Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, current ASP WCT No. 1, threading the needle at Supertubos during last season’s Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Sunday, October 7, 2012) – The world’s best surfers are currently in transit from the South of France to the sand-bottom barrels of Peniche for the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Portugal to be held at Supertubos from October 10 – 21, 2012.
Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Rip Curl Pro Portugal will culminate the Dream Tour’s European leg and play a vital role in the determination of the 2012 ASP World Champion.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, current frontrunner on the ASP WCT rankings, overtook the tour’s top position from Gold Coast stablemate Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, at the recent Quiksilver Pro France, but remains guarded when discussing how the 2012 ASP World Title race will ultimately play out.
“Mick (Fanning) had the No. 1 position for most of the season but it’s so tight at the top this year that anything can happen from event to event,” Parkinson said. “I’ve had three Runner-Up finishes this year from Brazil, Tahiti and Trestles so I’m focused on a win in Portugal. It’s a great wave and I’m pumped to be heading back there.”
Finishing Equal 5th at last year’s incredible installment of the event (which saw it completed in iconic conditions in a record three days), Parkinson views the the venue as one of his strong points on tour.
“The event was phenomenal last year,” Parkinson said. “Just perfect sandbar barrels for three days straight. It was like a blur. I get excited just thinking about it and hopefully we get the same conditions this year. Bring on Supertubos!”
Kelly Slater (USA), 40, reigning 11-time ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 2, has been in devastating form lately, claiming back-to-back wins in California and Southwest France heading into the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
“When you start working the numbers a little bit, I got that 500 pointer and a 13th, two bad results, already,” Slater said. “Parko (Joel Parkinson) is sitting on a 9th and a 5th. If I couldn’t get past Parko in France, it would have put a lot of pressure on me, but this (winning Quiksilver Pro France) has now put the pressure back on Mick (Fanning) because Parko, John John (Florence) and I did well at the first European leg stop.”
A Runner-Up finish at last season’s Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the iconic natural-footer is nothing if not motivated to return to the Peniche’s world-renowned sandbar barrels.
“When it’s on, Supertubos is one of the funnest waves in the world,” Slater said. “Last year’s event had three perfect days of barrels and hopefully we can get similar conditions this year.”
Adriano de Souza (BRA), 25, defending Rip Curl Pro Portugal winner, is currently ranked 6th on the ASP WCT, dropping one position after an uncharacteristic Round 2 exit at the last event in France.
“France was not a good event for me but that happens and you shake it off and focus on the next one,” De Souza said. “I love coming to Portugal. The people here are very supportive and it feels like a second home for me. To win last year, in those conditions, was such an incredible moment for me. It was one of the highlights of my career. I’m very excited about returning to Portugal.”