Restaurants Delivers On Day 1 Of The Globe Pro Fiji

May 25, 2008: – – Put eight-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in perfect six-foot (two metre) waves at Restaurants and a performance of ‘Dream Tour’ proportions is inevitable. The current World No. 1 wowed in Round 1 of the Globe Pro Fiji today, earning 19.73 out of 20.00 points for his efforts.

“I had a really good heat,” Slater said. “I saw the forecast and have been excited for the last week so I was preparing myself for the moment I just had out there. The waves do all the work out here though, all you have to do is catch them and they tell you what to do as you go along.”

Slater’s top two scoring rides were a perfect 10.00 and a 9.73 – he threw away a 9.00, 9.67 and 7.83. His competitors Taylor Knox (USA) and Isei Tokovou (FIJ) never had a chance. 

“I wanted to get a quick start because it was kind of slow in the heats before mine so I started off with a 7.8,” Slater said. “That wasn’t a bad score for what was out there earlier, but set after set just kept getting better and better. One set had eight waves in it. There was definitely no shortage of waves and no hassling so it was a special heat, you don’t get too many heats like that on tour.”

The win was a welcome one after finishing a disappointing 17th in Tahiti last week. Slater lost to wildcard and eventual finalist Manoa Drollet (TAH) in that event after making an uncharacteristic priority mistake in his heat.

“Getting an interference is no fun way to lose,” Slater said. “It’s a frustrating way to go out in a contest so that win felt good, it was a little redemption and gets my confidence up. If you are in that place where you can go for a title shot, getting a throwaway sucks at any event but doing it in one of the first few events is pretty frustrating because you don’t have room to move later on. I’m not going to worry about that too much right now though, it’s a long season.”

Slater won the first two events of the 2008 ASP World Tour, positioning him strongly in his campaign for a ninth ASP Crown – there are still seven events after the Globe Pro Fiji.  “There are guys who have won two contests in a season and lost the title,” Slater said. “It’s happened multiple times, it happens almost every year. So I’m just going to have fun, the waves are here, so it’s going to be a good week.”  

Reigning ASP World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) shared Slater’s sentiments after advancing through his heat today. Fanning finished equal 33rd, last place, in Tahiti but earned the second highest heat total of the day (18.00 out of 20.00) to advance over Tim Reyes (USA) and 1999 ASP World Champion and Globe Pro Fiji wildcard Mark Occhilupo (AUS) today.

“That win was redeeming,” Fanning said. “Tahiti was pretty disappointing but I got to go home and have 10 days there. I had a lot of fun in my heat out there today, the waves were perfect, so it is hard not to have fun. It’s always hard in these waves though, you either make them or you don’t. Timmy got two that if he would have made would have been perfect 10s for sure – he was just unlucky to get clipped right at the end.”

Fanning sat atop the ASP ratings for the entirety of the 2007 season but is now rated 5th. “I went home and I realized I wasn’t really enjoying my competitions so I just went, ‘Aw stuff it, I’m going to just have fun, whatever happens happens,’ and it’s been really fun,” Fanning said. “I had a good heat to start off with doing it that way so I’m going to keep going like that.”

Fanning, who was married a couple of months ago, was the first Australian to win an ASP World Title since 1999. “Last year it took a lot to win the World Title, I put a lot of focus on it,” Fanning said. “This year it’s not everything anymore, I have a family now, so I’m just enjoying life and enjoying my time on tour.”

Three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (HAW) also returned to form today. Irons arrived in Fiji just this morning, but still managed a cfortable heat win over Neco Padaratz (BRA) and Ricky Basnett (ZAF).

“I felt pretty good for having just flown a red-eye and only getting four hours of sleep last night,” Irons said. “I’ve done it before and I think that these are the kind of conditions I love the most so if there was ever a time to do it this was the time. I was able to go out there, feel pretty calm and surf a couple good waves. I didn’t make a couple good waves which was frustrating, but once I got in a little rhythm there, I got a nice one in the end and pulled it.”

His ‘nice one in the end’ was awarded a 9.73 out of 10.00 possible points. “I got a nice big barrel,” Irons said. “I tried to ride it smartly and stay in the pocket. I did some really soft turns, got one really good turn and then fell right after it, so I think I got a length of ride score, but I’ll take it.” ASP World No. 2 Joel Parkinson (AUS) was almost a little disappointed he won’t be surfing Round 2 – almost.

“It’s good to avoid Round 2 and avoid the stress of the wildcards, especially with Occy in the draw because I was thinking that if I had lost I probably would have matched up,” Parkinson said. “I’ll probably miss out on another good day of surfing but at least I’m a round ahead of those guys.”

Tiago Pires (PRT) led a legion of rookies and Europeans finding their feet today. Pires beat Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.17 to 14.63 – Luke Munro (AUS) sat their heat out after tweaking his knee freesurfing yesterday. He will instead try his luck in Round 2.

“Bobby and I got to surf a man-on-man heat because Luke Munro hurt himself yesterday,” Pires said. “It’s really good training. Even though Bobby has to surf the second round now, he had a really fun surf out there and we had a bit more practice than anyone. With three guys out there, there is a bit more hassling and jockeying for position and stuff like that so that didn’t matter and we were pretty lucky.”

Aritz Aranburu (EUK) of Euskadi made his first heat as a member of the Top 45 and was joined by fellow European Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the winning circle. Only one of the record four Europeans on tour this year will surf Round 2. Miky Picon (FRA) finished second to Brazilian rookie Heitor Alves in their afternoon heat.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith was the other rookie to advance straight to Round 3 today. His countryman Travis Logie did the same.

“I’ve definitely taken to being in Round 2 this year so I thought I’d try to get straight through to Round 3,” Smith said. “I haven’t made it through a Round 2 heat yet this year. I’m looking forward to the next round and getting some more good waves. I definitely felt the rookiness of the first three events so I’m just trying to play the patient game now and wait for the better waves.”

Dane Reynolds (USA), who at 10th on the ratings leads the newcomers, pulled out of the event for medical reasons. His spot went to second place trials winner Matia Waqa (FIJ) who was eliminated by Taj Burrow (AUS) in the first heat of Round 2. Bede Durbidge (AUS) beat Isei Tokovou (FIJ), the other local wildcard, in Round 2 Heat 2.  Competition will start with Heat 3 of Round 2 of the Billabong Pro Fiji tomorrow. An official call will be made at 7am.  Check the live coverage at Globe Fiji Pro.com.

Globe Pro Fiji Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.67, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 12.86, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.26
Heat 2: Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.17, Bobby Martinez (USA) 14.63, Luke Munro (AUS) n/s
Heat 3: Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.00, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.44, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 8.00
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.27, Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.74, Daniel Ross (AUS) 4.87
Heat 5: Andy Irons (HAW) 16.40, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 12.93, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 6.43
Heat 6: Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.00, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.87, Bruce Irons (HAW) 10.66
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.00, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.17, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 8.37
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.73, Taylor Knox (USA) 12.84, Isei Tokovou (FIJ) 11.17
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.00, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.83, Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 8.50
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.17, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.33, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 4.73
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.77, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.93, Jay Thompson (AUS) 6.10
Heat 12: Roy Powers (HAW) 12.44, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.50, Chris Ward (USA) 8.00
Heat 13: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.40, Mikael Picon (FRA) 13.87, Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.04
Heat 14: Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.60, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 10.83, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 7.24
Heat 15: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.50, Daniel Wills (AUS) 12.73, Matia Waqa (FIJ) 7.26
Heat 16: Michael Campbell (AUS) 14.34, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 8.83, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 2.27

Globe Pro Fiji Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.34 def. Matia Waqa (FIJ) 3.83
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.07 def. Isei Tokovou (FIJ) 13.60

Upcoming Globe Pro Fiji Round 2 Heats:
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 8: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 9: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 11: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 12: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 13: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 14: Bruce Irons (HAW) vs. Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 15: Neco Padaratz (BRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 16: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)

an Neve (AUS) 8.37
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 19.73, Taylor Knox (USA) 12.84, Isei Tokovou (FIJ) 11.17
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 18.00, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.83, Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 8.50
Heat 10: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.17, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 10.33, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 4.73
Heat 11: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.77, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.93, Jay Thompson (AUS) 6.10
Heat 12: Roy Powers (HAW) 12.44, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.50, Chris Ward (USA) 8.00
Heat 13: Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.40, Mikael Picon (FRA) 13.87, Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.04
Heat 14: Luke Stedman (AUS) 12.60, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 10.83, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 7.24
Heat 15: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 15.50, Daniel Wills (AUS) 12.73, Matia Waqa (FIJ) 7.26
Heat 16: Michael Campbell (AUS) 14.34, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 8.83, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 2.27

Globe Pro Fiji Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.34 def. Matia Waqa (FIJ) 3.83
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.07 def. Isei Tokovou (FIJ) 13.60

Upcoming Globe Pro Fiji Round 2 Heats:
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 4: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Ricky Basnett (ZAF)
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Jihad Khodr (BRA)
Heat 8: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 9: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 10: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 11: Tim Reyes (USA) vs. Ben Bourgeois (USA)
Heat 12: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Daniel Wills (AUS)
Heat 13: Dayyan Neve (AUS) vs. Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 14: Bruce Irons (HAW) vs. Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 15: Neco Padaratz (BRA) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 16: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)