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by Ed Temperley on Sunday 14th October, 2012 63780 Views
7 of 21
ONE extended balmy day allowed the Rip Curl Pro Portugal to blister through Round 1 and eight heats of Round 2.
The Portugese love surfing and massive crowds and pumping Supertubos barrels greeted the opening day of competition. Gabriel Medina, CJ Hobgood and Michel Bourez all scored perfect-10 barrels on the day. Meanwhile, all four ASP world title contenders are into Round 3.
However those hoping for a repeat of last year's three day barrel marathon will be disappointed, the forecast for the remainder of the competition is tricky. The Atlantic has kicked into gear (as would be expected in autumn) it's just that gear is more victory-at-sea meets bull in a china shop than days of flawless shacks. © 2013 Rip Curl
Following directly on the the completion of Round 1, Mick Fanning and Taj Burrow managed to avoid banana skins in Round 2, effectively the first losers round.
Dusty Payne defeated Jordy Smith and Patrick Gudauskas lost another close heat, this time to Adrian Buchan. He was joined in Rd 3 by: Michel Bourez, Raoni Monteiro, Yadin Nicol and Bede Durbidge.
The four remaining Round 2 match-ups are: Brett Simpson vs. Matt Wilkinson, Damien Hobgood vs. Travis Logie and Kolohe Andino vs. Tiago Pires © 2013 Rip Curl
As expected the morning was slightly inconsistent with the first two rounds proving to be a lottery in the building swell. Alejo Muniz (yellow) took the heat over Taj Burrow who had led until the final few seconds. Here he shares a joke with fellow Brazilian Jadson Andre (blue). © 2013 Rip Curl
Kelly Slater came second here in 2011 on his way to an 11th world title.
"My preparation varies from event to event," Slater said. "Supertubos, on its day, is one of the funner waves we have on tour. It can be big and barreling and close to shore and the crowd is right there so you feel like you're interacting with them in the lineup. It's a great place."
While Slater sits at No. 2 on the ASP WCT rankings, the Floridian holds three wins for the season (Fiji, Trestles, France) and is in a commanding position for the final three events of the year.
"No pressure at the moment," Slater said. "I obviously have to perform in the last three events and so do all the other guys. When the race is close like it is this year, it's definitely a lot more exciting and I feel like I perform well in those situations. The younger guys like Gabriel (Medina) and John John (Florence) and that whole generation are so talented. I'm lucky that I probably only have to compete against them for three more events."
Which is an admission of the fact he'll definitely retire after 2012? More smoke and mirror from the reigning champ. © 2013 Rip Curl
Joel Parkinson posted the morning's highest heat total of a 17.17 out of a possible 20.
"There are a few waves out there for sure," Parkinson said. "Supertubos is a really fun wave. This morning was tough as there weren't really a lot of waves breaking through so you had to be on the ones that offered the most scoring opportunity."
Despite sitting at No. 1 on the ASP WCT rankings, Parkinson has yet to claim an event win this year, something he intends to remedy at the 2012 Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
"I'm here to win," Parkinson said. "Everyone is. I've had a few seconds this year but am keen to put a win on the board. I'm not thinking about the World Title race really. I need to get some wins first before that can become a reality."
Parkinson advances through to Round 3 of competition. © 2013 Rip Curl
The Portuguese tiger, Tiago Pires, is loved in Portugal. He's only marginally less well-known than Cristiano Ronaldo but reportedly falls over and cries an order of magnitude less frequently. © 2013 Rip Curl
Gabriel Medina nailed the first perfect 10 of the event, an chunky left barrel rubber stamped with a forehand air.
"That was fun," Medina said. "I dropped in that wave and started pumping in the barrel and it was just too perfect. I did a little straight air at the end, and it was a pretty sick wave. It felt great, I heard everyone screaming for me right on the beach and it's a good feeling to have the crowd with you. It's a lot of fun." © 2013 Rip Curl
Alejo Muniz celebrating his heat win after the buzzer. John John and Pat G sit in the background awaiting the start of their Heat 3 match-up. © 2013 Rip Curl
French wildcard PV Laborde caught a bomb in Round 2 but didn't make it out. © 2013 Rip Curl
Despite this bazza, Kai Otten could only string together a 4 point heat relegating him into a Round 3 clash with Adam Melling. © 2013 Rip Curl
John John exclamation point to his dominant performance. © 2013 Rip Curl
This hollow number was just enough for Kieren Perrow to scrape past Mick Fanning and into Round 3. A good result for the surfer rep. © 2013 Rip Curl
Patrick Gudauskas is out of the competition early again, just losing out to Ace. © 2013 Rip Curl
Kelly Slater slipping easily through the Portuguese hoops. © 2013 Rip Curl
On his side of the draw, Parko, will have to get through John John in the semis and then either of Slater or Fanning come the final. That is if the top four make it through that far... © 2013 Rip Curl
Kolohe Andino will need to get past local hero Tiago if he's to continue his resurgence. © 2013 Rip Curl
Slater signing away like the old pro he is. © 2013 Rip Curl
The long and short of it is that Bede needs a few more results in 2012. © 2013 Rip Curl
Matt Wilkinson drew a cock on his wetsuit which was almost definitely a Tour first. Unless Kelly did it back in '69? © 2013 Rip Curl
Matt Wilkinson's got the flair and the veiny member scrawled on his crotch. He'll need all of that to get past Brett Simpson in his Round 3 heat. © 2013 Rip Curl
© 2013 Rip Curl
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