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By Press Release:
ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) INTERNATIONAL
EVENT #9 ON THE 2006 FOSTER'S ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) MEN'S WORLD TOUR
Billabong Pro Mundaka
(October 2 – 14)
See the event LIVE on www.aspworldtour.com or www.billabongpro.com
CAREERS ON THE LINE AT BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA
Mikey Picon (France) posted the second highest heat score of the day to defeat Fred Patacchia & advance to round 3. Picture credit ASP Tostee
MUNDAKA, Basque Country, Northern Spain (Sunday, October 8, 2006) – Surfers competing in the Billabong Pro Mundaka were greeted by small clean swell lines this morning and after a wait for the tide to become more favourable, organisers pushed forward with seven more heats of round two.
Heading the top scorers list for the day was tour veteran Cory Lopez (USA) who totalled a 16.33 out of 20 after excelling in the half to one metre (two to three feet) long-walling waves.
The goofy footer, who hails from Florida, made the most of everything that came his way racking up points for some very creative surfing and in the end he easily disposed of his Hawaiian rival Roy Powers.
“I knew that in my heat the tide would turn and it would get a little better,” said Lopez. “Luckily the tide stopped ripping out and we had to move up the point. A couple of good waves came in. I was stoked to get them.”
For Lopez a good result is a must here at this event as like many surfers at the bottom end of the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour ratings he is literally fighting to maintain his position amongst surfing’s elite.
At the end of each season surfers ranked lower than 28 are replaced by up and comers from ASP’s second tier tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS).
“I’ve been sitting at the back of the pack, just working away,” said Lopez. “Now I’ve made it through this heat, hopefully the rest of the event will go well for me. If I can get a good result here I’ll be a little bit more comfortable going into the last couple of events for the year. It’s been a tough year for me but we’ll see how it finishes.”
Another who was extremely pleased top take a win today was 2005 world number six, Trent Munro (AUS).
The powerhouse naturalfooter was a sensation on last year’s tour winning one event at Bells Beach Australia then finishing solidly in most events throughout the year.
Unfortunately this season, despite showing solid form, he has struggled to finish at the pointy end of competition and like Lopez is sitting uncomfortably on the edge of relegation back to the WQS.
Munro however was confident his stay at the bottom end will only be short lived.
“I’ve had a terrible year compared to last year,” said Munro. “I’ve been surfing good and feeling good, but I just haven’t had the luck factor I think. Lets hope it changes for the last three events. It’s a position I really don’t like to be in but I’ve been here before and I know how to deal with it. I’m just going to go out and surf and play the cards right hopefully.”
Flying the flag for the South Africans today was Travis Logie who lifted a notch to oust Raoni Monteiro (BRA).
The size and speed of the waves on offer in the heat were well suited to the goofyfooters style and he really made the most of every opportunity.
He too recognizes the importance of getting a solid result here.
“You don’t want to have 33rds at all,” said Logie. “At the end of the year they hurt you so bad. It was a really important heat for me and it’s a really important contest for a lot of guys.
“I’m in 19th at the moment which isn’t on the bubble but it’s the kind of position where one bad contest and you’re on the edge of being relegated. The world title is out of reach so it’s just a matter of trying to requalify… So far so good.”
Adriano de Souza (BRA) was another to turn heads today in his defeat of fellow countryman Paulo Moura.
The exciting naturalfooter has had to overcome a back injury in the past few days and at one stage was looking like he would be unable to compete.
The injury certainly didn’t affect his performance today.
“I’m pretty happy that I can move again and get back into the contest,” said de Souza. “I’ve been spending all of my days in bed with a back injury. I’m really happy to move to round three. I need the points to maintain my spot of the tour.”
Organisers will return tomorrow at 7.30am and will assess conditions.
With such extreme tides it is difficult to predict exactly when the event will take place and on most days throughout the waiting period only a small number of heats have been run as conditions change drastically.
Looking at tomorrow’s forecast www.surfline.com indicated there potentially could be a few waves around the middle of the day.
“We can again expect a slow start Monday morning with the large high tide and new swell just starting to fill in,” said the Surfline report. “The best waves will be found over the afternoon on Monday with the low/incoming tide and building swell.”
Today’s round two heat results: (1st goes to round 3 2nd receives 33rd placing)
Heat 8: Mikael Picon (FRA) 16.20 def Fred Patacchia (HAW) 13.83
Heat 9: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 10.00 def Davey Weare (ZAF) 9.16
Heat 10: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 12.10 def Pedro Henrique (BRA) 10.83
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.17 def Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.57
Heat 12: Cory Lopez (USA) 16.33 def Roy Powers (HAW) 8.67
Heat 13: Trent Munro (AUS) 14.83 def Marcelo Nunes (BRA) 13.70
Heat 14: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.50 def Paulo Moura (BRA) 13.00
Remaining round two heats:
Heat 15: Victor Ribas (BRA) vs Darren O’Rafferty (AUS)
Heat 16: Nathan Hedge (AUS) vs Chris Ward (USA)