Billabong Rio Pro Day 1!
Kelly Slater won his heat over Julian Wilson and local wildcard Peterson Crisanto.
After a week of lay-days, the world’s best surfers tore into consistently changing conditions at the lefthand pointbreak of Aproador to complete Round 1 of the Billabong Rio Pro.
Stop No. 3 of 11 on the ASP World Title Series, the opening day of men’s competition saw ASP Dream Tour veterans earn the day’s top scores while defending event winner Jadson Andre (BRA), 21, made an impressive entrance in the Billabong Rio Pro’s opening round.
Kelly Slater (USA), 39, reigning 10-time ASP World Champion, got off to a strong start to open his Billabong Rio Pro campaign. Slater unleashed two furious tail-drifting backhand turns to notch the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.00 (out of 10) midway through his bout to overtake ASP World Tour rookie Julian Wilson (AUS), 22, and event wildcard Peterson Crisanto (BRA), 18, after nearly missing the start of his heat.
“That 9 felt good,” Slater said. “I went down to grab my jersey and there was some confusion. By the time I got out, the heat had already started and Julian got that first one. It wasn’t a good start. I knew there were going to be some good ones and I just had to be patient. That one good wave actually let me bottom turn and hit the lip, most of the waves were soft and had a lot of horizontals.”
Slater, who finished runner-up at the Billabong Pro last year, was also quick to admit that several goofy-footers will be tough to beat at the lefthander of Aproador and noted that the natural-footers will need to be especially selective in their wave choice at the Billabong Rio Pro.
“A little left like this is going to play well for goofy footers,” Slater said. “Owen (Wright) and Jadson (Andre) are probably frothing on it and licking their chops ready to go. We (natural footers) have been on our frontside at Snapper and Bells and now it’s their turn. We’ve just got to try and be smart. Mick (Fanning) looked good and there are waves out there to do it, you’ve just got to be smart.”
Taylor Knox looks in form and hopes to capture his second World Tour win of his career. The first being in Brazil. He just celebrated his 40th birthday.
Billabong Rio Pro event organizers will reconvene at Aproador at 7am local time tomorrow morning for a possible Round 2 start.
To watch the Billabong Rio Pro LIVE log on to http://www.billabongpro.com
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
Billabong Rio Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.60, Heitor Alves (BRA) 7.67, Bobby Martinez (USA) 7.47
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.84, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.16, Kai Otton (AUS) 7.90
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.33, Ricardo Santos (BRA) 11.17, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.60
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.07, Simao Romao (BRA) 12.36, Dusty Payne (HAW) 11.66
Heat 5: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 8.13, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.07, Igor Morais (BRA) 6.34
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.17, Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.37, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 3.84
Heat 7: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.33, Gabe Kling (USA) 10.66, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 7.90
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.56, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.80, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.43
Heat 9: Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.00, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.10, Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.93
Heat 10: Cory Lopez (USA) 11.54, Chris Davidson (AUS) 10.00, Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.57
Heat 11: Daniel Ross (AUS) 14.90, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.67, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 8.96
Heat 12: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.03, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.70, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.34