Following Kelly Slater’s 51st event tour win, the ASP World Title race carries on to Portugal from October 10-21, 2012. The eighth tour stop saw Brazilian Adriano De Souza take home the title win in 2011’s Rip Curl Pro Portugal, but with Slater’s winning streak, the Top 34 surfers will have to bring their A-game. The Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2012 presented by Moche may start tomorrow morning, Wednesday, with a call at 7AM local time. The opening heat will feature American surfer from Huntington Beach, Brett Simpson, up against two Brazilian surfers – Adriano de Souza (last year’s winner) and Raoni Monteiro on his return from injury.
In addition to the elite ASP World Tour competitors, there is one Malibu local that has found himself lucky enough to draw a wildcard slot into the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2012, and its not the first time he’s been in this position. Hear a word from the first wildcard for the event, Dillon Perillo:
The first event wildcard has been awarded to the 22-year-old, Dillon Perillo (USA), who possesses a super smooth style honed on his local Malibu point-breaks. He is excited about the opportunity to take on the world’s best surfers at spitting Supertubos.
“I’ve surfed as a wildcard in two ASP World Championship Tour events before, and am again just super excited to take on the world’s best surfers, especially if the surf is pumping,” said Perillo. “All you can do is give it everything you have and I’m just hoping to surf some incredible waves.”
The second and final wildcard was given to the winner of the Moche Wildcard Trials event, Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA), who battled against 10 of Portugal’s best surfers plus a stacked invitee field of European talent, like Jayce Robinson (UK), Pablo Guetirez (ESP), PV Laborde (FRA) and Francisco Alves (PRT), as well as Brazil’s Bruno Santos. The competitors are hoping for a repeat of last year’s epic conditions at the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Watch the Moche Wildcard Trials recap video, as French underdog Pierre-Valentin Laborde takes down a stacked field of European surfers in thumping Supertubes and punches his ticket into the main event of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal:
“Last year’s Rip Curl Pro Portugal featured some of the best surf and most exciting heats in the history of pro surfing,” said contest organizer and two-times Association of Surfing Professionals World Champion, Damien Hardman. “We just hope we score the same conditions: big, perfect, wave-pool like A-Frame tubes, sunny skies and offshore winds. The early indications are that this is entirely possible.”
With the Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2012 presented by Moche the event No.8 out of 10 on the ASP World Championship Tour, and with the world title race shaping up to be one of the closest in years, the drama will definitely be added to the epic conditions.
“This year’s event is going to be especially important,” said Mick Fanning (AUS), who was leading Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA) in the ASP World Title ratings going into the European leg of the tour. “With the race so close, every event gets more crucial as we get to the pointy end. If Supertubos delivers the waves it did last year, it’s going to be epic.”
While those three ratings frontrunners can be considered favorites, defending champion Adriano De Souza (BRA) and tube maestro and wonderkid John Florence (HAW) are tipped by many to be dangerous.
Also serving as a glimpse into the future, the 2012 European Rip Curl GromSearch series presented by POSCA announced the winners of the final: Leo Fioravanti and Kim Veteau. See the photo gallery. The new Rip Curl FromSearch champions now qualify for a golden opportunity to compete against the best groms in the world at the GromSearch International Finals, to be held in conjunction with the 2013 Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach.
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Brett Simpson (USA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW), Kai Otton (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Dillon Perillo (USA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kolohe Andino (USA), Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Check out some epic moments from a previous Rip Curl competition in Peniche, Portugal, to get a closer look at some of the world’s best making history at Subertubos: