BANZAI PIPELINE, Hawaii, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- After what can only be called the most dramatic day in pro surfing history, Brazilian Adriano de Souza (BRA) clinched the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Title at the world-renowned Banzai Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii on Thursday, December 17. In the process, he also became the first Brazilian to win the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons.
Surfing for ten years amongst the world's elite and setting the stage for the rise of the 'Brazilian Storm,' De Souza's Title clinching performance came with a significant wave of emotions, as he dedicated the victory to fallen compatriot Ricardo dos Santos who died earlier this year.
"It's an incredible feeling and so special in dedication to my good friend Ricardo dos Santos," de Souza said. "I have this tattoo in memory of him -- he had the same tattoo that said 'Strength, Balance and Love,' and that's all I needed to win this World Title. This is all in dedication to my brother as well, who bought me my first surfboard for seven dollars and now I'm on top of the world. What a dream to be a Pipeline Champion Master like Jamie [O'Brien] and Kelly [Slater] and Bede Durbidge, just so many names going through my brain now. There's no words to describe how I'm feeling right now."
The final day of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour began with three contenders in the hunt for the world surfing crown - Mick Fanning (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA) and de Souza. Fanning's Quarterfinal win over 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) ousted Medina from the race, but a late big air maneuver from Medina in their Semifinal eliminated the Australian from competition, crowning De Souza the new World Champion.
De Souza joins Carissa Moore (HAW) as 2015 WSL Champion; Moore won her title at Maui earlier this month.
"December 2015 has been the biggest month ever in the history of professional surfing," said Paul Speaker, CEO of the World Surf League. "The Billabong Pipe Masters achieved the largest audience and greatest live viewership in the history of the sport, and we are so grateful to the athletes, fans and our partners for delivering a season to remember. Our congratulations go out to Adriano de Souza on an incredible Pipeline performance and first World Title, as well as maiden Pipe Masters title, and Gabriel Medina for claiming Brazil's first Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title. We'd also like to extend our deepest condolences to the Fanning family and their tragic loss, and best wishes to Bede Durbidge and Owen Wright, their families, on their serious injuries toward a full recovery."
The world's best surfers will return in 2016 with the kick-off event at Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia in March.
For more information, log onto www.WorldSurfLeague.com
"World's best surfers, world's best waves..."
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151218/297150
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151218/297148
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151218/297149
Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151218/297151
SOURCE World Surf League