Big Names Rise and Fall in Rd. 1 of Rip Curl Pro

By on October 14, 2014

Although it’s the first round of heats for the Moche Rip Curl Pro in Portugal, the 10th stop on the Sansung Galaxy ASP World Tour, it’s an important one. Advance through the first three-man heat and you’re straight to round 3. Fall to the winner and you’re stuck in the do or die round 2 with the chance of taking home an equal 25th. That said, some big names made their presence known as the march toward this year’s ASP World Title continued. Current world number 1, Gabriel Medina, who can claim his country’s first world title this week, advanced over Kai Otton and event wildcard Jacob Wilcox. Behind him Kelly Slater, who advanced after taking out Matty Wilkinson and the other wildcard Nic Von Rupp. For Slater and Medina, nothing’s better than a first heat win. It builds their momentum and puts the pressure on each other. Other Top 10 surfers to advance include Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson, each with a mathematical shot at the world title, although very slim, as in nearly impossible.

The surf for the opening day was a little choppy and unorganized, making it anyone’s game in the two- to three-foot surf. John John Florence, Michel Bourez and Mick Fanning fluttered and missed advancing. Round 2 will continue tomorrow as competitors anticipate a nice swell heading toward Portugal. With world titles on the line, it will be one of the more interesting events of the year. Check out all the action on www.aspworldtour.com

Watch Gabriel’s Round 1 here!

Photo: Gabriel Medina spun his web in Round 1. Photo by ASP / Kirstin Scholtz/ ASP Handout

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