Rio's Christ The Redeemer welcomes Adriano De Souza and Nat Young's looming clash with open arms.
Under the all-seeing eye of Corcovado mountain's Christ The Redeemer statue, and deep below the Rocinha favela, which cuts an odd contrast to the wealthier districts beneath, the Billabong Pro lands soon in Brazil. Two weeks' time, in fact. It is the third world tour event this year, and though the title race is still forming, there is no such thing as an unimportant tour stop.
Adriano De Souza won the last event, the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, and being from Sao Paulo, this is as close as it gets to a hometown event for him. He will have the whole city behind him, with the Passion only a Brazil crowd can offer in support.
Nat Young, Californian World Tour rookie, is looking to make an impact on his first year. He's already headed the right way, having placed second at the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach and runner-up to Adriano.
It's hard to say whose at an advantage in the punchy beachbreaks of Rio, as both men perform in any conditions. Will Nat stumble under the rookie spotlight, or step up to the plate? Will Adriano crack under the home crowd pressure, or continue his momentum to the podium again in Brazil? 21Days offers the inside track to these two story lines, heading into stop number three of the ASP World Tour. Through insightful interviews and hometown settings, we'll follow Adriano and Nat as they go through the motions during the event's lead up.
The only question is, what happens next?
by Elliot Struck