CHILE CON CARNAGE Destruction by the Numbers in Arica

From Arica’s rock-spattered turquoise slabs to its ominous silver skies, the 2007 Rip Curl Pro Search Chile has certainly fronted a less-than-inviting vibe. It’s cold. It’s rocky. And it’s dangerous. While “the search” for perfection typically connotes glowing blues with crystal curtains, Rip Curl has managed to fall within the parameters of perfect with a dangerous, yet interesting, twist. Just ask Adriano de Souza – or Roydon Bryson – or, for that matter, Kelly Slater. While each WCT location introduces an element of risk, (some certainly more than others) the body count at the 2007 Rip Curl Pro Search Chile has grown to a noticeably high number. Here's a look at the casualties by the numbers, Chile con carnage, if you will:

· 9: The number of broken boards after four rounds of competition
· 15: The number of stitches in Adriano de Souza's head
· 1400: The cost (in dollars) of Adriano's stitches and a flight home
· 2: The number of girls who fainted while requesting Dean Morrison's autograph
· 4: The number of times Roydon Bryson considered NOT paddling back out after getting stuck in a hole mid-heat
· 139: The number of Chilean groms who skipped school to check out the contest
· 100,000: The amount of money in contest winnings Rip Curl has paid Andy Irons within the last year
· 1.47: The margin of victory Dean Morrison's event-highlighting heat brought him over Kelly Slater
· 9: The number of times more difficult it will be for Kelly to win a 9th World Title
· 180,000: The number of results conjured by the Google search, “Kelly Slater Retirement”
· 75: The number of people who think this is actually his last year
· 24: The number of seconds Bobby Martinez and Mick Fanning's heat lasted before Contest Directors postponed the Quarter Finals
· 9: The degree to which Joel Parkinson was pissed off – on a scale of 1 to 10 when the event was postponed after his heat’s sub-par conditions

As we can see, Rip Curl's Search contest has laid a heavy damage bill down at the surf industry's doorstep; people are paying some serious dues here. With rumors of Kelly's retirement highlighting the laundry list of destruction, it's safe to say that this contest, at the very least, will be a memorable one. Critics thought "Somewhere in Mexico" couldn't be topped, and that remains debatable, but someone has to foot this bill. Let's hope it stays just as fun watching the destruction unfold as it is piecing it all back together.