Frederico Morais - Triple Crown Rookie of the Year
Portugal’s Federico Morais has capped off an incredible year by making the final of the Vans World Cup of Surfing and being named as the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year. "It was my first Triple Crown so I had no expectations for Hawaii," said Morais. "I was going to come here and just do my job and have fun and try to climb the ranks to guarantee my position on the Prime events for next year."
Morais did that, rising to ASP Men’s World Ranking of 58, giving him a good seeding and a boost for his plans to qualify for the elite tour next year. "I sat down at the start of the year with my coach Richard Marsh and set about working really hard, setting goals, improve my surfing with an aim to break into the top 100. So right now, it’s unbelievable, as it’s all come off. I’m so stoked."
This incredible Hawaiian result came off the back off beating Kelly Slater in the Rip Curl Pro held in his native Portugal and further cements Morais reputation as Europe’s finest young talent. In Hawaii Morais did it the hard way surfing from the very first round and enduring every type of ocean and weather condition ranging from storm force winds and rain to wave face heights of 25 feet.
"I ended up doing the final after making seven rounds. I think it was really good because I could just prove myself in every size of wave and I had really good fun. I got perfect Sunset the first few heats and really scary Sunset. Today was really kind of challenging, but still it was a really good day and I had a lot of fun. Winning the rookie award means a lot to me."
Along the way Morais defeated some of the world’s best surfers including John John Florence, Hawaiian legend Sunny Garcia and defending champion Adam Melling. "It proves that I can mix it with the best guys, in all types of conditions, which is a big confidence booster." Morais said. "As I said, it’s just great to get reward for all the hard work we have put in. I couldn’t have ended the year any better and are now even more excited for next year. Bring on 2014."
Photos by: ASP/Cestari