ARICA, Chile (Sunday, June 24, 2007
Round 2 of the Rip Curl Pro Search ran ten heats of Foster's ASP World Tour action at Ex Isla Alacran today. Heats 4 through 10 were run in eight foot (two and a half metre) sets before the winds turned onshore and competition was called off.
Californian Chris Ward (USA) claimed the best barrel and the highest wave score of the day to eliminate Floridian Gabe Kling (USA) from their Round 2 heat. Ward's committed take off and subsequent six second cover-up garnered him a 9.83 wave score.
"I was lucky to get that wave and have it open up at the end because I was pulling in no matter what," Ward said. "I have a couple of backup boards on the beach and that's the way you've got to do it – you've just got to pull in. You never know if it's going to open up or closeout on you, you've just got to charge it. You end up on the rocks if you don't make it."
Ward was among the surfers charging the mammoth waves at Ex Isla Alacran during the two day competition recess. The Rip Curl Pro Search was put on hold the past two days citing dangerous conditions and the surfer's safety.
"These are the most dangerous waves I've ever surfed," Ward said. "This spot is right up there with Pipe and Teahupoo. It breaks in shallow water and there's no eel grass like we have in California to protect you from hitting the reef – just jagged rocks with barnacles and mussels. It doesn't feel too good on your feet without booties but I like surfing without them so it's worth a couple scrapes."
Also scoring an excellent barrel ride and eliminating last year's World No. 9 Tom Whitaker (AUS) was wildcard Bruno Santos of Brazil. Santos, who earned a wildcard into last month's Foster's ASP World Tour event in Tahiti, surfed against Whitaker in Round 2 there as well but with the opposite outcome.
"Tom is a big seed and a really good surfer but I feel really comfortable here," Santos said. "That one wasn't even a set wave and I almost fell inside the barrel because I was so deep but I like this kind of wave— big left barrels— and I'm really happy here."
Mick Lowe (AUS) bounced back from one of the worst wipeouts of the day to steal a last minute lead over Luke Stedman (AUS). Lowe slotted himself in a sizeable tube not long after breaking his board and paddling out on one smaller than he'd have preferred.
"It was all happening in that heat," Lowe said. "I penetrated first and thought I had it pretty easy, but then I went back over again. Luckily I was wearing a lot of rubber because I landed on my butt pretty hard. My board was broken so I let myself get washed in and grabbed another board. I was pumped up. The board felt pretty small but it got me that good wave and got me through the heat."
Two heats of Round 2 remain to be run. Heat 15 will feature Bernardo Miranda (BRA) vs. CJ Hobgood. Heat 16 will see Greg Emslie (ZAF) take on Josh Kerr (AUS). Another call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7am.
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH CHILE REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 15: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) vs. CJ Hobgood (USA)
Heat 16: Greg Emslie (ZAF) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH CHILE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.50 def. Christian Merello (CHL) 5.90
Heat 2: Andy Irons (HAW) 13.20 def. Manuel Selman (CHL) 12.00
Heat 3: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 13.73 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.50
Heat 4: Bruno Santos (BRA) 16.43 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 4.83
Heat 5: Daniel Wills (AUS) 4.47 def. David Weare (ZAF) 3.84
Heat 6: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.33 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 4.64
Heat 7: Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.50 def. Neco Padaratz (BRA) 9.63
Heat 8: Chris Ward (USA) 15.66 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 7.67
Heat 9: Ben Dunn (AUS) 12.00 def. Troy Brooks (AUS) 10.16
Heat 10: Michael Lowe (AUS) 12.23 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 6.34
Heat 11: Royden Bryson (ZAF) N/A def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) N/S
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.67 def. Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 3.50
Heat 13: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 7.10 def. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 5.04
Heat 14: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.40 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 10.00