Dylan Graves won his heat at the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico today. Talk to anyone on the island tonight and that’s what they’ll tell you. Pick up the morning paper and you’ll be reading that headline. And if you were at the event after Dylan came in from his Round 2 heat you would have witnessed him on the brink of tears as the entire beach showered him with adoration (along with beer, water, and whatever other liquid was nearby.) It was one of the better surf contest moments I’ve been fortunate enough to witness. And all he did was advance into the third round of competition.
Next up for Dylan is a Round 3 match-up with Kelly Slater. A few days ago during the press conference, Kelly explicitly warned Jordy Smith: “I wouldn’t want to go up against Dylan in front of this crowd.” Furthermore, Dylan is surfing his homebreak. Could it be that we may just have to wait until Hawaii to see Kelly claim his tenth world title? It's possible, but if Jordy Smith loses his next heat it won't matter.
Coincidentally, Jordy’s opponent in his next heat is another Floridian, Gabe Kling. If Gabe delivers the the knockout blow in the World Title race, he would forever be linked to the greatest surfer of all time and his monumental 10th world title. All of Florida will be pulling for Gabe when this heat hits the water.
The women's world title could also be decided as early as tomorrow. If Stephanie Gilmore defeats Melanie Bartels in their next heat, Steph will achieve an unprecedented fourth World Title in four consecutive years…at only 22 years of age.
No decision has yet been made on who will be surfing tomorrow, but there was a lot of talk around the contest tower about finishing the women’s event. Then, with under two days of men's competition left the Rip Curl Search Pro, organizers will monitor the swell forecast (and hurricane Tomas) very closely, enabling them to find the best surf Puerto Rico has on offer to complete the event.
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.77 def. Dillon Perillo (USA) 9.40
Heat 2:Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.10 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.03
Heat 3:Gabe Kling (USA) 12.83 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.50
Heat 4:Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.80 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 10.07
Heat 5:Roy Powers (HAW) 12.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.64
Heat 6:Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.93 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 4.66
Heat 7:Dusty Payne (HAW) Advances Past Andy Irons (HAW)*
Heat 8:Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.10 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 10.86
Heat 9:Taylor Knox (USA) 13.84 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 9.43
Heat 10:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.33 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.93
Heat 11:Brett Simpson (USA) 14.43 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.23
Heat 12:Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
* Andy Irons formally withdrew from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico today, citing an illness contracted from the previous event in Portugal. Dusty Payne automatically advances to Round 3.
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (USA)
Heat 2:C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 3:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 4:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 5:Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Bobby Martinez (USA)
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Dylan Graves (PRI)
Heat 7:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 8:Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 9:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
RIP CURL WOMEN'S PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 7.56 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 7.03
Heat 2:Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 10.67 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.60
Heat 3:Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.94 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.70
Heat 4:Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.57 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.26
Heat 5:Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.83 def. Nikita Robb (ZAF) 7.40
Heat 6:Coco Ho (HAW) 13.17 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.06
Heat 7:Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.00 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 7.87
Heat 8:Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.73 def. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 9.17
RIP CURL WOMEN'S PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1:Lee Ann Curren (FRA) vs. Chelsea Hedges (AUS)
QF 2:Melanie Bartels (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 3:Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
QF 4:Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)