Brazilians do damage at Bells Beach
Let's face it the Brazilian contingent did more damage at Bells Beach than an Easter Bunny dressed in a thong on steroids!!
The Brazil nuts came out blazing, cracking the top seeds with ferocious intensity akin to a spirited game of soccer not previously seen at Bells. First casualty to get the ball ahh Easter egg rolling was the Panda Bear Pizza Driver demolishing the King ie. William Cardoso eliminating 11 times World Champ Kelly Slater, a four times winner of the Bells Rip Curl Easter Pro.
Right from the gecko, Cardoso sold Kelly too deep on a closeout forcing the Champ to do an awkward bailout.
That uncharacteristic wipeout on his first wave not only put Kelly behind the eight ball, but he seemed to twist his back and looked noticeably stiff, thus avoiding the big snaps in preference to riding the barrel.
The 1989 winner and the last goofy foot to ring the bell, Mark Occhilupo, who was on the commentary panel said, "Bells is not a barrel and the judges look for turns and not tube rides!" The iconic point break, reef break with the famous Bells bowl section on the end, never breaks top to bottom, it has a big open face ideally suited to big carving turns and William Cardoso, the big beefy Brazilian, gave Slater a lesson in power turns and gouges resulting in equal 13th place.
Next casualty was World Champ Joel Parkinson, seemingly robbed by the judges who once again were not impressed with Parko parked deep in the barrel ride as Occy quipped, "What's Joel doing, he's trying to do what Kelly did and the judges won't like it!"
And Occy was spot on as Slater put the mocker on Joel in the post heat interview, "Well maybe Raoni will do me a favour and knock out Joel!"
That premonition rang true, as the judges rewarded the next Brazilian conqueror, Raoni Monteiro, who was just as in form as his compatriot. He power gouging his way to victory despite Parkinson notching up a 10 point ride!
Basically with the best two wave system there is no guarantee of getting out of your heat with a perfect score and Parko came up agonizingly short.
From here the Brazilians were smelling blood on the tracks with their latest wunderkind, 17 year old super whizz kid, Filipe Toledo, ending the day with a flourish of turns, airs and new wave antics to be the third Brazilian to advance into the quarter finals.
The forecast was calling for a smaller swell on finals day, but in fact a new south-west swell was on the move and pulsing with the tide.
Defending champion Mick Fanning was somewhat caught out in the increasing swell opting for the wrong board with his coach Phil Mac waiting on the beach with two other backup boards.
Mick creased his board after two horrible wipe-outs and despite changing equipment in the last 10 minutes, De Souza methodically went about the quarter final heat with flawless surfing consistently knocking up the scores and consequently knocking out Fanning.
The upsets kept coming with Taj Burrow, a former two times winner, going down to a super determined Nat Young using his lethal vertical backhand attack to effect and the Rookie from Santa Cruz who compared Bells to his coldwater Steamer Lane moved into his first WCT final.
The next fatal upset would be South Africa's Jordy Smith looking every bit the favourite also lost a bitter sweet judging decision on his last wave to watch the lone Brazilian Adriano de Souza sail into his first Bells final.
Adriano is always the last Brazilian standing, he might not be the best, but he is definitely the most experienced and as a competitor he is second to none. This was his event to take by the horns, he'd been down at Bells at least two weeks prior to everyone else and he had his sights set on winning, practising in all types of conditions and it paid off big time in the final.
As the seconds ticked down, a 10 foot closeout set denied any chance of Young to catch a last wave and De Souza became the first Brazilian to win the coveted Bells Trophy and have his name added to a list that goes back to 1962 in the World's longest running surfing competition.
"You gotta ring it to win it!" was this year's advertising mantra and Adriano rang it so hard, he rang the bell off!! You gotta shake it to break it, maybe, and no doubt the Brazilian could be excused for getting just a little excited!
Next ASP World Tour event is the Billabong Pro in Brazil in May and you can bet the Brazilians especially Adriano will be fully pumped and ready to party for WCT no three.