HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - John John Florence compared the power of the waves in Rio de Janeiro to Hawaii. Maybe that's why the North Shore prodigy looks at home in the Brazilian beach break. Florence notched his third career WSL event win, two of which have come at the Rio Pro.
After two straight round three exits on the Australian leg, Florence dispatched of fellow Hawaiian Dusty Payne in the quarterfinals and reigning world champion Adriano de Souza in the semifinals before surfing a near-perfect heat in the final against Australian Jack Freestone.
The win vaulted Florence from 13th to 3rd in the WSL standings, putting the 23-year-old in the middle of a world title race.
"Obviously I want to try to win a World Title, but I am going to take it heat by heat, event by event," Florence said afterwards. "Hopefully I will come out on top, but we will see. The waves have been challenging and everyone has been surfing so well, so I am stoked to be here and win this event."
The 'CT now heads to Fiji for the fifth event of the season. The waiting period is open from June 5-17.