominated the round. Fresh off a win in the Mark Richards Pro in Newcastle, Australia, Logie bowed out to a rampant Owen Wright (Australia) and was clearly disappointed at the defeat after showing great form throughout the event. Nevertheless, the fifth place finish saw the 29 year old pocket US$2,950 in prize money and 2275 points for his efforts, a substantial boost to his 2009 WQS campaign.
Logie had been one of the dominant forces through the course of the week, but found himself up against a rampant Owen Wright (Australia) in the first of the quarter finals. Wright has also been in great form this week, posting some of the highest scores of the contest in his lead up to the heat with Logie, and threw down the gauntlet in the quarters. Despite starting out the heat with a classic tube-ride, Logie came unstuck on several of his follow-up waves and was unable to answer back to Wright’s 15.57 heat score.
Another highlight of the day was the final of the Quiksilver Pro Junior which took place as a curtain-raiser to the main event’s final and saw Umhlanga Rocks surfer Kyle Lane take on Hawaii’s Kiron Jabour. Lane was
quick out of the starting blocks, finding himself in his element in the running four footers to take an early lead. Lane’s backhand attack proved too much for the young Hawaiian and as the timer ticked down Jabour found himself short of the South African’s 14.83 when the siren sounded. Lane’s win saw him walk away with US$2,500 in prize money.
“It’s been a nerve-wracking week waiting to surf the final,” said Lane after leaving the water, “so I just surfed and trained as much as I could and I guess it paid off in the end and I’m really stoked.”
The Quiksilver Pro Durban was contested by some of the world’s best surfers and carried the highest possible WQS rating and US$145,000 in prize money.
– Issued by Gorilla Creative Media on behalf of Quiksilver
Dorin Bambus and Barry Tuck