The Rip Curl Pro Portugal presented by Moche, Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), will commence its competition window and the world’s best surfers have arrived in Peniche ready to do battle in the barrels of Supertubos.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 32, two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) and current ASP WCT No. 1, is coming off a win last week in France and holds the frontrunner position in the hunt for the 2013 ASP World Title.
“The European leg has historically been a strong leg for me and I’m looking forward to the coming days,” Fanning said. “There are so many good surfers on tour right now and the talent at the very top is so strong. There may only be two events, but there’s a long way to go before the 2013 title is decided.”
Fanning will face Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 25, and Francisco Alves (PRT), 19, in the opening round of competition.
Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion, suffered an uncharacteristic early exit in the Quarterfinals of France last week, and the former event winner will have to improve if he is to remain in the hunt for the 2013 ASP World Title.
“Not the result I was looking for in France, but sometimes you have off heats,” Slater said. “It worked in Mick’s advantage and I will have to perform in Portugal and Hawaii if I want to remain in the race. They’re both events I’ve done well in in the past so I’ll be trying to have similar form this year. Last year wasn’t great for me in Portugal so I’ll want to improve there definitely.”
Slater will take on Kolohe Andino (USA), 19, and Jacob Willcox (AUS), 16, in Round 1 of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Julian Wilson (AUS), 24, defending Rip Curl Pro Portugal winner, is having a banner year of his own, posting consistently strong performances to currently sit No. 6 on the ASP WCT rankings.
“It’s great to be back in Portugal,” Wilson said. “The people, the culture and the waves are all amazing. I collected my first ‘CT win here and it will always hold a special place for me. Looking forward to getting some solid barrels in over the next couple of days.”
Event organizers will convene tomorrow morning at 7am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start.
Magicseaweed, official forecasters for the Rip Curl Pro Portugal, are calling for a four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) swell to be on tap for the opening day of the window.
The Rip Curl Pro Portugal will run from October 9 – 20, 2013 and will be webcast LIVE via www.live.ripcurl.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF), Dillon Perillo (USA)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Francisco Alves (PRT)
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA), John John Florence (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Nat Young (USA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)