2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka Day 2

His name is Txaber Trojaola. That's pronounced CHA-bear Tro-how-la. I learned that today from beach commentator Nuno Jonet who knows more languages than C-3P0. Txaber, a local Basque surfer, got the first sick pit of day at Mundaka and paddled up next to his opponent, {{{CJ}}} Hobgood, who had absolutely no idea who he was. "I heard over the PA that Chavez got an 8 something and so I looked at the guy and asked him, 'are you Chavez?' And he nodded.

Today was one of those dream tour days that starts off a little weird and wonky and then gets pretty damn good as Europe's best wave finally decided to show us what she can do. Picture pre-Superbank Kirra going left and you'll get a pretty good idea of how ridiculously fast and dredgy it is. Watching two simultaneous heats with 4 surfers in the water at all times can be confusing, but just about every good one was ridden today and we blew through 20 heats in a flash.

South African Royden Bryson got the best of it. On the incoming tide, he pumped a long, long tube, came out and then backdoored the crazy end bowl. "I want to watch the replay of that," he said. "Right now." It was the first 10 of his WCT career and it may be his last considering he's rated 34th in the world. Damien Hobgood, fresh off his best result in a long time last week in France, was unfortunate to draw him as his 17.26 point total would have won nearly every other heat.

Other battlers who shined today were Aritz Aranburu, another local, who won the first heat of his maiden world tour season by pig dogging through a few shacks as well. Also looking good were Jordy Smith and Fred Patacchia. Not many rookies on their backhand will ever surf the wave as well on their first go out as Jordy did today, while Fred is one of the best surfers in the world in ultra racy lefts.

All eyes, of course were on Heat 8 of Round 3 where Slater is matched up against local and WQS vet Eneko Acero with a 9th title on the line. For a little while there it was looking like we might even get to that heat, but the high tide, as it always does here, shut things down. Look for us to get underway at about 10:30am local time (1:30am pacific) so set your alarms for around 3am if you want to watch it.

The surf is supposed to be a little bigger tomorrow so get ready for the show.