Supertubos turned on today with offshore three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) barrels for the world’s best surfers to sink their fangs into as the Rip Curl Pro Portugal completed Rounds 1 and 2 of competition.
Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal bore witness to the ASP Top 34 redefining progressive beachbreak surfing with a veritable cornucopia of barrels, power turns and aerials.
Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 6, proved the form surfer of the day, netting the event’s high heat total of an 18.00 out of a possible 20 for a series of deep forehand barrels and powerful turns.
“The conditions are pretty hit and miss today with some heats having lulls and others not,” Buchan said. “We had really fun waves during that heat. It was really consistent and I was able to find a rhythm pretty quick. My equipment feels really good at the moment and I’m stoked to come back after a disappointing Round 1 heat yesterday with a strong performance today.”
Coming off an Equal 3rd last week in France, Buchan is enjoying a solid momentum throughout the European leg and will look to capitalize through the remainder of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
“Definitely coming off of a good result in France gives me confidence here,” Buchan said. “I’m having one of the better years I’ve had on tour and I’m looking to move from strength to strength. Everything is working really well for me at the moment and I love the waves here in Peniche. I would love to come away with a win.”
Buchan will take on rookie Dusty Payne (HAW), 21, in Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Kelly Slater (USA), 38, former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, survived his Round 2 bout against wildcard Bruno Santos (BRA), 27, this morning, dominating the shifting peaks to the raucous cheers of the thousands in attendance.
“The Portuguese fans are just so passionate,” Slater said. “Tiago (Pires) is a national treasure here and every time he paddles out, the whole beach erupts. It’s good to see. They love their surfing and that always makes us excited to perform.”
Currently hunting down an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title, Slater maintains a focused approach to the job at hand.
“I just have to replicate what I’ve done so far this season,” Slater said. “At the moment, I’m not in a position where I can afford to get throwaway results. If I want to improve my position at the moment, I have to do better than 9th. So it’s still super close.”
Slater faces Gabe Kling (USA), 30, in Round 3 of competition.
Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 2, was another top seed to battle a wildcard today, besting Marlon Lipke (DEU), 26, with a comprehensive forehand attack on the righthanders.
“It was pretty challenging in my heat,” Smith said. “It was hard to pick out the good ones and I kept finding myself out of position. Marlon (Lipke) obviously knows this wave really well, and at this level, everyone is dangerous. I was fortunate to grab a couple of mid-range scores and he was unable to get a decent second score.”
“I’m just having fun and learning as I go,” Smith said. “I’m still young and I have a ways to go before I’m at the same level as Kelly (Slater) and Mick (Fanning). The race (ASP World Title) isn’t too far apart at the moment, but it’s not too close either.”
Smith draws Dean Morrison (AUS), 29, in his upcoming Rip Curl Pro Portugal match.
Brett Simpson (USA), 25, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie struck a brutal blow to Portuguese surfing enthusiasts in the final heat of the day, eliminating sole representative Tiago Pires (PRT), 30, from competition with an impressive display of hi-fi surfing.
“The conditions have changed so much since this morning,” Simpson said. “We’ve gone from sucking barrels to really high-performance runners this afternoon. It was really fun but you have to be on your game and adapt pretty quick. Tiago (Pires) is so dangerous in any conditions and he obviously had a lot of support on the beach. It’s a bummer to knock him out early, but I’m happy to move through to Round 3.”
Simpson will take on fellow rookie Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, when competition resumes.
Travis Logie (ZAF), 31, current ASP World No. 34, caused a major upset this morning, eliminating current ASP World No. 5, Dane Reynolds (USA), 25, in Round 2 of competition. The South African goofy-footer adopted a frenzied approach, collecting a bevy of forehand barrel-to-turn combinations, leaving his Californian opponent behind.
“I’ve had really bad luck this season so far in terms of waves in my heat so it feels really good to get some good waves finally,” Logie said. “You can never discount Dane (Reynolds) in a heat. I had him on the ropes and gave him a rubbish wave and he turned it into something. It’s really good for my confidence and I definitely need to get some results here in the back three events of the year. It’s really fun out there.”
Logie will battle reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, in Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
When competition resumes, up first will be current ASP World No. 4 Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, up against Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 22, in the opening heat of Round 3.
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S REMAINING ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 10: Damien Hobgood (USA) 15.36, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.10, Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.27
Heat 11: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.70, Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.94, Kai Otton (AUS) 6.93
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.27, Andy Irons (HAW) 14.07, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.76
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Kelly Slater (USA) 14.17 def. Bruno Santos (BRA) 7.30
Heat 2:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.80 def. Marlon Lipke (DEU) 11.63
Heat 3:Travis Logie (ZAF) 16.06 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 8.50
Heat 4:Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.67 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.43
Heat 5:Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.00 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 6.24
Heat 6:C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.16 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 9.03
Heat 7:Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.93 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 8.23
Heat 8:Kai Otton (AUS) 10.83 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 10.40
Heat 9:Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.17 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.37
Heat 10:Daniel Ross (AUS) 12.03 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.17
Heat 11:Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.23 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 11.94
Heat 12:Brett Simpson (AUS) 14.27 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.17
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 2:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 3:Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 4:Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 5:Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 7:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 8:Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 9:C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 10:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 11:Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 12:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Dean Morrison (AUS)