Round Three Of Rip Curl Pro Completed

Rip Curl Pro
March 21-April 1

LIVE WEBCAST & LIVE RIP CURL PRO WEBSITE: www.ripcurl.com and www.aspworldtour.com

A Long And Entertaining Day At The Rip Curl Pro

IT took 21 heats from an exhaustive schedule that was one of the longest days in pro surfing history, but in a sensational result Australia’s Gold Coast rookie Bede Durbidge has bumped former six-times world champion Kelly Slater from the Rip Curl Pro at Phillip Island’s Woolamai Beach. It was a day when the higher seeds otherwise generally ruled the roost.

The rookie and the master fought what ending up being a controversial exchange on the afternoon’s high tide lefts, Slater starting a little slow as he settled in, whilst Durbidge opened with a seven and later locked in an 8.5 and 8.73 for rides connecting sharp backhand snaps that threw buckets of spray with every jam into the wave’s lip.

Slater mounted his defense locking in a 7.33 for his fourth wave, and then a highline 9.23 for a seamless roll on his fifth, but after Durbidge’s consistent act, he was still left needing an eight point ride to quell the rookie.

With five minutes remaining, Kelly laid eight backhand hits into a committed attack that he and some of his peers considered worthy of the task at hand, but the judges disagreed delivering him a score of 7.93.

“I thought my last wave was close to, or as good as my 9.23, and I knew I needed an 8.0, but they gave me a 7.93. There was five minutes left so maybe they just wanted me to work. I don’t know! Sometimes it happens, said a disappointed Kelly after the heat.

“It’s a huge result, especially against my favourite surfer, smiled Durbidge, who was knocked from the first WCT of the year by Slater, and seems poised for a great season.

“I can’t believe I’ve done it really. I watched his last wave from behind — it was a really good wave and I thought he would have got the score he needed.

Understandably, Bede Durbidge was stoked with the win that his Aussie peerage applauded. Durbidge possesses steely resolve, seemingly devoid of nerves no matter whom he has to surf against. He is determined to march on.

“I’m feeling pretty good and hopefully I’ll get through a few more heats. I sort of thought about it all before it started and so I’ve been prepared for anything, and surfing this event like it’s just any other competition, and it’s been working, concluded Durbidge.

Durbidge surfs the same board from one foot to six foot conditions, but with the drop in swell today, some of the boys brought in reinforcements.

Looking to make all posts a winner, last year’s World Champion Andy Irons and runner-up Joel Parkinson both had new equipment flown in from the Gold Coast overnight to deal with today’s anticipated drop in swell, and both were rewarded for their foresight with strong round three victories.

Irons came down in length to a 6’1, while Parkinson went wider, but both went way up in their winning margins, the Hawaiian comboing young Pipeline wildcard Jamie O’Brien whilst Parkinson left Victor Ribas hunting 9.48 points.

On his way to vanquishing Ribas, who he marked as a major thorn in his world title efforts last season, Parkinson notched the highest score of the event so far, a sizzling 9.8 for an ultra-clean 3’+ right hander which include one of the most textbook perfect re-entries imaginable.

“It was a good wave. My first turn put me into a good spot for my second turn and got the fins pretty lose, and came down perfectly again…it was like a perfect little wave. It was the best wave I saw all day, so I pretty happy. It let me play — it let me get to work! said Parkinson after his heat.

Though having declared that this is ‘his year’, Parkinson is flying below the radar at the moment as all eyes are on the ongoing confrontation between Andy Irons and Mick Fanning, who have again drawn each other tomorrow in round four.

“I bet tse boys can’t wait to get re-seeded! It’s going to be the heat before mine and I’m going to need to be watching their game as well as mine. I’m just glad the focus is on their exchange — not mine, laughed Parkinson.

Fanning seemed out of sorts today in his heat against Tom Whitaker. The pair waited quite a while for their first set, but controversy reigned when it arrived.

Whitaker was marked for interference after he and Fanning crossed over from the opposite sides of a perfect peak, deemed by the judges to be right-hander.

Fanning fell after his first manoeuvre as his right then closed out, while Whitaker continued on left completing his lefthander.

Whilst the judges were decisive with their call, procedurally relegating Whitaker’s score to being minus his second best score, the surfers weren’t so sure.

“I didn’t know what the right was doing, and I knew after five minutes went with no waves, that when a wave came through we’d need to hassle for it, said Whitaker.

“I guess I was just on the wrong side of it really. If I had been on the other side it would have been on him. He fell off, but I don’t know if it was because I bumped him off. I think he just fell, and it made me look like the big bully, added Whitaker.

“I was actually waiting for the call to go the other way — against me! Luckily for me it didn’t, confessed Fanning.

“It was a tense wait sitting there together waiting. We both knew the other wasn’t going to hold back, so we both ended up going the same wave together.

Even without his second best scorer, Whitaker kept pressure applied. It’s hypothetical after the fact, but on paper with all scores locked in, and without the loss of his second wave, Whitaker would have otherwise won the exchange.

“The pressure was kept on. If he’d got another high score, he probably would have beaten me, especially if I didn’t get my last wave. It was a touch and go heat, verified Fanning.

Fanning went on to offer that he was not concerned about surfing against Andy Irons again tomorrow in round four, after beating him soundly in their round one, as well as winning their quarter-final exchange in the first event of the year on the Gold Coast.

“It doesn’t bother me at all, who I’m going up against next. It’s just another coloured jersey to me, said the focussed Fanning.

“I don’t keep tallies on the scores between Andy and I, but I think I’ve only got two up on him in the last few years, continued Fanning, sounding somewhat listless.

“The waves out there were quite weak. I felt wobbly and not that great out at all. I’ve got to go home now and re-assess what I just did, said Fanning before walking off towards his car.

“I’m looking forward to surfing against Mick again, offered Irons after comboing wildcard Jamie O’Brien in the following heat.

“It’s still early in the contest and I’ll get a lot of momentum if I beat him. It’s going to be big heat for sure, and I’m not going to take it lightly. He’s definitely the guy to beat right now. Hopefully I’ll get some good waves and a couple of lucky breaks, said Irons.

After such an exhaustive day, and surfing one and a half rounds, it’s hard to pinpoint what was a day of inspiring performances, but the best of the rest definitely included Luke Egan who racked up a 9.6 on his third ride against Brazil’s Marcelo Nunes, who would have otherwise been happy after scoring two sevens and a high eight, but was still needing a 9.38 ride.

Cory Lopez was also on fire, surfing the long lefts on hyper-speed to end up with a 9.63 and 9.0 against Australia’s Phil Macdonald who sarcastically offered that he might only surf in speedo’s so as to reduce his weight in the small conditions. As it turned out, with just one wave underbelt, his comical offer might not have made much difference.

Cory’s fellow Floridians, the Hobgood brothers, also continued their winning form, CJ again on heat catching nine waves including a 9.67 and 8.67, while Damien was a clear winner over Taylor Knox.

The USA west coasters had a bad day overall. Taylor got 9.1 for massacring one clean high tide right, but still lost to Damien Hobgood, CJ took out Beschen, Slater went down to Durbidge, and last event’s runner-up Chris Ward had no answer for a stylised charge from Australia’s Daniel Wills.

To add even more fire to American woes, we saw Darren O’Rafferty take out Hawaiian Sunny Garcia, Trent Munro get by Kalani Robb, and Jake Paterson stop Fred Patacchia’s run in a great tradesman like exchange.

Brazil also fared badly with Nunes, Rosa, Ribas, and Padaratz all losing out.

We go into tomorrow’s fourth round, and possibly all the way to the final of the Rip Curl Pro with 12 Australians, three Americans and one Hawaiian. Who will ring The Bell?

“It’s no less sweet not being at Bells, commented defending Rip Curl Pro champion Joel Parkinson.

“Everyone knows there’s still 1200 points up for grabs and a Bell to be rung. In the end it’s not going to matter where it’s rung, but who rings it! said Parkinson.

Tune in to www.ripcurl.com and watch the action unfold.

We’re in for another early start tomorrow, so the next report for the Rip Curl Pro will be in the Woolamai car park at 6.00am for a 6.30am start on (Thursday morning). Heavy!

Pray for surf!
From Paul Sargeant

RESULTS:

ROUND THREE(1st>Rnd4; 2nd=17th place/USD$4500 & 410 points)

H1: Luke Egan (AUS) 17.97 def. Marcelo Nunes (BRZ) 16.30
H2:Richie Lovett (AUS) 16.77 def. Michael Lowe (AUS) 11.34
H3: Cory Lopez (USA) 18.63 def. Phil Macdonald (AUS) 6.67
H4: CJ Hobgood (USA) 18.34 def. Shane Beschen (USA) 14.40
H5: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.73 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 16.60
H6: Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.40 def. Peterson Rosa (BRZ) 9.00
H7:Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.56 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.27
H8: Andy Irons (HAW) 16.33 def. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 11.23
H9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.47 def. Victor Ribas (BRZ) 14.17
H10:Daniel Wills (AUS) 14.00 def. Chris Ward (USA) 9.70
H11: Darren o’Rafferty (AUS)14.83 def. Sunny Garica (HAW) 13.76
H12:Jake Paterson (AUS) 16.57 def. Fred Patacchia Jnr (HAW) 15.46
H13:Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.23 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 17.16
H14:Trent Munro (AUS) 15.50 def. Kalani Robb (HAW) 14.04
H15: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.33 def. Neco Padaratz (BRZ) 14.57
H16:Troy Brooks (AUS) 13.10 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 12.50

The Rip Curl Pro is Australia’s longest running professional surfing event and holds a proud place in surfing folklore, stretching back to 1973. The Rip Curl Pro’s status as one of six Victorian Government-designated Hallmark International Sporting Events each year, alongside the Melbourne Formula One and Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Australian Tennis Open, the Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final, is an acknowledgment of its contribution to the state’s rich sporting culture.

The Rip Curl Pro is proudly presented by Deakin University, associated with Surfing Victoria, the Surf Coast Shire Council, the Victorian Government Department of Tourism, Sport & The Commonwealth Games, the Association of Surfing Professionals, Foster’s, and supported by sponsors Telstra, Chupa Chups, National Australia Bank, Falls Creek, Schweppes, Four’n Twenty Pies and Tracks.clear winner over Taylor Knox.

The USA west coasters had a bad day overall. Taylor got 9.1 for massacring one clean high tide right, but still lost to Damien Hobgood, CJ took out Beschen, Slater went down to Durbidge, and last event’s runner-up Chris Ward had no answer for a stylised charge from Australia’s Daniel Wills.

To add even more fire to American woes, we saw Darren O’Rafferty take out Hawaiian Sunny Garcia, Trent Munro get by Kalani Robb, and Jake Paterson stop Fred Patacchia’s run in a great tradesman like exchange.

Brazil also fared badly with Nunes, Rosa, Ribas, and Padaratz all losing out.

We go into tomorrow’s fourth round, and possibly all the way to the final of the Rip Curl Pro with 12 Australians, three Americans and one Hawaiian. Who will ring The Bell?

“It’s no less sweet not being at Bells, commented defending Rip Curl Pro champion Joel Parkinson.

“Everyone knows there’s still 1200 points up for grabs and a Bell to be rung. In the end it’s not going to matter where it’s rung, but who rings it! said Parkinson.

Tune in to www.ripcurl.com and watch the action unfold.

We’re in for another early start tomorrow, so the next report for the Rip Curl Pro will be in the Woolamai car park at 6.00am for a 6.30am start on (Thursday morning). Heavy!

Pray for surf!
From Paul Sargeant

RESULTS:

ROUND THREE(1st>Rnd4; 2nd=17th place/USD$4500 & 410 points)

H1: Luke Egan (AUS) 17.97 def. Marcelo Nunes (BRZ) 16.30
H2:Richie Lovett (AUS) 16.77 def. Michael Lowe (AUS) 11.34
H3: Cory Lopez (USA) 18.63 def. Phil Macdonald (AUS) 6.67
H4: CJ Hobgood (USA) 18.34 def. Shane Beschen (USA) 14.40
H5: Damien Hobgood (USA) 16.73 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 16.60
H6: Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.40 def. Peterson Rosa (BRZ) 9.00
H7:Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.56 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 12.27
H8: Andy Irons (HAW) 16.33 def. Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 11.23
H9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.47 def. Victor Ribas (BRZ) 14.17
H10:Daniel Wills (AUS) 14.00 def. Chris Ward (USA) 9.70
H11: Darren o’Rafferty (AUS)14.83 def. Sunny Garica (HAW) 13.76
H12:Jake Paterson (AUS) 16.57 def. Fred Patacchia Jnr (HAW) 15.46
H13:Bede Durbidge (AUS) 17.23 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 17.16
H14:Trent Munro (AUS) 15.50 def. Kalani Robb (HAW) 14.04
H15: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.33 def. Neco Padaratz (BRZ) 14.57
H16:Troy Brooks (AUS) 13.10 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 12.50

The Rip Curl Pro is Australia’s longest running professional surfing event and holds a proud place in surfing folklore, stretching back to 1973. The Rip Curl Pro’s status as one of six Victorian Government-designated Hallmark International Sporting Events each year, alongside the Melbourne Formula One and Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix, the Australian Tennis Open, the Melbourne Cup and the AFL Grand Final, is an acknowledgment of its contribution to the state’s rich sporting culture.

The Rip Curl Pro is proudly presented by Deakin University, associated with Surfing Victoria, the Surf Coast Shire Council, the Victorian Government Department of Tourism, Sport & The Commonwealth Games, the Association of Surfing Professionals, Foster’s, and supported by sponsors Telstra, Chupa Chups, National Australia Bank, Falls Creek, Schweppes, Four’n Twenty Pies and Tracks.