Billabong Rio Pro

Red Jerseys Fall in Round 2 of Billabong Rio Pro

Date: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Schedule: Men's Round 2 (Heats 1-12)
Conditions: 2-to-4 foot (1 metre) onshore conditions at Barra Da Tijuca.

Round 2

Heat 1: David Do Carmo (BRA) 14.93 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.26

The opening heat of Round 2 kicked off with fireworks. Billabong Rio Pro wildcard David Do Carmo came out of the gates on a tear against reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning, blasting a 7.00 for three big turns on his forehand and improved his situation with two backhand blast for a 7.93.

With Fanning against the ropes, the veteran worked to battle back, logging a series of midrange scores. The Australian continued to hunt the lineup, but was unable to find the near-perfect 9.10 needed, confirming the shock upset by the young Brazilian.

“I've been watching Mick my whole life," Said David do Carmo. "He's the best in the world.”

Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.84 def. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 6.77

Fired up from the Brazilian upset over Fanning, the crowd looked for a repeat as wildcard Peterson Crisanto took to the water to face 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater.

Unfazed by the energy on the beach, Slater opened with seamless carves for a 6.67. A midrange score on a tight tube ride left Crisanto on the hunt for a 7.30 with 10 minutes on the clock.

Slater used priority to deny Crisanto a building wave and closed on a layback that improved his bottom score to a 5.17. Crisanto botched the landing of an air reverse on a last ditch effort to overcome the lead but came short of the 7.84 needed to avoid elimination.

Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.66 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 11.66

A scrappy heat unfolded next, with national favorite Adriano de Souza and Glenn Hall exchanging midrange scores throughout the 30-minute heat.

De Souza's keeper scores came on back-to-back rides, earning a 6.93 and 5.73 to establish a lead over the goofy-footer. Hall battled back in need of a 6.34 and blasted three backhand turns on a right-hander, but fell painfully shy, earning a 6.33. De Souza took the win, advancing to Round 3.

Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.37 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 15.13

The first heat without a Brazilian competitor came with Julian Wilson facing Brett Simpson. But the Aussie kept the energy on the beach up by initiating the aerial game. Wilson capitalized on the onshore conditions launching a backside 360 air rotation for an 8.60.

Simpson chipped away at the lead, sticking with his strategy to carve out the open faces, eventually pulling off an 8.73 to force a lead change with under five minutes to go.

Needing a 6.54, Wilson took to the air one more time, landing a backhand air-reverse and got the score he needed (a 6.77) as the horn sounded. A frustrated Simpson has yet to win a Round 2 heat.

Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.26 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.40

Powerful regular footer Michel Bourez and Raoni Monteiro took to the water next, with the Brazilian establishing an early lead with a 5.67.

Bourez answered back, connecting on both the lefts and right of Barra Da Tijuca for a 6.33 and 6.93. While Monteiro fought until the end of the 30-minute affair, he was unable to find the score needed to surpass the Tahitian in the end.

Heat 6: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.56 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.30

Both competitors in Heat 6 struggled to find a comfort zone in the shifting conditions. C.J. Hobgood found a rhythm first with a couple of turns for a 5.50 and a smooth floater to snap combination for a 5.60.

Dion Atkinson started working in the second half and overtook the lead with powerful vertical snaps that outmatched the back-to-back sixers the Floridian had accumulated. Atkinson advances to Round 3 by the narrowest margin of this round, a mere 0.26.

Heat 7: Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.67 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 11.17

A battle of the goofy-footers kicked off next when Owen Wright and Travis Logie fought hard to avoid a crucial Round 2 elimination. Logie got on the board first, with a solid 6.67, but Wright stayed in the hunt with a 5.17.

Logie continued to lead the affair, knocking in a similar score of 6.00. Wright hunted the ramps on offer at Barra Da Tijuca, but failed to land any attempts and while the Australian logged a 6.00 at the back half of the heat, he was unable to surpass Logie.

Heat 8: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 14.06 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.60

The beach filled with spectators to watch local favorite Miguel Pupo take on the Spaniard Aritz Aranburu. Both athletes stuck to what they know best: Pupo trying to maximize his air game while Aranburu worked his powerful backhand carves.

With choppy surf and unpredictable ramps, the vertical approach won out. Anaburu's scored an early 6.83 and found a similar wave in the final 10 minutes, cutting through the foam for progressive-style carves.

Unable to land big cleanly, Pupo found himself short of the excellent score he needed, allowing Anaburu to advance in another upset and with another eliminated Brazilian.

Heat 9: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.83 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 13.83

Alejo Muniz got off to a quick start against veteran Fred Patacchia, belting a heat-high 7.50, quickly backing the ride up with a 6.33 to place the Hawaiian on the back foot.

Patacchia battled back, snatching a 6.93. With just one minute remaining, Patacchia belted a two-turn combination in need of a 6.91, but the tally of a 6.90 fell just shy of the score needed to advance. Note: ASP Rule Book states that if two surfers have the same total at the end of the heat, the win goes to the athlete with the highest single-wave score. See Article 102 (p. 43) of the ASP Rule Book

Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.10 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.10

The all-Aussie affair was a seesaw between Bede Durbidge and Matt Wilkinson, the judges awarding similar scores for two different approaches. Durbidge matched the midrange scores from Wilko's smooth cuts through the foam and white water with his signature vertical hacks.

As the final minutes ticked off the clock, Durbidge capitalized on his momentum, scoring a 6.60 and a 7.50 on back-to-back forehand attacks and forcing Wilko to find an excellent score out of the increasingly turbulent surf. Durbidge deals Wilko another Round 2 elimination as he moves onto Round 3.

Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.70 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.70

Heat 11 saw Sebastian Zietz and Jeremy Flores trade off several exchanges in the windblown afternoon conditions at Barra da Tijuca. Zietz, a Quarterfinalists last year at the Billabong Rio Pro, posted a heat-high 8.27 on a right-hander for a powerful forehand carve and fins-free snap on a closeout section, establishing a solid lead. Not to be outdone, Flores fought back, logging a 6.93 and then a 7.77 for a seamless combination of backhand snaps.

Zietz backed up his excellent score with an additional 7.47, edging out the Frenchman for a spot in Round 3.

Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.50 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 9.34

The final heat of the day featured another discrepancy in game plans between Aussie combatants Adrian Buchan and Adam Melling. With the open surface smoothing out but the waves closing sooner, Buchan kept busy while Melling patiently awaited more desirable scoring opportunities.

By the mid-way point, Buchan had clocked six scores, including a 6.17 keeper, to Melling's two. Buchan rode top-to-bottom, making the most of the glassy face before it closed out. After 15 minutes without movement, Melling jumped on a small pocket, accomplishing a 5.17 for a seamless two-turner. But his 9.34 heat total wouldn't topple Buchan's early, well-executed activity.