SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Thursday, October 17, 2013) Australian tour veteran Kai Otton (AUS), 33, has just won the Rip Curl Pro Portugal presented by Moche in a hard-fought final over rookie Nat Young (USA), 22, in three-to-five foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at the primary venue of Supertubos.
Stop No.9 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Portugal presented by Moche completed five rounds of action packed competition today, sending the 2013 ASP World Title Race to Hawaii before crowning Otton as event winner.
Otton's victory would come at the hands of a wave-starved 30-minute final. The Australian would kick off the battle with the heat's high score on his opening ride, building momentum in the tactical affair to eventually defeat Young in his first career ASP WCT event win.
Otton, who now sits at No. 7 on the ASP WCT Rankings following the victory, has been one of the most consistent surfers in 2013 and his road to victory in Portugal saw the Australian best a flock of the world's best surfers.
The goofy-footer was unstoppable on the final day of competition, defeating Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence (HAW), 20, two-time ASP World Champion and current rankings leader Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, and reigning ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS), 32, en route to the final.
Otton said he felt in sync.
Otton said it was hard to take in.
Otton added that he was lucky to be in position
Nat Young, who secured the ASP Rookie of the Year title on his way to the final, had a stellar run throughout the event, earning his second final berth of the 2013 season. The Californian would stay busy in his 35 minute clash, but was unable to maintain his rhythm to surpass Otton and would finish runner-up.
Young's road to the final was also impressive, with the rookie topping Australian fly-boy Josh Kerr (AUS), 29, in the Semifinals and Jordy Smith (ZAF), 25, in the Quarterfinals. The result propels Young into the Top 10 before the final event at Pipeline.
Josh Kerr was dominant on the final day of competition, posting two incredible rides while attaining the event's high heat-total of 18.40 out of 20 in a Round 5 win over Taj Burrow (AUS), 35. Kerr managed to navigate through a tricky Quarterfinal heat, but would eventually fall to Young in the Semifinals.
Today's result, a runner-up finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and an equal 3rd in Bali mark the high points for Young in his inaugural season edges out his Rookie of the Year competition of Felipe Toledo (BRA), 18, and Sebastian Zietz (HAW), 25, for the remainder of 2013.
World no.1 Mick Fanning (Aus), 32, missed a chance to claim his third ASP World Title on Thursday when he was beaten in the quarterfinals at the Rip Curl Portugal Pro presented by Moche.
Otton won their heat with 10 points to Fanning’s 9.43 in inconsistent tide affected one-metre waves. Fanning, 32, needed to make the semis to accumulate sufficient points to take the crown before the season-ending event in Hawaii in December.
His only remaining challenger, 11-time champion American Kelly Slater, was eliminated in the second round at Peniche but can still take the title with a win at the Pipeline Masters.
The elimination of Joel Parkinson (Aus) from the semifinals, Jordy Smith (ZAF) in quarterfinals and Taj Burrow (Aus) from RD5 put an end to all their chances of claiming the 2013 ASP World Title and leave it as a two horse race between Fanning and Slater.
Young (USA), 22, with his berth into the Semifinals of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal pres. by Moche, claimed the 2013 ASP WCT Rookie of the Year title.
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World Title Race Scenarios
Going into Hawaii, only Mick Fanning and Kelly Slater are still in contention for the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour Title. Fanning has a strong lead going into Hawaii and with a 3rd place finish (or better) will clinch his 3rd World Title, even if Kelly Slater wins the Pipe Masters; Kelly Slater, in order to clinch his 12th World Title, will have to win the event at Pipe, hoping that Mick finishes 5th or worse;
If Kelly finishes 2nd at Pipe, even with a 13th Mick will clinch the World Title (Top 12 surfers start on round 3 at Pipe)
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Kai Otton (Aus) 12:23
2 - Nat Young (USA) 11:03
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL SEMI-FINALS RESULTS:
SF1: Kai Otton (AUS) 14:83 Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12:23
SF2: Nat Young (USA) 14:07 Josh Kerr (AUS) 10:66
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL QUARTER-FINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.07 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.90
QF 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 10.00 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.43
QF 3: Nat Young (USA) 15.10 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.54
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.67 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 8.56
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.10
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.60 def. John John Florence (HAW) 12.16
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.33 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.90
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 18.40 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.53
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.50, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.50, Kai Otton (AUS) 9.90
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.00, John John Florence (HAW) 11.70, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.74
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 14.67, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.60, Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.46
Heat 4: C.J Hobgood (USA) 15.33, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.30, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.17