Ariano de Souza Wins The 2009 Billabong Pro Mundaka

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Adriano de Souza Wins Billabong Pro Mundaka
By Jamie Tierney

I lied.

I promised yesterday that I would drive to Spain and watch the final day of the 2009 Billabong Pro Mundaka.  It didn’t happen.   The reasons I could give for this are many.  The contest moved to Sopelana and the waves were terrible, while in France, for the first time in weeks, it was offshore and firing. It was the last day of my vacation and I needed to surf, not watch surfing.  What else?  The judging was suspect (more on that later).  Did I mention the waves were really fun in France?

All of these are good reasons, but they’re not the truth.  The truth:  just like Mark Renton said after ripping off his friends at the end of “Trainspotting:” “The truth is, I’m a bad person.”

Now I’m at the Biarritz airport. It’s 6am and I’m trying to remember what I watched on the webcast. I saw very small, very bad waves that got worse as the day wore on.  I saw a chink in Mick Fanning’s armor as he went down to Fred Patacchia in Round 3. I saw title contenders CJ Hobgood, Adriano de Souza and Kelly Slater take advantage and make heats.  I saw CJ go down in a close semi to Chris Davidson, who made the first ‘CT final of his 17 year pro surf career.  I saw Adriano unleash the most outrageously over the top claim I’ve ever seen after bouncing through the outside section and tapping the lip on the inside to score a 7.67 (including a 9 from the Brazilian judge) and edge past Kelly.  I saw Kelly ripping a waist high bomb to shreds, a minute after the horn blew. I saw him limping up the beach .  I saw Adriano get his first win of his career and move into 3rd place in the ratings, becoming the first Brazilian with a real shot at a world title.

I saw head high dead glass peelers when I turned the webcast off and drove to the nearest Plage du Surf.

I smiled.