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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 18 May 2017

The tables are turned on the Dream Tour. John John Florence's lead has all but gone after Jordy Smith, Owen Wright, and Oi Rio Pro winner Adriano de Souza clawed their way into the mix.

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SIZZLING DE SOUSA: Adriano, Jordy and Wright are back on track. Photo WSL / Smorigo

In the span of a single event he's seen the gap reduced to less than 500 points. When the Champ left Australia he held a significant lead over the rest of the pack, nearly 4,000 points ahead of Jordy Smith and Owen Wright, in the No. 2 position. However, his upset loss to giant-killing wildcard Yago Dora in Round Three has opened the door for his closest pursuers.

The red hot Brazilian wunderkind took down three former world champs on his way to a berth in the semi finals: John John, Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning.

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SMASHING IT: Jordy finds himself close to his first ever yellow jersey. Photo WSL / Smorigo

By virtue of their fifth-place finishes, both Owen Wright and Jordy Smith climbed to within 350 points of Florence, who remains in the Jeep Leader position heading into Fiji with 24,750 points. Had Jordy and Owen made the Semifinals, both would have been wearing the Jeep Leader jersey in their Semifinal match, which would have been against each other. But Ace Buchan and Matt Wilkinson put a big lid on those plans.

Of the surfers who entered the Oi Rio Pro in the Top 5, De Souza was the last man standing. In typical form, he silently disposed of everyone who stood in his way. De Souza didn't lose a single heat along the way, despite facing the likes of fellow World Champions Gabriel Medina and Joel Parkinson, rising star Yago Dora, and the always dangerous Ace Buchan in the Final.

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ACING IT: Buchan defeated Jordy in the quarters, and reached the final. Photo WSL / Smorigo

De Souza's emotional win -- his first since the Billabong Pipe Masters in 2015 -- delighted the passionate Saquarema crowd. "It's been a long time since I've been up here, but I'm so happy to win here in front of this crowd," he said.

Jordy Smith has never worn the Jeep Leader's jersey, but he's one good result away after his fifth-place finish. Buchan arrived at the Oin Rio Pro way back in the No. 24 position on the rankings, but with his fantastic runner-up performance, the Australian vet has jumped 12 spots to No. 12 on the Jeep Leaderboard, just behind a surging Mick Fanning at No. 11.

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SOURCING THE WIN: Adriano didn't lose a heat the whole event. Photo WSL / Smorigo

Meanwhile, inside the Top 10, Matt Wilkinson has moved up to No. 4, just in front of Joel Parkinson, while Kolohe Andino and Filipe Toledo both fell two spots, to No. 7 and 8 respectively.
Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Yago Dora (BRA) share the same coach and will face each other in Semifinal Heat 1 of the Oi Rio Pro at Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Toledo's situation is even more tenuous due to a one-event suspension following his outburst after his loss to Kanoa Igarashi in Round Three. Toledo will not be surfing in the Outerknown Fiji Pro which, combined with his 13th-place finish, will deal a serious blow to his World Title aspirations in 2017.

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