In what can only be described as an extremely popular win, FCS team rider Kai Otton has achieved his maiden WCT victory at the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal, and in doing so completed the quadrella for the new FCS II system.
In a dramatic turn of events Otton took the victory over USA’s Nat Young, and by defeating FCS stable mate Mick Fanning in the quarterfinals, forced the world title race to the final event of the season at Pipeline in Hawaii. The win has also solidified Kai’s position inside the top 10 on the ASP World Tour Ratings; his highest rating to date.
Kai faced some formidable opponents throughout the event, yet was able to navigate his way to the final by using smart tactics, powerful on-rail turns, and some precision surfing in the shifting conditions.
One of the first surfers to switch over from the original system to FCS II, Kai was not only involved in the testing phase prior to the launch of the new system, but he also heavily influenced the design of the Carver template, which is his preferred fin from the FCS II Essential Series.
An ecstatic Otton commented after the final, “What can I say, my CI boards felt amazing, and so did the new system and fin set up. I’ve basically been riding the Carver PCC since it became available. I like to draw a longer line with my turns and keep my board on-rail until the last second before releasing the fins. The Carver is made for those types of turns, and it’s perfectly suited to the way I surf. And as for winning, it feels surreal, I’m so stoked”.
Nat Young, another FCS team rider, continued his amazing year by making his second final of the season. This latest result also netted him enough points to secure the title of 2013 ASP Rookie of the Year. Julian Wilson, Mick Fanning, and tour veteran CJ Hobgood maintained their good form making it to the quarter finals.
The last four ASP World Tour events have now been won by surfers riding the new FCS II system; Taj at the Hurley Pro, Sally and Mick at the Quiksilver Pro in France, and now Kai at the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal. With only one event left on the ASP tour calendar, and with the remaining contenders all riding the new system, it’s highly probable FCS II will claim its first world title in the same year it was released.