Paulino Leads International Contingent Through to Round 4 of Rip Curl Boardmasters
The swell had dropped during the night and Day 3 of the Rip Curl Boardmasters in association with Relentless saw twelve heats take place in good three foot (one meter) waves today at Fistral Beach. From the fourty-eight competitors who paddled out for Round 3, twenty-four only remain in contention for the prestigious ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 5-Star crown and the winner's valuable 2000 ratings' points.
Pablo Paulino (BRA), 2X and reigning ASP World Junior Champion, closed Round 3 with the highest heat score of the event thus far to defeat Rip Curl team rider Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Eric Rebiere (FRA) and Luke Cheadle (AUS).
"So stoked to get through that one with such big scores", Paulino said. "The waves were fun and I just went for big turns and ended up winning. I hope I can keep things going this way for Round 4 and further."
Paulino, who will face fellow Brazilian surfer Diego Rosa (BRA) and Nic Muscroft (AUS) in Round 4, will be a favorite if the conditions remain the same.
Many different nations will be represented when Round 4 resumes as Europeans, Brazilians, Australians, Kiwis, South Africans and one American managed to advance today. Californian progressive surfer Brett Simpson (USA), currently rated No. 10 on the international stage, was a stand out getting the second highest heat result of the day to get through one more round.
"It was fun and the waves definitely remained good enough to get that round done", Simpson said. "It is probably one of the best events this year with yesterday being excellent and today being good so I am pretty happy."
Simpson, who posted a solid 15.30 point heat score (out of a possible 20) to defeat Jean Da Silva (BRA) and Abdel El Harim (MAR), secured some strong turns and radical newschool moves including a frontside air to convince the ASP judges.
"When you are surfing at the end of a day you want to get the judges' attention", Simpson said. "I wanted to put a bit of variety in my surfing and these waves allowed some tricks so it is one of my goals to be able to get these moves done during my heats."
Simpson, who is chasing a couple more of solid results to secure his 2009 ASP Top 45 spot, will meet Yadin Nicol (AUS) and Bobby Hansen (NZL) when competition resumes. He is the last American surfer still in the Rip Curl Boardmasters.
The European contingent saw three of its ten representatives only get through Round 3 today, Marlon Lipke (DEU), Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) and Patrick Beven (FRA) all winning their respective wins with solid performances.
Patrick Beven (Biarritz, FRA), 29, who was rated No. 23 at the end of 2007, came up with some good surfing and tactics to best powerhouse Jay Quinn (NZL), Rhys Bombaci (AUS) and Ruben Gonzalez (PRT).
"Few waves came in during that heat but I know the place well and I have some tactics for this kind of conditions", Beven said. "I usually rely a lot on my backside surfing so chase lefthanders and it paid off this morning."
Beven, who has ped below the 50th rank this year, will be looking forward to advancing far in the event as he remains a potential ASP Top 45 qualifier having been a WQS leading competitor for several years now.
"I have been training a lot with Jeremy (Flores), Miky (Picon) and Tiago (Pires) to prepare for that leg and I feel fit and ready to get results", Beven said. "It is always good as well to compete in Europe and have a little break from all trips around the world. We are far from the end of the year and big events coming up so I will take it heat by heat."
Jay Quinn (NZL), who placed second to Beven in Heat 4, was one of two New Zealand surfers advancing today and will have no pressure as the event gets closer to its business end.
"It was hard to get decent scores as you have to struggle a bit to find enough speed on the waves", Quinn said about his morning heat. "I am sitting out of the Top 100 at the moment so any heat after this one is a bonus for me."
With ten Australians making it through to Round 4 today, Down Under will have more chances than any other nation to have a champion at the Rip Curl Boardmasters this year. In the last four years, the coveted crown has been won by one American, two South Africans and a Brazilian. The last Aussie to win was Bede Durbidge (AUS), curent ASP World Tour No. 3, back in 2003.
Leigh Sedley (AUS), 24, currently in the WQS Top 25, is in reach of a Dream Tour qualification this year and will be looking forward to securing points in Newquay.
"I try not to go into any event with any pressure but it is always somewhere there and you got to deal with it", Sedley said after winning his Round 3 battle. "I have had a good year so far and I hope I can keep it going and make that final."
Round 4 competitors will meet at 1 PM (GMT+1) tomorrow to assess conditions and make a call. Conditions are expected to a lot during the night and there is a chance Friday, August 8, will be a lay-day.
Catch the highlights or watch it live on Mpora TV.