ARPOADOR BEACH, Rio de Janeiro / Brazil (Sunday, October 23, 2011) - Kolohe Andino (USA), 17, took to the air on the final day of the ASP World 6-Star Quiksilver Brazil Open of Surfing presented by Arnette for a dramatic come from behind victory over Hizunome Bettero (BRA), 25, in front of a crowded audience at Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Under sunny skies and conditions with light winds and waves in the 3-4 foot (1-1.5 meter) range, Andino used his modern repertoire of tricks in the Final to defeat Bettero.
"It was a really tough Final," said Kolohe Andino. "I knew I was facing a great surfer who, like me, was having a good event. We both found good waves, but there was a moment there when I thought I was going to lose. There was a long lull, but when the waves started coming in again, I got those two good scores on the airs I landed on the right-handers for the win."
With his two consecutive victories at the events held in Brazil (last week Andino took out the SuperSurf Internacional in Ubatuba, Sao Paulo), Andino climbed to No. 24 on the ASP World Rankings and solidified his campaign for a spot on the 2012 Dream Tour.
"All I can say is that Brazil has been amazing," said Andino. "The place is beautiful, the people have treated us so well, the food is good and the waves for me have been great. My results here were excellent and I was able to move up in the rankings but I haven't even stopped to think about it and I still don't feel like I'm on the ASP World Tour. I came here only thinking of surfing well, having fun and I won two contests. So, I'm going to keep that same attitude."
In the Final, Bettero started off by scoring a 7.5 (out of a possible 10), but Andino quickly followed on a long left-hander which got him an 8.83 from the judges to take the lead. Bettero then got the local crowd on its feet by scoring a 9.07 on a wave where he threw four consecutive turns and ended on a perfect 360 frontside air.
With a lull in the action, Bettero waited patiently for the larger sets to come in while Andino stayed closer to the inside looking to throw airs for larger scores. With eight minutes to go in the heat, Bettero, who had priority, caught a left-hander that closed out and left Andino in control on a right-hander which scored an 8.40 on another perfect rotating aerial to take the lead.
Needing a 7.66, Bettero paddled into a wave and threw three big turns, which only scored a 7.40 from the judges. And just as before, Andino caught another right-hander and completed a huge one-handed air-reverse which scored a 9.10 to confirm his victory, 17.50 to 16.57 and earn U$ 20,000 and 3,500 points toward his ASP World Ranking.
"I did my best," said Bettero on his Runner-Up finish. "I caught a really good wave with four big turns and an air and I got a 9.07, while he only threw an air and got an even higher score (9.10) but that's for the judges to decide, right? But I'm still stoked with my result. It's been a while since I don't make it to the podium at an event, but that's competition. Somebody has to win, so it was my turn to come in second. I'm going to keep on fighting because I know I'm going to win one eventually."
The youngest surfer in the event and current ASP South America Pro Junior champion, Filipe Toledo (BRA), 16, made it to the Semi-Finals of the Quiksilver Brazil Open of Surfing. Toledo will be competing next week at the Arnette ASP World Pro Junior Championship presented by Quiksilver at Arpoador Beach in Rio de Janeiro.
"I'm stoked with my result," said Toledo. "To make it to the Semi-Finals in such an important event is definitely my best result as a professional. It was great to surf against Hizunome (Bettero) who is a close friend of mine from Ubatuba and I hope he does well in the Final."
The Quiksilver Brazil Open of Surfing presented by Arnette is brought to you by Adding Sports with the supervision of the Surfing Federation of Rio de Janeiro (FESERJ) and sponsored by Arnette, Oi, Quiksilver and the State of Rio de Janeiro through the Secretary of Sports and Leisure. The event is part of the ASP South America Circuit as ASP World 6-Star event is also supported by Oi Futuro, Oi FM, Urgh, DC, Roxy, the City of Rio de Janeiro, Arpoador Surf Club and the Favela Surf Club. The event is broadcast live through www.brasilopenofsurfing.com.br
FINAL QUIKSILVER BRASIL OPEN OF SURFING:
Champion: Kolohe Andino (USA) - 17.50 points - US$ 20,000 and 3.500 points
Runner-up: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) - 16.57 points - US$ 10,000 and 2.640 points
QUIKSILVER BRASIL OPEN OF SURFING SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.80 def 13.73 Leonardo Neves (BRA)
SF 2: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 15.00 def 8.93 Filipe Toledo (BRA)
QUIKSILVER BRASIL OPEN OF SURFING QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.77 def. 12.47 Thiago Camarao (BRA)
QF 2: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 17.80 def. 16.00 Bino Lopes (BRA)
QF 3: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 15.86 def. 10.50 Thiago Guimaraes (BRA)
QF 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.70 def. 10.93 Jesse Mendes (BRA)
QUIKSILVER BRASIL OPEN OF SURFING ROUND OF 12 RESULTS:
Heat 1: 14.67 Kolohe Andino (USA), 10.33 Bino Lopes (BRA), 7.93 Pedro Henrique (BRA)
Heat 2: 15.34 Leonardo Neves (BRA), 13.63 Thiago Camarao (BRA), 12.03 Marcio Farney (BRA)
Heat 3: 16.83 Hizunome Bettero (BRA), 15.44 Filipe Toledo (BRA), 10.67 Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 4: 13.63 Jesse Mendes (BRA), 12.00 Thiago Guimaraes (BRA), 11.70 Mitch Crews (AUS)