In 2018, Ferreira proved himself to be one of the most exciting surfers, winning three CT events and finishing the year in fourth place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Today, the 24-year-old got his World Title campaign off to a perfect start with a come-from-behind victory over Californian Kolohe Andino (USA). Ferreira will now sport the Jeep Leader Jersey and focus his attention to Stop No. 2 of 11 on the men’s CT.
“Winning this event at the start of the year is unbelievable, ” Ferreira said. “I knew it would be so hard to beat Kolohe (Andino). I feel really lucky to have beaten him and especially in waves like this. The support on the beach is so unreal. I love all of the Brazilians on the beach. They are incredible cheering us all on. I’m excited to be in the Jeep Leader Jersey again, but it is a long year and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I have a lot of other events to focus on, starting with Bells next week. I’ve trained a lot in the last three months and I got the win in the first event of the year. Let’s do this!”
Ferreira eliminated the in-form Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Semifinals and Wade Carmichael (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. The innovative surfer posted some of the event’s highest scores in the earlier rounds, while also winning the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast at the start of the waiting period.
Having had four previous Finals appearances in his career, including the 2016 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Californian prodigy Andino was hoping today would be the day that he would clinch his first CT win. Unfortunately, he lost in the dying seconds to Ferreira. Although disappointed, the American acknowledges that the second-place result puts him in a great position from the first stop of the long season ahead.
“I was stoked to be in the Final with Italo (Ferreira),” Andino said. “I let that wave go, but I think ten times out of ten, I would let it go again just because it was actually a knee high wave (laughs), but he did a full rotation, so good on him. It’s a bummer I wasn’t getting chaired up for my first event win but it’s a long year and still a great result. I was two minutes away from winning that one. The American surfers are doing great, it’s rad to see. I think everyone is sick of seeing those top three guys on tour win every event. I think everyone’s put their heads down and trying really hard and it’s great for the sport.”