BELLS BEACH, Victoria/Australia (Sunday, April 4, 2010) – The remaining six Round 1 heats of the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by SNICKERS were completed in windy, punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Bells Beach this morning, and the world's best surfers let loose with a barrage of progressive surfing exhibitions.
Event No. 2 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach boasts the culmination of the Australian leg of the ASP Dream Tour, and today's conditions lent themselves to high-performance aerial surfing at its finest.
Patrick Gudauskas (USA), 24, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, was outstanding in the opening heat of the morning, coming from behind with an impressive 8.77 out of a possible 10 single-wave score for an electric combination of aerials and progressive turns. The score pushed him ahead of opponents Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, and Jay Thompson (AUS), 27, to advance directly through to Round 3.
"That wave was deeper on the peak and it had a really good wedge on it," Gudauskas said. "I was just trying to go big and not hold back. The beauty of the first round is you can just throw it out there and see what happens. Jordy (Smith) is really talented in conditions like this, and in every condition, and Jay Thompson is phenomenal himself so I was just hoping to get something started. I actually had a pretty slow start in that heat."
Michel Bourez (PYF), 24, into his second year on the ASP World Tour, was another to dominate the morning's wedging righthanders in a shootout bout against veteran Taylor Knox (USA), 38, and rookie Adam Melling (AUS), 25. With all three posting solid scores, it was Bourez who secured the win on the final wave, belting a running righthander in a flurry of high-power, progressive forehand bashes.
"I knew I only needed a small score so I just caught the first wave that I saw," Bourez said. "I expected the surfer in blue to get it, but he was pretty far away so I thought 'this is my last chance' and I got the score on it. It's way different than what I'm used to. At home, I usually surf without a wetsuit – it's always warm, and there are good waves too. Today's not that good. I hope it'll get better tomorrow or the day after."
Dusty Payne (HAW), 21, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie, is renowned for his futuristic blend of high-speed carves and technical aerial prowess and the fleet-footed Hawaiian utilized both as he dismantled his Round 1 heat today in the dying moments.
"Kieren (Perrow) got off to an early lead with a good wave at the beginning and then Ben (Dunn) stepped up and took the heat after that," Payne said. "I was sitting out back thinking 'I don't want to get smoked in my first heat out here', so I just put my head down and tried my hardest. It takes a little bit of nerves off to win out there, but I'm glad to skip the second round and move on to Round 3."
Other big Round 1 winners today included Tom Whitaker (AUS), 30, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 28, and Roy Powers (HAW), 29.
When competition resumes, up first will be Bede Durbidge (AUS), 27, up against wildcard Stuart Kennedy (AUS), 20.
Highlights from today's Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by SNICKERS will be available via live.ripcurl.com.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be televised LIVE in Australia on FUEL TV. For more information, check out foxsports.com.au/fueltv.
For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.
REMAINING RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 11: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.84, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.33, Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.16
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.63, Adam Melling (AUS) 12.43, Taylor Knox (USA) 12.33
Heat 13: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 9.93, Brett Simpson (AUS) 9.23, Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.83
Heat 14: Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.26, Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.50, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 10.34
Heat 15: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.94, Owen Wright (AUS) 10.83, Drew Courtney (AUS) 7.50
Heat 16: Roy Powers (HAW) 12.84, Dean Morrison (AUS) 9.50, Luke Munro (AUS) 8.34
REMAINING RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Adam Robertson (AUS)
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 8: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 9: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Nate Yeomans (USA)
Heat 11: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 12: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 13: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 14: Mick Campbell (AUS) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 15: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 16: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)