It didn't take long for the first significant elimination of this vital QS10,000 event to occur. In Round Two, Heat 2, Americans Cam Richards and QS No. 11 Patrick Gudauskas put a damper on current QS No. 4 Michael Rodrigues' quest for Championship Tour qualification. Rodrigues had been riding high following a pair of QS6000 2nd-place finishes in the Azores and in Spain. But, in a busy heat where all four surfers rode at least eight waves, Richards and Gudauskas used their opening rides to put pressure on their Brazilian opponent from the outset. Rodrigues was forced to play catchup and was ultimately unable to fight back in the end.