UPSET CENTRAL World's Best Rattled in Round 3 of Boost Mobile Pro

Well, you can pretty much count all but four of the ASP's current Top 16 out of the Boost Mobile Pro. Between inconsistent southern hemi conditions, a few upsets and two wildcards absolutely wreaking havoc, competitors and Fantasy Surfer fanatics alike were left scratching their heads wonder what the f–k just happened. Yesterday it was merely an interesting turn of events when Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson were dispatched by Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith, respectively, but today, after Reynolds made world title hopeful Mick Fanning look old and with a convincing trouncing of Andy Irons, Smith confirmed you should indeed believe the hype surrounding him, it immediately became more that apparent that these two had arrived, and arrived in full force. And don't think for a minute that the top dogs missed this shot across the bow. You could see the tension in Irons surfing as the minutes waned in his heat, Fanning was so out of sorts after Reynolds opened with a 9.93 that he attempted a feeble, uncharacteristic air reverse on his second wave, and yesterday, after losing to Smith, Parko punched his board, hit the stringer and ended up having to get his knuckles sewn together before heading off to France.

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Other than the handful of world title contenders who've bowed out, Bruce Irons, Bobby Martinez, Bede Durbidge (who finally found a sponsor), Dean Morrison, Danny Wills, Pancho Sullivan and a few others were all sent packing. This means two things: First is that when this contest wraps up on Saturday afternoon the rating are going to look completely different, but second, and more interestingly, the door has swung wide-open for Kelly Slater to make a charge at his ninth world title. Yes, "the greatest bald surfer in the world," as dubbed by Rob Machado, could very easily turn it on the second half of the season and do it all over again. Even after struggling to find the proper headspace through the first half of the year, Slater's been able to keep himself in the hunt, only 1,000 points behind Fanning, and now with everybody in front of him gone, the champ knows he can ratchet down the pressure, plus he knows very solid results in France, Spain, Brazil and Hawaii aren't out of the realm of possibilities. "You can feel it in the air," he was heard saying before paddling for his heat.

While the forecast looks like more of the same for the next few days, watching all of these guys surf normal, human waves and not mutant South Pacific barrels is a lot of fun, and it just shows to go, on any given day on the ASP World Tour anybody is capable of beating anybody, and that's a good thing.


Heat 1: Troy Brooks (AUS) vs. Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 2: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Neco Paearatz (BRA)
Heat 3: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: C.J Hobgood (USA), Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 8: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)

Heat 1: Troy Brooks (AUS) 13.70 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.00
Heat 2: Chris Ward (USA) 11.50 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.60
Heat 3: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.50 def. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 11.73
Heat 4: Neco Padaratz (BRA) 16.73 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.00
Heat 5: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 16.77 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 9.77
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.33 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.97
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.00 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.27
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.70 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.50
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.67 def. Rob Machado (USA) 9.73
Heat 10: Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 12.27 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.90
Heat 11: Taylor Knox (USA) 16.90 def. Victor Ribas (BRA) 11.66
Heat 12: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.94 def. Michael Campbell (AUS) 13.47
Heat 13: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.67 def. Andy Irons (HAW) 12.40
Heat 14: Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.00 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 11.93
Heat 15: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 13.90 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.83
Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.50 def. Leonardo Neves (AUS) 10.50