Billabong Rio Pro - Round 1
Turning Brazilian closeouts into scores.
Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 1, continued his dominant form this season in yesterday's Round 1 of the Billabong Rio Pro. Credit: ASP/Kirstin
Round 1 of the Rio Pro was completed yesterday in three-to-five foot waves at the primary site of Barra da Tijuca with the world’s best surfers navigating the at-times challenging barrels on offer and thrilling the crowd on the beach.
Kelly returned to Rio after a 2012 absence due to a foot injury and as you'd expect completely dominated his Round 1 bout against Kieren Perrow and Brazilian wildcard Gustavo Fernandes.
“I saw a bunch of good waves down the beach and just kept that to myself," Slater said. “You can take off on that foam ball out the back on the reef and get one or two turns and you’ve already got as good a score as you can get on some of the ones on the right side of the scaffolding. Most of the waves this morning have been closeouts, but I figured at some point today it’s going to get good. There were some unbelievable barrels down the beach."
Parko and Fanning joined Kelly in dominant round 1 victories, as well as home favourite Adriano de Souza. However, the highest heat total came from Brazilian wonderboy Gabes Medina with a total heat score of 18.00 for a series of excellent backhand tube rides. Following an injury at the opening event of the season on the Gold Coast and a less-than-successful run at Bells, Medina now appears fit and focused for a big performance at home.
“After Bells Beach, I came home and worked with lots of doctors and rested for this event," Medina said. “It’s home in Brazil for me and I want to do well in front of my family and friends. I’m feeling pretty good – getting stronger every day. Stoked to get a win in Round 1 and hope I can keep going throughout the event."
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.50, Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.27, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 1.40
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.07, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.56, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 1.83
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.66, Ricardo dos Santos (BRA) 8.93, Taj Burrow (AUS) 8.67
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.20, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.27, Jack Freestone (AUS) 7.96
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.34, Messias Felix (BRA) 9.83, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 2.47
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.30, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 4.63, Gustavo Fernandes (BRA) 1.46
Heat 7: Glenn Hall (IRL) 15.46, Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.00, Julian Wilson (AUS) 1.46
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.00, Dusty Payne (HAW) 7.26, Damien Hobgood (USA) 4.04
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 11.46, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.74, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.37
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.94, Adam Melling (AUS) 12.44, Kai Otton (AUS) 5.53
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.27, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.77, Brett Simpson (USA) 9.27
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.43, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.56, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 7.43
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Gustavo Fernandes (BRA)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Messias Felix (BRA)
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (BRA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 11: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)