Florence Surfs to First ASP WCT Title in Brazil

May 16, 2012, 11:31 AM HST · Updated May 18, 8:57 PM
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John John Florence of Hawaii earned the 2012 Billabong Rio Pro Championship today in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Photo by ASP/SCHOLTZ.

By Rodney S. Yap

Hawaii surfer John John Florence, 19, has won his first ASP World Championship Tour event, claiming the Billabong Rio Pro by defeating veteran Joel Parkinson of Australia in barreling 3- to 4-four foot surf at Barra da Tijuca, Brazil.

Florence, currently in his rookie year on the ASP WCT, proved unstoppable on the final day of competition, topping a pair of Aussies in Julian Wilson and Josh Kerr, en route to his duel with Parkinson.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” Florence said. “I had that bad heat at Arpoador to start and we had a couple of lay days and I had to just sit and think about it. I can’t even believe this right now. I’m in shock. I was just sticking to my game plan and not thinking about the other guys. I’m so happy right now.”

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With the win, Florence moved to No. 6 on the ASP WCT and is the only Hawaii surfer in the top 10. He hopes to carry the momentum from today’s massive victory to the upcoming ASP WCT events in Fiji and Tahiti.

“This helps my confidence so much,” Florence said. “I have a lot of confidence going into events with barreling waves like Pipe. Obviously I have a lot of confidence in barrels from my experience at Pipe, but coming here, I wasn’t expecting a big result. I was just hoping to make a few heats.”

BILLABONG RIO PRO FINAL:
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 16.37
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.44

BILLABONG RIO PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.00
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.94 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.86

BILLABONG RIO PRO QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.90 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.60
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.57 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 5.90
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.94 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.43
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.84 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.27

Current ASP WCT Top 10 (After Billabong Rio Pro):

1. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 19700 pts

2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 18250 pts

3. Josh Kerr (AUS) 18200 pts

4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17200 pts

5. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15750 pts

6. John John Florence (HAW) 15750 pts

7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15700 pts

8. Kelly Slater (USA) 13700 pts

9. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12250 pts

10. Owen Wright (AUS) 12150 pts

 

 

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