21Days: De Souza/Young, Episode Three

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THE time is now, Rio is here. Go inside the lives of Adriano and Nat as they countdown to the event. And so, the day after tomorrow, the Billabong Pro, Rio De Janeiro waiting period fires up. And it'll be there that, after placing first and second respectively at the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, Adriano De Souza and Nat Young will pull on contest jerseys for the first time in over a month. But, what've they been doing for that month?

"He's addicted to surf," says Alejo Muniz of Adriano De Souza. Alejo is just one of a group of Brazilians that Adriano had been inspired by, keeping up with (and secretly competing with) over the last two weeks in Indonesia's Mentawai Islands. Between the camera struggling to keep up with Adriano at Macaronis and the Rio-esque training ground righthander he sessioned, Mr De Souza is looking like a prepared man.

Nat, on the other hand, is also deep in preparation phase. After getting his Channel Island boards dialled with Travis Lee in California (Fred Rubbles, thanks), he tires of the lack of swell at home, and books a ticket for Tahiti. Nat wants some Teahupoo juice. He meets up with Michel Bourez to get the vibe of the place, and because, as Nat says, "You can really only get better if you're surfing with good people."

After leaving the boat, and having done no training for three weeks, Adriano heads to LA to tune up in the Red Bull High Performance Centre. He then visits Blackhouse (an MMA training facility). Nat, after much patience, scores his first session at Teahupoo in what most'd call solid conditions. He's a little shaky at first but learns the ropes real quick.

Rio is about to explode. The contest scaffolding is up, the lights are on. And as Adriano says, "there's no relaxing between events."

Elliot Struck

'View more of the 21 Days series here'