While it won't go down as the most riveting day of competitive surfing in history, Day 1 of the 2011 Hurley Pro at Trestles did enjoy some good performances and some interesting Round 1 match-ups.
Most notable of the morning's heats was the brief flicker of a decade old rivalry between Rob Machado and Kelly Slater. While the surfing itself didn't set the world alight, the paddle battling and competitiveness between Slater, Machado and Fred Patacchia was pretty entertaining to watch. As could be expected, Slater emerged victorious after surfing a smart heat on a board that looked like a magic carpet in the sloppy conditions.
In lock-step with Slater, Owen Wright advanced through his opening round heat and leapt into Round 3. After Jordy Smith opted to miss the event citing an injured rib, the surf world is looking to Wright to provide some opposition for Slater as he marches towards another World Title.
There was a lot of buzz about the newbies making their first appearance following the mid-year "rotation" but all of them failed to win their heats. Of the rookies, Gabriel Medina put on the strongest performance but still lost narrowly to Adriano de Souza who looked unflappable despite the conditions.
Highly-touted rookie John Florence had ample opportunities to show off his abilities (and win his heat) but he suffered a serious case of maiden-World-Tour-appearance jitters. His heat enjoyed a small pulse in the swell that he failed to capitalize on. But even Florence's best would still had to have contended with an on-fire Jeremy Flores who carved the little rights like he was surfing J-Bay.
Organizers will assess the conditions Monday morning to decide if we’ll run Round 2, but it seems more likely that the event will recommence on Wednesday.
HURLEY PRO TRESTLES ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.96, Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.53, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.00
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.43, Heitor Alves (BRA) 14.13, John Florence (HAW) 9.43
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.66, Adam Melling (AUS) 12.36, Chris Davidson (AUS) 9.80
Heat 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.60, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.37, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.87
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.57, Rob Machado (USA) 13.50, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.40
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.67, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.10, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.13
Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.70, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.50, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.80
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.40, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.50, Kai Otton (AUS) 9.83
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.17, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.87, Dusty Payne (HAW) 8.77
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.60, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.33, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.53
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.00, Damien Hobgood (USA) 9.90, Daniel Ross (AUS) 6.75
Heat 12: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.40, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.94, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.90