|Brazilian World Champions Find Success, De Souza Celebrates 500th CT Heat
Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) took a solid win in the opening heat of the day, overcoming fellow goofy-footer Connor O’Leary (AUS) in the slow, hightide conditions. Medina looked fast and sharp on his way to victory, crediting his current approach to his new coach Andy King.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” Medina said. “I wanted to try something different because I’m getting old. I know my sister is coming up, you know, my dad’s going to take care of my sister. I’m pretty sure she will be here one day and he’s the right guy to do it. So I’m here working with Andy King. He’s giving me the confidence to do it, so that’s the guy I need on my corner and to have that knowledge of being a goofy and having experience here is a big advantage, so I feel good. He also pays lots of attention to boards and maneuvers, which is interesting and helpful to me.”
2015 WSL Champion Adriana de Souza (BRA) competed in his 500th CT heat today in the Round of 32. De Souza celebrated the feat with a win over Jeremy Flores (FRA) in Heat 3. He will now advance to the Round of 16, where he will match with Julian Wilson (AUS). Last year, De Souza announced that 2021 will be his final year on the CT before retiring from full-time competition.
“I went into that heat trying to be as relaxed as I could,” De Souza said. “ I’m not fighting for my points anymore, just for my best performance. My first few rounds were super tough and I had close losses so I analyzed them at least 20,000 times to understand where I went wrong. In Round 2, I felt more prepared but this round I felt fully prepared. Jeremy Flores is such a great competitor and he really pushes me. We have had a long rivalry but a lot of respect for one another. I’m hoping I can keep these performances coming for the next few days of the event.”
Reigning WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) had his work cut out as he came up against Merewether Surfboard Club’s wildcard Jackson Baker (AUS). He narrowly defeated the local favorite by only 1.60-points with the exciting goofy-foot extending his lead on his final ride. The Brazilian standout progresses into the Round of 16 where he will take on Californian youngster Griffin Colapinto (USA).