15 October, 2013 15 October, 2013

Mick steps towards World Title, as Slater steps back – Rip Curl Pro Portugal


Just four heats of Round 2 were run yesterday at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.  The waves were barely contestable, and the world title race took another major turn.

Kelly Slater’s title chances were looking slight ahead of the Portugal event, and they’re looking even slimmer after he lost to local wildcard Frederico Morais in Heat 2, while current ratings leader Mick Fanning advanced over another local wildcard, Francisco Alves.

Should Mick continue to advance all the way and make it back-to-back finals, following his win at the last event in France, then he’ll be drinking champagne out of the ASP world title trophy before the tour moves on to Hawaii.

Frederico Morais was up for the challenge during his Round 2 heat against Kelly Slater.

The other surfers advancing to Round 3 during a short day of competition were Adriano de Souza and Michel Bourez, but they too were scrappy affairs as nobody managed to post any meaningful scores in the 7-plus range throughout the morning.

Contest directors have a tough job choosing when to run heats, especially when the forecast is not looking promising, and the decision to run heats yesterday has been met with mixed reactions from surf fans (especially considering the implications of the world title race). However, at the end of the day you can argue that the better prepared surfers saw their way through to the next round.

You have to be prepared for anything on the Dream Tour, so much we’ve learnt, and Mick looks like he’s got that twinkle in his eye – like white lightning ready to strike.


Check out live.ripcurl.com for all the highlights, results and heat reviews from the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Official press release below




Slater falls while Fanning advances in ASP World Title shakeup at Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

October 14, 2013 – The Rip Curl Pro Portugal presented my Moche resumed Monday morning in windy two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at the primary venue of Supertubos, completing the first four heats of Round 2 before conditions deteriorated and forced event organizers to call competition off for the day.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Portugal could witness an early crowning of this year’s ASP World Champion, with this morning’s shock elimination of Kelly Slater (USA), 41, in Round 2 opening the door for current ASP WCT No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, to capitalize in his hunt for a third world surfing crown.

Frederico Morais (PRT), 21, current ASP World No. 96, was the instrument of upset this morning, taking out the 11-time ASP World Champion in Round 2 of competition. The young regular-footer, from the nearby coastal city of Cascais, appeared in rhythm with the tricky morning conditions, executing a number of aerial maneuvers en route to the result of his young career.

“I can’t believe it right now, it was a tough heat and I knew Kelly (Slater) could get the score whenever,” Morais said. “Against Kelly Slater, you’re never safe, but I knew with that second good score it was possible and I tried to focus on doing my job and it worked.”

Slater was unable to find the best opportunities in a shifty lineup of Supertubos this morning and was handed his first 25th place finish of the year. Today’s result marks another in the icon’s up-and-down season with Slater holding a mixed bag of results heading into the final event of the season in Hawaii.

“Frederico (Morais) had the better waves and capitalized on it, he made a couple big moves,” Slater said. “I’m expecting now that I’ll probably need to win or at least make the Final in Hawaii for a shot at it. We got almost two months now, I’m going to go do some rehab, get my body back together and try to get my mind back in it. If this week works out, great; if not, well Mick (Fanning) has been the great performer of the year. Obviously his results have been great at every event, it’s hard to beat a guy like that.”

Fanning, current frontrunner in the hunt for the 2013 ASP World Title, survived a dangerous Round 2 match-up against event wildcard Francisco Alves (PRT) 20, in the opening heat of the day. Despite the challenging conditions, Fanning demonstrated his signature speed and power to advance into the third round and move one step closer to his third world surfing crown.

“It’s been a long weel of getting up early every morning,” Fanning said. “This morning, conditions felt alright and once we got out there it felt a little bit weaker with that tide coming in. I’m just stoked to get the heat done and start moving. When you get the wildcard, people always want to see the underdog win, especially in Portugal where the fans are just fanatical but it’s really cool to see. Francisco (Alves) surfs really well.”

Michel Bourez (PYF) 27, dominated his second round encounter against wildcard Dillon Perillo (USA), 23, putting together multiple combinations in the early minutes of their exchange to net a 14.50 point heat total, the highest of the day.

“Dillon (Perillo) is not on tour, but I know him well and I think he was trying to go big,” Bourez stated. “I went there with a plan of putting pressure on him right from the beginning. When I got my two scores I kind of sat on him, I don’t really like to do that but it’s part of the job. Those heats are really slow and there are not that many waves.”

Bourez advances directly to Round 3 of competition.

Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, capped off the morning’s action with a strong performance of his own, eliminating compatriot Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 31, in a spirited display of progressive aerial surfing.

Event organizers will reconvene Tuesday morning at 7:45am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start.

When competition recommences, up first will be C.J. Hobgood (USA), 34, up against Yadin Nicol (AUS), 27, in Heat 5 of Round 2.

Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.00 def. Francisco Alves (PRT) 8.93
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.34 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.13
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.50 def. Dillon Perillo (USA) 8.26
Heat 4: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.60 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.03

Heat 5: C.J Hobgood (USA) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)

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