JOBOS, Isabella, Puerto Rico (Sunday, February 10, 2013) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 4-Star 2013 Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico presented by seepuertorico.com returned to Jobos Beach for the second consecutive day, completing Round 3 in front of a maxed out local crowd.
Brett Barley (Buxton, NC), 23, kicked off his Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico campaign with a bang, earning the event’s highest single-wave score of 9.50 out of 10 for a combination of powerful backhand turns on a long righthand wall.
“We were all scratching at the start and fortunately everyone else caught waves beforehand and I was in position for that wave,” Barley said. “I was just out there by myself and it just came to me. I knew it was going to be a good one. It lined up the whole way and allowed me to get a couple of turns off. It’s nice to start off the heat with a good wave. I didn’t think it was a 9.50, but I was pretty stoked with it.”
Barley, who is known for his barrel-riding talent, proved he is equally deadly in small conditions and the Outer Banks local is excited to take to the water in the increasing swell expected for the final days of the waiting period.
“I’m definitely going to be happy when it bumps up a bit,” Barley said. “I know this wave doesn’t really handle size, but I’d rather have it big and messy. The conditions look good for the final on Wednesday and hopefully I can be there for it.”
Joshua Moniz (Honolulu, HI), 16, son of Hawaiian legend Tony Moniz, looked lively in his Round 3 match-up, coming out with a heat win over veteran campaigner Ben Bourgeois (HAW), 34, in a high-scoring affair.
“I actually thought they were going to call the contest off before my heat and I’m glad they didn’t,” Moniz said. “I was just trying to stay busy and try and make the heat rather than sit out the back, because there really weren’t a lot of waves coming in. I really wasn’t expecting to get a high score. I was in first, but Ryan (Briggs) had that 9, so I wasn’t feeling too safe. There were a bunch of high scores in that heat and those guys all surf really well.”
Blake Jones (Melbourne Beach, FL), 24, was another East Coast surfer to standout at the Rip Curl Pro today. The former ASP North America Pro Junior Series talent was dangerous on the long rights of Jobos and led throughout the heat’s entirety to advance to Round 4.
“I kind missed out on the first set and everyone got waves,” Jones said. “That 8 just popped up out of nowhere. It lined up as good as it could line up today and it worked out for me. Once I got the first score, I hustled and tried to get a wave quick and eventually just waited and knew something else would come. I didn’t get the best backup score, but I’ll take it.”
Jones, who has been traveling to Puerto Rico since his childhood, looked at home in the challenging lineup and is looking forward to the latter rounds.
“I’ve been coming down here and surfing these waves since I was 12,” Jones said. “Brain’s (Toth) Mom lives just up the street and I’d always come down and surf here.”
Kaimana Jaquias (HAW), 19, was another second-generation Hawaiian surfer who claimed a Round 3 win today. Jaquias built momentum in his heat, eventually finding two long righthanders to secure a Round of 64 berth.
“It was really hard because you’re paddling for waves that don’t even look like waves at first,” Jaquias said. “I paddled for anything that looked like it would have a double up. The best ones don’t have power at first, you take off and hop in to the double up, but you’ve got 25 minutes and you have to figure it out. I was planning to wait for the good ones and I was looking at Wesley (Toth) and he wasn’t sitting and waiting, so I knew I had to catch whatever I could.”
Jaquias, a top finisher on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is out to use the Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico to clinch the crucial points towards his world ranking in hopes to establish himself on a global scale.
“This event for me is all about building points to get in to Prime events, guaranteeing my spot in the Triple Crown and building my seed on the World Ranking,” Jaquias said. “That’s the main objective, so hopefully I can continue on in this event.”
The Rip Curl Pro Puerto Rico holds a waiting period from February 9-13, 2013 and is webcast LIVE via www.live.ripcurl.com