Today started slow in Puerto Rico, so the decision was made to put the contest on hold until 10am to see if the dropping tide would help the conditions. After that call was made, most of the competitors chose to drive off in all directions to get surf at the many nearby nooks and crannies. Everyone there had been processing the loss of our dear friend, Andy Irons, the last few days and surfing has proven to be the best way to honor his memory.
After the morning break, the guys returned to the venue to find an increasing swell and vastly improved winds. It changed from light and variable to howling offshore with the passing rain showers. Numerous tubes were found, with several scoring in the excellent range. The real highlights from today, however, came from several surfers ability to utilize the perfect combination of size, shape, and light winds to put on one of the most exciting displays of high performance surfing ever unleashed on the World Tour. From Matt Wilkinson’s silky smooth rodeo to Dane and Jordy’s raw explosiveness, witnesses were often at a loss for words with all the action going on in the water. The Rip Curl Search Pro may not be scoring the big and perfect surf spectators are used to seeing in previous events, but what they are scoring is a perfect venue that showcases how far competitive surfing has progressed in the last few years.
Dane’s surfing especially highlighted the change in what is now possible on a wave, and how high a surfer can be scored for a single maneuver. Along with Jordy, those two have been miles ahead of their peers with their performances thus far in Puerto Rico. Ideally, coming from opposite sides of the draw, a Jordy vs Dane final would be one for the ages.
Kelly Slater continued his push toward a tenth world-title today by first surviving the red-hot wildcard Dylan Graves. In the next round, after being hassled by Adriano de Souza the entire heat, an interference call allowed Kelly to take the win and advance directly to the quarterfinals. If Kelly wins his next heat, he will have accomplished the unfathomable distinction of winning 10 World Titles. With the surf and winds expected to be favorable tomorrow, it looks as if the contest will run and we could see Kelly make history.
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.16 def. Dusty Payne (USA) 9.00
Heat 2:Taylor Knox (USA) 14.10 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.73
Heat 3:Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.04 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.70
Heat 4:Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.70 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.90
Heat 5:Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.06 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.84
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.07
Heat 7:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 11.43
Heat 8:Chris Davidson (AUS) Advances Over Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) N/S
Heat 9:Owen Wright (AUS) 17.50 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.27
Heat 10:Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.37 def. Dan Ross (AUS) 11.80
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.33 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.54
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.60 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 12.10
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.57, Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.23, Taylor Knox (USA) 13.70
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.20, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.42, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.60
Heat 3:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.80, Owen Wright (AUS) 14.26, Chris Davidson (AUS) 8.16
Heat 4:Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.70, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.53, Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.30
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 3:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)