CHILE HEATS UP Rumors And Results From The Rip Curl Pro Search

That's it, ladies and gentleman. The first two days of the Rip Curl Pro Search in Arica, Chile have wrapped, and it's been interesting to say the least. Adriano De Souza has been hospitalized, Andy Irons flamed out in his Round One heat, Bede Durbidge is out of the contest all together, Kelly barely made it to the event—and admittedly wouldn't have had the swell forecast not been so promising—and Mick Fanning continues to the demonstrate to the world that ledgy lefthand barrels are no longer his Achilles heel. But maybe most entertaining of all has been Tom Curren's work as a color man on the webcast. Move over Marv Albert, Curren's taking over. Being the prognosticator that he is, when asked for his thoughts about how Kelly Slater would do in his Round One heat, after a long pause Curren replied, "Ummm, ummm, probably pretty good." Yes folks, you heard it here first, Kelly Slater will probably do pretty good in Chile.

When asked for his thoughts about how Kelly Slater would do in his Round One heat, after a long pause Curren replied, "Ummm, ummm, probably pretty good." Yes folks, you heard it here first, Kelly Slater will probably do pretty good in Chile.

Sarcasm aside, this contest is proving to be one of the more interesting on tour this year. The headspace of Kelly Slater continues to be a hot topic. And why shouldn't it be? After all he is the defending world champion. In an interview shortly after his Round One victory he seemed somewhat out of sorts as to where his heart lay, but then again, he's a master of head games, so maybe he's just toying with the world until they let their guard down and he makes a move. Who knows with this guy. Maybe even he doesn't know. He remarked he hasn't been surfing much, and was on the fence about even making the trip to Chile. But enticed by the 10 to 12-foot forecast and understanding the importance of this event to the South American surf community, he made it down just in time. Like a lot of surfers in this contest, his Round One heat was the first time he'd surfed the break in Arica.

And speaking of making it down to the event, as just a bit of a side note, the word on the street is the airlines have been making a killing on extra baggage fees. Because most competitors were so perplexed about what boards to bring—Fanning brought everything from his typical 6'1"s to full-on 8'0" guns for the bombie out the back—they're traveling with bigger quivers than normal. Forced to pay $100 a board, Josh Kerr allegedly paid upward of $1,500 just to get his boards to Chile. Cory Lopez and Andy Irons paid about the same. Not necessarily worth bringing back, for now it looks like the locals may score a whole slew of new boards once everybody leaves town.

Back to the happenings on the rocky reef, Adriano De Souza spent the night in the hospital under observation for a brutal head wound he suffered in his first heat. While it's still unknown if he hit his head on the bottom or his board, he did receive 15 stitches for a big gash on his forehead. Still waiting for the big swell to roll in, the combination of smaller waves breaking on the inside shelf, cold water and most being new to this break has put a few of even the most seasoned surfers on edge.

Other than that, the rest of Round One and three heats of Round Two were completed today. Andy and Taj both took down local wildcards to live to fight another day. Then, like clockwork, as the lunar landscape started to head up the onshore winds started whistling Dixie.

There are some intriguing match-ups on tap for the next day of competition, most notably CJ Hobgood trying to turn things around against Bernardo Miranda, and Freddy Patachia trying to finally find some footing against Dayyan Neve.
It's still early days for the Rip Curl Pro Search, so stay tuned to and for continued updates, and for the live webcast and more news and video be sure to tune into

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: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Bruno Santos (BRA)
Heat 5: Daniel Wills (HAW) vs. David Weare (ZAF)
Heat 6: Cory Lopez (USA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 7: Dean MOrrison (AUS) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 8: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 9: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Troy Brooks (AUS)
Heat 10: Luke Stedman (AUS) vs. Michael Lowe (AUS)
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Royden Bryson (ZAF)
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
Heat 13: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 14: Frederick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 15: Bernardo Miranda (BRA) vs. CJ Hobgood (USA)
Heat 16: Greg Emslie (ZAF) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)

Heat 13: Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.50, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 10.00, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 7.00
Heat 14: Leonardo Neves (BRA) 15.26, Cory Lopez (USA) 9.66, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 5.10
Heat 15: Kai Otton (AUS) 18.10, Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.67, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 7.00
Heat 16: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.90, CJ Hobgood (USA) 7.94, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 2.90