Tag Archives: 2011

Adriano De Souza wins Billabong Rio Pro

Emotions ran high as Adriano De Souza, 24, (BRA) came out triumphant at the Billabong Rio Pro, Brazil, against Taj Burrow, 32, (AUS) in tricky conditions at Burra de Tjucua. De Souza, one of the inform surfers for the whole event, had the crowd on his side at his local home in Brazil, with thousands flocking to the beach to see their local hero surf his way to victory.

After a week of consecutive lay-days, event 3 of 11 in the men’s ASP World Tour 2011 was finally underway, with conditions testing surfer’s abilities at backup location Arpoador during the first and second day, and then home location Burra Tjucua for day three and four.

De Souza was on fire throughout the whole event, only having minor upsets in rounds 1 and 4, luckily for him, they weren’t elimination rounds. He faced some challenging opponents, including Michel Bourez in round 5, who had previously knocked out 10x World Champion Kelly Slater in round 3.

With event organizers looking to wrap the event up quickly, the boys had to be selective of their waves in order to score good results from the judges. Burrow was quick to score, with his first wave of the final landing him a 7.0, but struggled to find anything substantial to back it up. De Souza waited patiently, and used his home break knowledge to score an 8.0 and a 7.63, giving him a total of 15.63 for the final. The crowd was behind De Souza all the way, cheering his every ride, and cheering when Burrow came unstuck. They wanted their golden boy to win.

Jeremy Flores, 23 (FRA) was another in-form surfer throughout the event, who looked fierce in the opening rounds,  taking down anyone in his path, until round 4 where he met Joel Parkinson, 30 (AUS) who was later knocked out in round 5 by Burrow.

Australian Bede Durbidge, 28, also surfed well, and was possibly the dark horse of the event, until he met with De Souza in the semi final. Frustration was evident, as the tricky conditions saw De Souza leave the water triumphant. Durbidge spoke with ASP after his event and said ‘Adriano’s got the whole crowd going for him with a lot of energy and he’s fired up and we just had the worst heat’.

Michel Bourez, 25 (PYF) had a lucky escape in round 5, needing the jetski assist to help him back to shore after coming off a wave the wrong way. Event medical staff played it safe and sent him off to hospital in an ambulance to make sure everything was alright.

However, the light was still on Brazil’s hero Adriano. The $100,000 prize money and 10,000 ASP ranking points bolstered De Souza into the number one position on the leader board, overtaking Parkinson who now sits in second position, and Kelly Slater (USA) in third. De Souza is the first Brazilian in history to be in the number one position on the WCT tour.

The next event takes the men to the J-Bay (formally known as Jefferies Bay), South Africa for the Billabong Pro. Last year Jordy Smith (ZAF) won the event in front of his home crowd. Can he do it again? View all the live action from when the event kicks off on July 14th – 24th.

For highlights from the Billabong Rio Pro and heats on demand, visit; http://www.billabongpro.com



Like the Tigers of old…

Has there been greater hope at Punt Road since the 1980’s?

Season 2011 is now 9 rounds in and one of the surprise packets of the season are without a doubt Richmond. Of course, Essendon’s improvement, St Kilda’s demise and Geelong’s resurgence were unexpected however the young Tigers have achieved more in nine games than many expected for the season.

A close loss to an improved Carlton side in round one was encouraging and a thrilling draw in round two against St Kilda was unexpected. Looking back now, it was a good indicator of the two side’s change in position within the AFL as St Kilda have under-achieved thus far, whilst Richmond have over-achieved somewhat.

Rounds three and four saw thrashings at the hands of Hawthorn (63 points) and Collingwood (71 points), however they opened their win account against North Melbourne in round five. A second win in as many weeks followed in round six against Brisbane however at this stage, they were still yet to beat a side expected to finish in the Top-8.

This all changed in round seven though when they smashed the highly fancied Fremantle by 49 points on the back of 20-goals in the final three quarters. Round eight saw an end to their 3-game winning streak against the Western Bulldogs before a solid round nine win over the much improved Essendon once again had the Tiger army screaming.

Currently sitting just inside the Top-8, Richmond has 4 wins and a draw but most importantly, has a run-home which includes Port Adelaide, Brisbane (Away), Melbourne twice, Gold Coast (Away) and North Melbourne. If they can win these six, which on last night’s form is more than possible, they’d then need to manage just two more wins and finals action would be the reward.

The wins aside, one of the most encouraging signs for the Tigers is that some of their better players have included many youngsters on the Richmond list. Reece Conca, an 18-year-old playing his first season of AFL, is averaging just under 19 disposals per game whilst 19-year-old Dustin Martin is averaging just under 28 disposals per game in just his second season. In addition to this, he is proving to be a handy goal-kicker having slotted home 13 majors this season. Jake Batchelor (19), Dylan Grimes (19), Bradley Helbig (19) and Tyrone Vickery (20) are four other youngsters making their mark in 2011 with a series of consistent performances.

The improvements in the kids is being matched by solid performances from 21-year-old duo Trent Cotchin (24 disposals per game) and Alex Rance (20 disposals per game), whilst Brett Deledio (26 disposals per game), Robin Nahas (20 disposals per game) and ex-Carlton recruit Shaun Grigg (24 disposals per game) are all still 23 or 24-years-old respectively. Finally, 22-year-old forward and 2010 Colman Medalist Jack Riewoldt is once again proving a handful for backmen, having kicked 33 goals in 9 games this season.

Whether or not the young Tigers can maintain this impressive run of form remains to be seen, however if it continues, the clubs first finals berth since 2001 is a real possibility. If however the form drops away, there is still a breath of hope in the air at Punt Road and if it’s not to be in 2011, with the current list of young stars, 2012 and beyond are dead-certainties.


A need for caution as the Bombers continue to soar.

At the end of the 2010 football season, I jokingly said to a number of mates that Essendon would finish inside the Top-4 in 2011… Of course, this was wishful thinking and anyone in their right mind would have laughed in response. Eight rounds into the season though, my wish has come true and the mighty Bombers have returned to the upper echelon of the AFL and will sit in 3rd position at the end of the round. Continue reading

TARGET: Ricky Nixon

Tonight on Channel 7’s weekly Sunday Night program, Ricky Nixon finally shared his version of events in the St. Kilda Nude Photos/Kim Duthie/Ricky Nixon scandal, a scandal which has now dragged on for in excess of 5 months.

The interview with the disgraced former player manager was a fiery one, with Nixon threatening to leave on numerous occasions and at one point, threatening to kick the Channel 7 cameras and leaving the crew with, “A big mess to clean up!”

There were two parts to the revealing interview, firstly the allegations of sexual misconduct and drug abuse and secondly, the death threats Nixon has been accused of both sending electronically and also saying in person to the 17-year-old Kim Duthie.

During first part of the interview, Nixon was asked to explain secret video footage of himself in Duthie’s hotel room, wearing nothing more than a pair of underpants. His response to the damming footage was not one of denial as he instead chose to pursue the path of claiming there was no proof that he’d done anything wrong. True Ricky, however the public might believe otherwise… Why else would you be on her bed wearing nothing but a pair of underpants?

In addition to this, Nixon was also clearly heard discussing the taking of illegal substances whilst in the hotel room. When asked whether or not it was in fact his voice in the footage, Nixon responded with, “I don’t know if that’s my voice or not”, once again avoiding an answer to the question.

The second part of the interview was in relation to the alleged death threats he’s given both Duthie and members of her immediate family, including her mother, farther and sister. When asked whether this actually occurred or not, Nixon admitted to saying, “I will kill you and I will kill myself”, after seeing the video of himself in Duthie’s hotel room. However he denied ever threatening to kill members of her family.

Later in the interview, a clearly emotional Nixon described the moment in which he contemplated suicide whilst standing on top of a bridge over the Thames River in London. This highlighted just how serious this issue is and how far a man who worked so hard to get to the top of his profession, has fallen.

In summary, you’re probably wondering what The Clown’s conclusions are?

Ricky Nixon, regardless of what happened in the room that night, to be there at all raises questions whether you misused the trust which was thrust upon him by a young, naive school girl. There are claims you have cheated on your wife, and you have admitted to threatening a young girl and her family. Most of all, you have not set an example for AFL players, many of which you managed during your career.

Perhaps the saddest irony in this entire scandal is that you somehow managed to assist the likes of Wayne Carey and Ben Cousins through their own controversies and both of which have moved on to happier times since. The question is, who will help you through your own scandal? From an outsiders perspective, it seems you’ve burnt too many bridges already and your constant denial and the increasing list of lies is not going to help your cause.

It’s time you faced the facts and came clean. You need to apologise for what you have done, both to your family, friends and most importantly your clients. Everyone makes mistakes, the key to forgiveness though is about accepting responsibility and ensuring that it doesn’t happen again.

You have two options Ricky, you can continue to hope that it all goes away, which it won’t. Or you can admit you made a mistake by being therein the first place, accept your two-year ban and then fight back and regain the trust which once upon a time made you one of Australia’s most successful businessmen.

For the good of football, I certainly hope you chose the latter.