HUNTINGTON BEACH, California / USA (Monday, October 17, 2011) - Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 17, continued to build upon his impressive 2011 season in South America by defeating fellow Californian Tanner Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 23, to win the ASP 6-Star SuperSurf Internacional at Itamambuca Beach in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Andino got the best of an early exchange in the Final against the fellow San Clemente surfer and held on to lead throughout the heat's entirety despite the deteriorating conditions to clinch the biggest win of his young career.
"I’m so stoked," said Kolohe Andino. "I thought that I could reach the Quarterfinals here, but I never imagined that I would win the event! Unfortunately, conditions today (Saturday) made things really difficult and I think I was lucky to have caught some good waves. In the Final, I started off well and then I just used my strategy to hold on for the win since there weren’t too many good waves."
Andino and Gudauskas' run to the final was nothing short of impressive, as both young Americans battled a swarm of Brazilian talent on opposite sides of the draw before their final face-off.
"It’s a pleasure for me to surf this Final against Tanner (Gudauskas) since he’s from United States just like me," continued Andino. "It’s my first time here at Itamambuca and I’ve been staying all week at Guigui’s (Wiggolly Dantas) house. For us, it was really improbable to have a Final between two Americans with all of the great Brazilian surfers on today’s waves."
Andino, who now sits at No. 34 on the men's ASP World Ranking, admits he is still looking to gain experience at the major ASP PRIME and Star rated events, but his stellar performance this year, including three ASP Star event wins, puts him in excellent position to qualify for the elite ASP World Tour for 2012.
"I'm still pretty young and I'm just looking to gain experience from these events," Andino said. "I hoped that the swell would have been a little bigger, but there are still good waves out there, so I just tried to surf without any pressure. I like this place a lot. This year I competed in Saquarema (Rio de Janeiro) and Imbituba (Santa Catarina) and I'm getting to know Itamambuca now."
Tanner Gudauskas was also in sizzling form throughout the entirety of the SuperSurf Internacional, topping a massive list of Brazilian talent including local favorite Wiggolly Dantas, Alex Ribiero, Jano Belo, former ASP World Tour surfer Neco Padaratz and Basque talent Aritz Aranburu, but was unable to overtake the rampaging form of Andino in the Final.
Gudauskas' result pushes him at No. 38 on the ASP World Ranking, placing the goofy-footer dangerously close to qualifying for the elite ASP World Title Events for 2012.