Brazilian tour veteran Adriano de Souza has capped off his best-ever year with a maiden world title surfing crown, as Aussie Mick Fanning was narrowly bundled out in the semi-final by defending world champion Gabriel Medina.
This year's title race was the closest in recent memory, and a Fanning vs De Souza final would have decided the title race in the very last heat of the season. As it happened, though, Fanning was narrowly beaten at the buzzer by Medina in the semi, which gave Adriano de Souza the chance to claim the world title with a win over Mason Ho in his respective semi-final.
He took the chance, and ended a 10-year wait for his first world title before the final had begun. He then went on to claim his first Pipe Masters win.
Fanning put in a valiant performance, having learned of his older brother's death before paddling out yesterday, and was quick to be congratulated by De Souza.
"I think Mick deserved it more than me," De Souza said after clinching the world title in the semi-finals.
"He's such a strong man, a three-time world champion. The strongest man I have met in my whole life.
"I wish so much to give a hug to Mick's mum, but it's kind of scary as we are in a world title race and I didn't want to mix it up."
De Souza became the second Brazilian to claim a surfing world title, backing up his compatriot Gabriel Medina to give the South American country consecutive world champs.
Full highlights will be posted when they're available.
FINAL WSL RANKINGS: 2015
1st: Adriano de Souza (BRA) — 57,700
2nd: Mick Fanning (AUS) — 54,650
3rd: Gabriel Medina (BRA) — 51,600
4th: Filipe Toledo (BRA) — 50,950
5th: Owen Wright (AUS) — 43,600
6th: Julian Wilson (AUS) — 42,700
7th: Italo Ferreira (BRA) — 41,600
8th: Jeremy Flores (FRA) — 41,200
9th: Kelly Slater (USA) — 37,600
10th: Nat Young (USA) — 33,200
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