SOMEWHERE, Porta Del Sol/Puerto Rico (Sunday, October 31, 2010) - The Caribbean enjoyed its second, consecutive mammoth day of world-class surfing today with the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico clocking in another 20 heats of competition.
Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico recommenced this afternoon with Round 2 of competition, with some big upsets and monster performances from the world's best surfers to close out the day's proceedings.
Dylan Graves (PRI), 24, wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico via the Trials, collected the event's biggest scalp today, eliminating current ASP World No. 5 Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, in Round 2 of competition. The win was celebrated heartily by the tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans who turned up to support the humble, young natural-footer.
"I couldn't be more stoked to have my family and friends on the beach and all of Puerto Rico backing me," Graves said. "To have it here in Middles, I couldn't ask for anything else. This is the biggest event to ever happen in Puerto Rico and I'm so proud to have the opportunity to represent the country here."
While Buchan suffered a broken board early on, Graves dissected the familiar righthanders, blending high-performance turns with beautiful rail work to advance through to Round 3.
"That was unfortunate for Ace (Adrian Buchan)," Graves said. "I watched that wave and it was pretty bowly. He was pushing it and that's what you got to do at this level. I know I have a big heat coming up but I'm here to do my best."
Graveswill face former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, Kelly Slater (USA), 38, in Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico.
Taylor Knox (USA), 39, current ASP World No. 23, punctuated the afternoon with the highest-scoring wave of the event, a 9.57 out of a possible 10, for two vicious forehand hacks.
"I have really fond memories of coming here when I was younger," Knox said. "You don't have to work for speed on this wave, it just has it. So you can take off and it pushes you along pretty quickly. You can do some fun turns and it has a great barrel when the conditions right. Hopefully we get to see it in the coming days."
Know will take on veteran compatriot C.J. Hobgood (USA), 31, when competition recommences.
Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, current ASP World No. 4, opened up the afternoon's action with the top performance of the day, a 14.77 out of a possible 20, using a minimalist-yet-explosive approach to the punchy conditions.
"Both my waves really offered only two maneuvers and they were really similar," Burrow said. "The waves are really fun though. They don't offer a lot of room to move, but they're really punchy and I had a lot of fun. I hadn't seen much of Dillon (Perillo) surf much before this event, but he has a really good style and is explosive and I think he has a future. I wasn't taking the heat lightly."
Burrow faces rookie sensation Dusty Payne (HAW), 21, in the opening heat of Round 3 when competition resumes.
Brett Simpson (USA), 25, current ASP World No. 21, led the rookie charge through Round 2, scoring a sensational come-from-behind win over veteran Tom Whitaker (AUS), 31.
"I had a pretty poor start out there and Tom (Whitaker) got a good barrel and some solid scores," Simpson said. "I was getting pretty down on myself but I refocused and told myself it was possible. If I want to be a champion, I've got to come from behind. That's what I did out there and that was a huge win for me."
Simpson will take on fellow rookie Owen Wright (AUS), 20, in Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 6:30am for a possible 7am start.
Highlights from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico will be webcast LIVE via live.ripcurl.com
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.77 def. Dillon Perillo (USA) 9.40
Heat 2:Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.10 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.03
Heat 3:Gabe Kling (USA) 12.83 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.50
Heat 4:Chris Davidson (AUS) 11.80 def. Luke Munro (AUS) 10.07
Heat 5:Roy Powers (HAW) 12.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.64
Heat 6:Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.93 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 4.66
Heat 7:Dusty Payne (HAW) Advances Past Andy Irons (HAW)*
Heat 8:Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.10 def. Luke Stedman (AUS) 10.86
Heat 9:Taylor Knox (USA) 13.84 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 9.43
Heat 10:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.33 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.93
Heat 11:Brett Simpson (USA) 14.43 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.23
Heat 12:Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
* Andy Irons formally withdrew from the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico today, citing an illness contracted from the previous event in Portugal. Dusty Payne automatically advances to Round 3.
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (USA)
Heat 2:C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 3:Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 4:Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 5:Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Bobby Martinez (USA)
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Dylan Graves (PRI)
Heat 7:Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 8:Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 9:Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10:Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs.
Heat 11:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 12:Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
RIP CURL WOMEN'S PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 7.56 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 7.03
Heat 2:Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 10.67 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.60
Heat 3:Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.94 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.70
Heat 4:Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.57 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.26
Heat 5:Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.83 def. Nikita Robb (ZAF) 7.40
Heat 6:Coco Ho (HAW) 13.17 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.06
Heat 7:Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.00 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 7.87
Heat 8:Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.73 def. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 9.17
RIP CURL WOMEN'S PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1:Lee Ann Curren (FRA) vs. Chelsea Hedges (AUS)
QF 2:Melanie Bartels (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 3:Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
QF 4:Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)