15 May, 2015 15 May, 2015

Rookies Surprise in Round 2 (Oi Rio Pro)

Thunderous four to six-foot pits were unloading on the shallow sandbank at Postinho for Round 2 of the Oi Rio Pro. Many of these were closeouts, which made life difficult for competitors as luck played a major factor on Day 4. The end result were a couple of surprise upsets, with CT rookies Keanu Asing (HAW) and Ricardo Christie (NZL) responsible for the early exits of Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Jordy Smith (ZAF) from Rio.

John John on a bomb between the closeouts.

Mick Fanning (AUS) got the day started with a solid win over Brazilian wildcard David do Carmo in Heat 1. Following that in Heat 2, John John Florence (HAW) left it late to find his two scoring rides, picking off a pair of bombs at the end to ensure he saw off the challenge of wildcard Alex Ribeiro (BRA). A close Heat 3 between Taj Burrow (AUS) and Alejo Muniz (BRA) ended in victory for the world tour veteran, before Josh Kerr (AUS) got the job done against CJ Hobgood (USA) in a low-scoring Heat 4.

Jordy was up next against Ricardo Christie and he got off to a good start by air-dropping into a bowling right, before disappearing behind the thick curtain and squeezing out the other end. His 8.40 reward gave him a good lead and a solid platform on which to build his heat total. Ricardo blasted a committed backhand smash halfway through the heat to score a 4.10, which gave him a chance to peg back Jordy’s lead if he could find a bomb. A decent back-up score was hard to find in the tricky conditions though, and Jordy was unable to add anything significant to his first epic ride. Ricardo then took full advantage when a solid barrelling wedge allowed him a doggy door exit to score a 9.17 and snatch the lead. Jordy was unable to milk the score out of two smaller lefts in the dying minutes of the heat, which meant Ricardo grabbed the spot in Round 3.

Ricardo Christie snuck out this barrel and eliminated Jordy from the Oi Rio Pro.

Nat Young (USA) and Dusty Payne (HAW) advanced over Brett Simpson (USA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) respectively, before Joel Parkinson paddled out to do battle with rookie Keanu Asing in Heat 8.

Keanu struck first and early but it wasn’t a meaningful score. Parko answered back with a low-scoring 2.50 then got flipped-off the back of the jetski on his way back out. He shrugged off the incident by grabbing a 4.33 to momentarily take the lead, but the Hawaiian answered back soon after with a 5.17 to put the ball back in Parko’s court. Neither could find a solid score though, and Parko was left needing a 5.27 with only two and a half minutes remaining. The former world champ found a small right and did what he could on it, but the judges deemed it not enough and awarded him a 5.17. Keanu squeaked through with a narrow win and will face Gabriel Medina (BRA) in Round 3.

It was a bad day at the office for Parko.

Owen Wright (AUS) looked solid in Heat 9, easily getting the best of Glenn Hall (IRL) with some committed turns and a massive floater. Adam Melling (AUS) bested Miguel Pupo (BRA) in Heat 10, followed by a win for Kai Otten (AUS) over Kolohe Andino (USA). Western Australia’s Ace Buchan finished Round 2 with victory over Fred Pattachia (HAW) in Heat 12, setting up some exciting Round 3 match-ups.

Check out heat reviews, photos and highlights from the Oi Rio Pro on worldsurfleague.com

HEAT 1: Mick Fanning 16.63 – David do Carmo 7.94
HEAT 2: John John Florence 14.84 – Alex Ribeiro 10.83
HEAT 3: Taj Burrow 10.74 – Alejo Muniz 10.20
HEAT 4: Josh Kerr 9.27 – CJ Hobgood 5.40
HEAT 5: Ricardo Christie 13.27 – Jordy Smith 12.03
HEAT 6: Nat Young 11.77 – Brett Simpson 7.84
HEAT 7: Dusty Payne 9.23 – Julian Wilson 8.00
HEAT 8: Keanu Asing 9.60 – Joel Parkinson 9.50
HEAT 9: Owen Wright 14.77 – Glen Hall 5.90
HEAT 10: Adam Melling 14.10 – M. Pupo 11.67
HEAT 11: Kai Otton 12.60 – K. Andino 11.10
HEAT 12: Ace Buchan 11.03 – Fred Patacchia Jr. 9.33

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