SLATER, FANNING AND FLORES SET THE PACE AT BOOST MOBILE PRO PRESENTED BY HURLEY
LOWER TRESTLES, California (Sunday, Sept. 9, 2007) – Current ASP World No. 1 Mick Fanning (AUS) put on a convincing Round 1 performance in the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley this morning, but the heat of the day belonged to reigning and eight-time Foster's ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA) and World No. 21 Cory Lopez (USA).
The trio of Americans exchanged wave after wave, punting higher airs, executing more critical maneuvers and putting the crowd on its feet with inspired performances in the two-to-three foot (one metre) surf at Lower Trestles today. Slater claimed the win over Reynolds and Lopez with the highest heat total of the event thus far, a 17.17 out of a possible 20.
"There were some fun waves – it started out a little slow but then quite a few sets came through," Slater said. "Both of my good waves, Cory and I were both after. Dane took a lot of time to get started, but then finally lit it up in the last 10 minutes and got on a good run. It was going to be a surf off because there were two or three waves in each set – time just ran out for the other guys."
Slater currently sits 4th behind Mick Fanning (AUS), Taj Burrow (AUS) and Andy Irons (HAW) on the ASP ratings and needs a big result at Trestles to position himself in the 2007 title race. He has made the Boost Mobile Pro Final three years running and knows better than anyone what he needs to accomplish this week.
"I'm not thinking about much further than this event because I need a good result, I need to better Mick, Taj and Andy," Slater said. "I need to get ahead of them right now, in this one contest, try to gain some ground. Andy and I are pretty close but if you drop a score or two he's going to move a couple more hundred points ahead of me. As you start playing with results right now I can move closer to Taj and further from Andy so those guys are effectively quite far ahead of me."
Fanning has a 1020 point lead over Slater and was in sizzling form as well, lighting up a reeling righthander for the highest single wave score of the event, 9.80 out of a possible 10.
"I started off the heat pretty average, Sunny (Garcia) and Pancho (Sullivan) started off with good waves, so I was playing catch up for a while," Fanning said. "I was lucky enough to just get that one wave. Nothing else really came through after that. Sunny and Pancho split the first one and I saw the second wave coming, I just tried to light it up and make the most of it."
Frederick Patacchia Jr. (HAW), current No. 19 on the Foster's ASP World Tour, scored a sensational upset today, defeating current World No. 2 Taj Burrow (AUS) and highly-touted wildcard Jordy Smith (ZAF) in their Round 1 bout. In one of the most exciting heats of the morning, Patacchia's dynamic forehand attack saw him through with huge air reverses and powerful turns.
"It doesn't really matter who's in your heat, you just take it heat by heat," Patacchia said. "Everyone on this tour rips so you can't take anyone for granted. I surfed the heat I wanted to surf. I knew I wanted to go left. Those guys being regular footers, I knew they were looking at the rights. I was kind of in my own area. After Taj got that interference, it was more a man-on-man heat between me and Jordy Smith. I came out on top and had some fun waves."
The upsets kept on coming as Adriano de Souza (BRA), current No. 24 on the Foster's ASP World Tour, bested defending Boost Mobile Pro Champion Bede Durbidge (AUS) in their Round 1 clash. Although highly-touted coming into his rookie season in 2006, having won the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) the year before, De Souza has struggled to transfer his act to the World Tour level.
"The conditions are pretty similar to those at home," De Souza said. "I was really excited about this heat and for the rest of the event. I need some points to remain on tour next year. Hopefully I can do well in this event. The wave here is very high performance, and sometimes really hard to read. I'm hoping for the best."
Other rare entries into Round 2 today were Andy Irons (HAW) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) who finished in last place in their respective Round 3 heats. Irons' heat was won by former World No. 2 Rob Machado (USA), the only wildcard to avoid Round 2 today.
"The last heat I surfed was in February so it's been a while," Machado said. "I haven't really ridden a lot of waves in the last two months, so I'm excited to surf and it feels good to get out there with Andy and all these guys. It's a privilege, an honor, to go out there and try and mix it up with these guys."
France's Jeremy Flores scored the second highest heat total of the day and will advance straight to Round 3. At World No. 12, Flores is currently the highest rated rookie and is enjoying the success that BMP wildcards Smith and Reynolds will no doubt hope to share when they compete on the Foster's ASP World Tour next year.
"Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith have arrived," Flores said. "There are other young surfers who surf good, but the three of us have been winning everything the last few years… the WQS, the Junior series and we've made some World Tour heats. They're going to be on tour next year, and I think the three of us are going to make a good push."
A call on competition status will be made at 7:30am tomorrow, so logon to see if Reynolds and Smith can advance out of sudden-death Round 2 should the Boost Mobile Pro run.
Don't miss a moment of LIVE action as the entire Boost Mobile Pro will be webcast on www.boostmobilepro.com.
BOOST MOBILE PRO ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 15.67, Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 14.64, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.33
Heat 2: Ben Dunn (AUS) 14.83, Trent Munro (AUS) 14.77, Daniel Wills (AUS) 11.00
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.00, Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.00, Troy Brooks (AUS) 5.40
Heat 4: Dean Morrison (AUS) 14.94, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 13.76, Luke Stedman (AUS) 13.73
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.07, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.80, Gabe Kling (USA) 7.27
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.00, Luke Munro (AUS) 9.44, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.16
Heat 7: Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 15.76, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.55, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.16
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.67, Sunny Garcia (HAW) 10.66, Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 8.67
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.17, Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.30, Cory Lopez (USA) 15.00
Heat 10: Rob Machado (USA) 14.34, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.56, Andy Irons (HAW) 9.00
Heat 11: Taylor Knox (USA) 15.67, Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 13.64, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 6.90
Heat 12: Bruce Irons (HAW) 15.66, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 13.17, Dayyan Neve (AUS) 8.50
Heat 13: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.43, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 13.80, Victor Ribas (BRA) 13.10
Heat 14: Michael Campbell (AUS) 15.16, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 13.07, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 11.50
Heat 15: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 14.00, Michael Lowe (AUS) 8.84, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 6.97
Heat 16: Josh Kerr (AUS) 16.50, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.50, Chris Ward (USA) 11.16