The two lead horses in the 2014 ASP World Title Race both made their heats to skip to Round 3 of the Moche Rip Curl Pro in Portugal today. Although he took a while to get going, Kelly Slater (USA) did finally string together the highest heat total of Round 1, while Gabriel Medina (BRA) started quick and easily took the win over former event champ, Kai Otten (AUS), and wildcard, Jacob Wilcox (AUS).
Gabriel Medina is just a few punts and tubes away from a possible world title.
The world title is up for grabs by the Brazilian at Supertubos should he win the Rip Curl Pro. And if he doesn’t, then it’s a simple case of Kelly having to finish higher (pretty much win the event) to take the title race to the season ending Billabong Pipe Masters. You can read all the scenarios here on aspworldtour.com.
With the title race stealing most of the headlines, Jordy Smith (ZAF) created his own with a massive boost in his heat to advance to Round 3 as well. His 9.27-scoring punt was probably the highlight of the day, if chunky brown tubes aren’t your cup of tea. Watch it below, it was incredible.
The Hurley Pro at Lowers champ looked like he had a real spring in his step as he gouged from section to section and easily scored Round 1’s second highest heat total – 16.60 – to relegate Australians Mitch Crews and Ace Buchan to Round 2.
Travis Logie (ZAF) meanwhile, didn’t have it so easy in his match-up. The Durban local had to deal with some tough conditions in the first heat of the morning and had a quick in-and-out on his opening ride, before getting bucked off by a bouncy section on his second. And that pretty much summed up his heat, although he did manage to crack one section properly with one of his patented backhand lighting bolts (and scored the sick photo below too). Taj Burrow (AUS) took the heat and advanced to Round 3.
*Spoiler Alert* Travis unfortunately didn’t make this air, or his heat.
The forecast is predicting rapidly building swell by tomorrow afternoon, but with gusting onshore winds. Whether they’ll try and get some of Round 2 surfed before the maelstrom hits, you’ll have to tune in to aspworldtour.com at 8:30am (SA time) for the Morning Show to find out.