2 August, Somewhere-Indonesia: The man didn’t become world champion 8 times by making mistakes, but it seemed today that maybe if Kelly Slater would have hassled Tiago Pires just a bit more in the last few seconds of the heat, given that he had priority, the lead, and less than a minute to go, there would have been a different headline in the news
To paraphrase his words in a press conference at the opening ceremony before the start of the Rip Curl Pro Search, there is always an element of luck in competitive surfing, and sometimes your runs out. But the show goes on and he is still way out in front in the ASP rankings, so now its time for the other guys to battle it out and see if anyone can catch him.
The days action started off at about 7:45am with a rising tide and solid 4-6 foot barrels on offer. Bede Durbidge continued his run by getting the best of Danny Wills in Heat 1.
Joel Parkinson put on another stellar performance in Heat 4, getting a nice barrel in the first minute of the heat and by the time the horn blew he could boast two of the highest scores of the day, a 9.17 and a 9.23, leaving South African Royden Bryson to go free surfing during the rest of his stay Somewhere.
Bobby Martinez also showed his usual talented barrel-riding skills, choosing the highline and blazing down the barrel like a bullet to emerge and tack on a couple of turns. Michael Campbell was on the ropes for most of the heat, but mounted a comeback and narrowly lost by just over a point at the end.
In Heat 9 Mick Fanning left no doubt that his barrel riding is second to none, getting only two waves but posting a 7.17 and a 9.17 to combo Rodrigo, whose also only had two waves that totaled 3.90.
The wave conditions were changed every couple of heats, with some heats having few lulls and a decent number of good set waves, and other heats would have 10-minute lulls and then 3-4 waves sets. But it was still very contestable, just requiring good judgment on wave selection and speed in the barrel.
Bruce Irons pulled in and out of a couple of deep barrels to combo Tom Whittaker, and later as the tide sucked out and the waves wound down the corner, Taj Burrow took out Ben Bourgeois.
Brother Andy picked off a couple long ones, putting together barrels, hacks, and cutbacks to post an 8.0 and a 9.33 to combo Neco Padaratz.
In a rare move, near the end of a long ride Chris Ward got out in front on his roundhouse cutback just kept going right instead of turning….The fans went crazy! Wasn’t a Kelly Slater switchfoot in the barrel, but it was pretty cool anyways. Yep, be best Adrian Buchan in the process, closing out Round 4 and the action for the day.
Standby time is called for 6:30 am with the expectation of similar waves conditions as today in order to get things started at 7:00 am and complete Round 4.
The Coca-Cola ISC Tour is proud to support and be a part of the Rip Curl Pro Search, and many thanks to Coca-Cola Bottling Indonesia for their support in supplying Coca-Cola and Powerade products to the athletes and crew at the contest site each day.
Thanks also to the ASP and to Rip Curl for bring back international surfing to Bali!
For complete contest info, make sure to log on to http://live.ripcurl.com
1. Kelly Slater packing it up
2. Michael Campbell
3. Mick Fanning finding some shade
4. Tiago Peres
5. Warungs are full