Supertubos, Peniche Portugal - Kai Otton has just won the Rip Curl Pro Portugal presented by Moche in a hard-fought final over rookie Nat Young in three-to-five foot waves at the primary venue of Supertubos.
Stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Portugal presented by Moche completed five rounds of action packed competition today, sending the 2013 ASP World Title Race to Hawaii before crowning Otton as event winner.
Otton’s victory would come at the hands of a wave-starved 30-minute final. The Australian would kick off the battle with the heat’s high score on his opening ride, building momentum in the tactical affair to eventually defeat Young in his first career ASP WCT event win.
“It’s the weirdest feeling ever, I just can’t comprehend it,” an ecstatic Otton said. “I really want to dedicate it to my Granddad, he passed away the year I qualified and never saw me on tour so this is for him. It seems like this event was a little bit of a grind, every heat the tide changed so dramatically you never really knew what was going to happen!”
Otton, who now sits at No. 7 on the ASP WCT Rankings following the victory, has been one of the most consistent surfers in 2013 and his road to victory in Portugal saw the Australian best a flock of the world’s best surfers. The goofy-footer was unstoppable on the final day of competition, defeating Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence (HAW), 20, two-time ASP World Champion and current rankings leader Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, and reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, en route to the final.
“One of the things that has changed for me this year is my girlfriend being pregnant, I’m pretty excited about that,” Otton continued. “It’s unbelievable, it’s the next chapter I’m really looking forward to. It’s amazing to have all of the support, all my home town of Tathra, my Mom and Dad who supported me all of my career. To get here is kind of a pinnacle for me.”
Nat Young, who secured the ASP Rookie of the Year title on his way to the final, had a stellar run throughout the event, earning his second final berth of the 2013 season. The Californian would stay busy in his 35 minute clash, but was unable to maintain his rhythm to surpass Otton and would finish runner-up.
“The whole final was really frustrating, I couldn’t really get one good wave,” Young said. “I’ve been searching up-and-down the beach for waves and I was exhausted in the end. It’s been a good day for sure, after getting that close a second place is heart-breaking for sure but it’s still a great result, and Rookie of the Year is amazing too.”
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.07 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.90
QF 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 10.00 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.43
QF 3: Nat Young (USA) 15.10 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.54
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.67 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 8.56