We’ve reached number-crunching time for the viable title contenders as the ASP World Tour has reached Peniche, Portugal, home of the Rip Curl Pro. The hope of scheduling heats at Supertubos is the road to any world title must run directly through its punchy pits.
Aussie Mick Fanning had to take a trip to Round Two after falling to Kieren Perrow in the opening round. Given the conditions on tap at Supertubos, he didn’t seem to mind.
While the forecast looked scary earlier in the week, forcing several lay days, Saturday turned into a tube feast, with stellar conditions on tap. As far as opening rounds go, this was about as solid as fans could have hoped for.
Matt Wilkinson was one of the rare surfers who made a statement with a maneuver. He rode out of what looked like the cleanest rodeo flip ever pulled in competition. Yeah, we keep saying that…but only because these guys keep getting better at ‘em. See the opening wave of the video below to see if you agree…
On the title race front things remain heated. Joel Parkinson, Kelly Slater, and John John Florence all won their opening round heats with commanding performances. Mick Fanning, however, was sent to Round Two after tube maestro Kieren Perrow got the best of Fanning in their Round One heat. Fortunately, Fanning made easy work of wild card Pierre-Valentine Labo and remains right in the mix.
As for high profile early round exits, Jordy Smith takes the prize. Smith, who’s now fallen out of the Top 10, had the misfortune of meeting up with Hawaii’s Dusty Payne in Round Two. Payne, who’s sat out most of the year injured, could be playing a serious spoiler role in these final four events.
The other big headlines were the three perfect 10s scored during the opening round. Gabriel Medina, C.J. Hobgood, and Michel Bourez were the lucky recipients of some serious barrels (also in the video).