Billabong Rio Pro gets underway at Arpoador

One week after the waiting period started for the Billabong Rio Pro, the first men’s heat finally hit the water in Brazil this morning. With a new swell showing and better conditions than yesterday, contest organizers moved the event to Arpoador, a left hand sand bank that breaks off of a large rock headland. The wave is rather lumpy, closed out, and backwash-y, but did offer some steep faces to carve.

Round one was completed, with the elimination round 2 expected to run tomorrow morning at the same location. The only big upset of the round was Bells champion Joel Parkinson failing to advance over Taylor Knox and Matt Wilkinson in the last heat of round 1. Knox took the heat with some standard rail work, with Wilko’s aerial attack falling just short. Parko never seemed to be in the heat.

Another surprise in round 1 was the Brazilian performances, or lack thereof, considering the waves and home crowd were backing them. Jadson Andre put in a great performance in heat 7, using turns and a rare barrel to win his heat instead of the usual air-reverses we see from him. Andre aside, all other Brazilians have been relegated to round 2.

The usual suspects, Kelly, Taj, and Mick, all won their heats today. Kelly secured the highest score of the day with a three turn left which he surfed flawlessly for a 9. Julian Wilson put up a good fight, but fell less than a point short.

Jordy Smith fell to Pat Gudang in a oddly low scoring heat number 5. None of the three surfers broke into double digits for their 2 wave total. All 2 struggled to position themselves for any decent rides.

The man-on-man elimination round 2 is expected to begin at 8 am local time tomorrow, 4 am west coast time.

event site here.

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

Round 2 match-ups: