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Kelly Slater on his way down to meet Davy Jones desperately scrabbling for a score in the final seconds is an unusual sight. Kelly couldn't find a wave in the tricky conditions, his 13th here is a keeper and suddenly this 2012 seasaw title race looks a whole lot more interesting. "I should probably have refused to paddle out, it was right on the low tide and there were no open waves out there, it's so close to the beach there was nowhere to go. It's probably the most frustrating heat I've ever had on tour.... I don't know what to say, it's just luck of the draw sometimes. If you get in the right sort of current, or out of the wrong current, and you find a little corner that's not really a set, maybe you can do something with it. It's tough, but Julian (Wilson) just got a 10 so say what you want." "It's not the end of the world," Slater said. "Nobody died, I just lost a heat. It's a bummer for me, but it's just the way it is. There's only one way to go at Santa Cruz for me. I've surfed there once and I got last in my first heat, it was in 1994 I think. We'll see what happens. If there are waves, there will be plenty of opportunities to surf your heat, but I do expect to have to deal with the high-tide heats and a lot of backwash, and if it's small it'll be hard against the cliff."© 2014 LD
Raoni Monteiro back from injury having been crushed "just doing my job" during one of the heats which went out at the peak of the swell at the Fijian round of the World Tour was the happiest man in Portugal after his win. He's looking for more suport on tour this year, someone hook him up he just took down the 11 time world champion.© 2014 LD
Owen Wright caused the second major upset of the day, eliminating two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) and current ASP WCT No. 3, Mick Fanning in Round 5 of competition. Despite Fanning jumping out to an early lead, Wright fought back on his backhand, securing a perfect 10. "He got the jump of me so quick there," Wright said. "I was thinking, 'Alright, this guy's in the title race and he's not messing around'. Then my 10 was behind his wave and that put me back in the hunt. Right there at the end of the heat, he paddled and had a dig and then my last wave came through. I had to punch through a pretty big chandelier to get out of the barrel, but I'm stoked with that. I needed it, it's a pretty big confidence booster for me." Wright will take on Julian Wilson, in Quarterfinal 3 when competition resumes.© 2014 LD
Adriano De Souza, defending Rip Curl Pro Portugal winner continued his impressive run at Supertubos today, claiming a Round 4 heat and advancing directly to the Quarterfinals. "I'm motivated to do well and I'll just keep going," De Souza said. "I'm very quiet right now and nobody's talking about my name so it's very similar to last year and I'm happy. When I'm happy I perform better. I know the road to the Final here in Portugal, but right now in the middle of the road these are giant guys. It will be a challenge on the final day."© 2014 LD
Medina has returned to form, punctuating the afternoon with a sensation Round 4 bout against rapidly-improving rookie Kolohe Andino andJohn John Florence. "In the beginning of the heat, I broke my board on the second wave so I was kind of sad, but then I think the new board actually works better so it's good that I found this one," Medina said. "I got a couple of 7s and a 9 and another 8. It's getting better right now and that was a lot of fun."© 2014 LD
Adriano de Souza claims on the water or the land. Now everyone claims. It's like a virus, this spreading acceptance of athletes at the pinacle of their sport expressing a passionate desire to win.© 2014 LD
Mick Fanning had a tricky heat against Yadin Nichol and went to town against his fellow Aussie before eventually losing to Owen Wright in the penultimate heat of the day.© 2014 LD
John John Florence faces in Joel Parkinson the quarter finals.© 2014 LD
Joel Parkinson drew first blood in Round 4 this afternoon, posting a win over compatriots Adrian Buchan and Josh Kerr, to advance directly into the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal. "You expect those three-man heats to just be full of fireworks but when you're faced with the occasional scrappy heat you've just got to deal with it," Parkinson said. "I expected some more barrels out there but there weren't many. There were a couple of turns, but this board definitely performs better in the barrels. Stoked to make it through either way." Parkinson's Quarterfinal berth today solidifies his current lead on the rankings, but the stylish Australian remains cautious when discussing the remainder of the year. "Even though he (Slater) is in second on the ratings and he's out of the event, we have a little bit of work to do in front of us," Parkinson said. "It definitely tightens up the race a little. I guess doing that might bring it down to Pipe. I think it's time for me to win another event though. It's been far too long. Hopefully I've been keeping it for the right time."© 2014 LD
Welcome to the plateau. It's where we gather to watch Yago Dora soar above our heads.
These are the fortunate few. Many epic sessions have fallen by the wayside, victims to our ruthless monthly culls, but the results are wondrous to behold.
Patagonia is a challenging lover, said the English novelist, Bruce Chatwin. It haunts you, it bewitches you, it wraps you in its arms and does not let you go.
Welcome to the winners' podium. The cream of February lies before you in four spectacular Atlantic sessions, big barrels being the theme.
The symbiosis of surfer and winter. The Astray Collective and Finisterre bring you a short narrated by Matt Smith and produced by Mickey Smith