ARPOADOR BEACH, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil - There’s nothing as sweet as revenge would think Brazil’s Leandro Bastos, 25, after winning the Oakley presents Rio Surf Pro International at Arpoador over Aritz Aranburu (EUK).
They had already faced each other three years ago in Fernando de Noronha (PE). The Basque surfer won that final. Aritz Aranburu, 25, also prevented the third title in this contest of the “local hero” Simao Romao, defeating him in the quarterfinals.
To get full revenge, Leandro secured his victory by establishing the highlights of the competition at the grand final – a single wave score of 9.60 pts and a total heat score of 15.23 pts (both highest of the contest)
“I don’t believe, it seems like a dream”, were the first words of Leandro Bastos. “When I got this board, I told myself that it would give me a good result and the positive thinking worked. When that wave came, I could show all I’m training for, all the dedication, waking up early everyday to surf. All I want is to compete back again in the World Star, and for that I need a sponsorship to back me up”.
At 2:10pm started the Grand Final, and all the crowd was cheering for the Brazilian Leandro Bastos which caught the first two waves a 4.0 and a 5.10. Them the Basque Aritz Aranburu scored a 5.67 on his opener followed by a 4.27 surfed a couple minutes later to take the lead.
At this point the Aritz advantage was very small and Leandro chose to position himself at the middle of the beach, while the Basque kept positioned off the rock. A nice set wave came to Leandro who threw three strong turns to equal Aranburu’s best score of 5.67 pts. But Leandro Bastos wanted more and in the next wave he smashed it with a series of powerful backhand turns to score a 9.60 – the highest over the week – to assure his win and to celebrate with a big crowd of fans on his run back to the channel.
“It’s too much to win here at Arpoador, with this angry crowd cheering for me, so the timing could not be better for revenge over Aritz. God really knows how to make things happen on time and I dedicate this victory to my grandmother (America). The last win I dedicated to my other grandmother who had died, then she told me not to wait for her to die too, she asked me to do that in life, so this win is for you grandma”.
Aritz Aranburu faced the “local hero” Simao Romao, who won the other two editions of the Oakley Rio Surf Pro in Arpoador. This time though Simao Romao could not find the best waves in the heat and the Basque went through the semifinals. Next he defeated the “rookie of the contest” Luel Felipe to advance to his second final this year in Brazil. The other was in Florianopolis (SC), where he won the title against Rodrigo Dornelles. But in Arpoador it seems that nobody can beat the locals.
“It was a great contest for me, even not winning as I wanted”, said Aranburu. “Leandro was the best surfer all week. He really showed the skills of a local at the peak, surfed really well and deserved to win. He’s got a good left, and I knew he would score high. I beat him at Fernando de Noronha, and he beat me here, so we’re even.”
The Japanese Masatoshi Ohno and Brazilian Luel Felipe also were happy for third place at the Oakley Rio Surf Pro International. The Japanese repeated the result of two years ago in a contest also in a 6-star at Praia Brava, Itajai. The Brazilian celebrated their best participation in an ASP event.
“I’m stoked. I was 17th last week there in Florianopolis (Santinho Beach), now I got a third, so that was good. Of course I wanted to make the final, but Leandro (Bastos) seemed impossible to beat,” said Masatoshi Ohno, who has risen from 170th to 127th position on the ASP World Ranking.
FINAL – OAKLEY RIO SURF PRO INTERNATIONAL:
1 – Leandro Bastos (BRA) – 15,23 points – US$ 20.000 and 3.000 points
2 – Aritz Aranburu (EUK) – 12,57 points – US$ 10.000 and 2.250 points
SF 1: Leandro Bastos (BRA) 13.60 def. 5.67 Masatoshi Ohno (JPN)
SF 2: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.40 def. 8.36 Luel Felipe (BRA)