LOWER TRESTLES, California (Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007) – Nine of the Top 10 surfers on the 2007 Foster's ASP World Tour have been eliminated from the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley. Only 8X World Champion and current World No. 4 Kelly Slater (USA) remains in contention after today's Round 3 heats.
Wildcards Dane Reynolds (USA) and Jordy Smith (AUS) eliminated ratings leader Mick Fanning (AUS) and current World No. 3 Andy irons respectively in two of the biggest upsets of the event.
"I'm excited – I came into that heat thinking I was going to have to get 9.0s to beat him because that's what he consistently posts," Reynolds said. "I know Mick holds the No. 1 seed, but I tried not to really think about it in that way. I just did what the waves called for."
Reynolds' eliminated World No. 2 Taj Burrow (AUS) yesterday and garnered the highest single-wave score of the event, a 9.93 out of a possible 10 in the first 10 seconds of his heat against Fanning today. The ever-humble Fanning was unable to find a wave with the same scoring potential.
"His whole heat was that one wave," Fanning said. "When someone comes out and starts with a 9.93 it's pretty difficult to catch up. Congratulations to him though, he surfed insane out there. I'm looking forward to having him on tour, he's smartened up a lot in the last year, it's great, it's people like that that push the sport of surfing. It's great to have those guys on tour."
The equal 17th place finishing is Fanning's worst finish this season. Prior to today, Fanning had finished in the Quarterfinals or better in every Foster's ASP World Tour event held in the last 12 months.
Smith executed superior wave selection to eliminate Irons in Heat 13 today. He and Reynolds, who sit 1st and 2nd on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) have made good on the hype that surrounds both of the young surfers.
"Yeah it was good to see Dane win, he's a good friend," Smith said. "I thought I might as well match him, so I did. Andy is a very tough competitor. He looks scary out there. He has absolutely no nerves and he just waits for the best waves each time and usually gets them. I guess I just got the better ones this time."
Slater beat wildcard and former World No. 2 Rob Machado (USA) in Heat 9 – the heat after Fanning's and several heats prior to Smith's elimination of Irons.
"I think I'd actually be a little bit more intense about my focus if Mick was still in this because I'd have no choice but to win the event if he were to finish equal 5th or better," Slater said. "It does take a bit of the pressure off if I look at it the right way."
Slater has made the Final of the Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles each of the last three years and as the only to seed still competing in this event, is an excellent position to put together a campaign for his 9th ASP World Title.
"I need to get, at worst, a 3rd in this contest to put myself into striking contention through Europe. If I were to win here and then better Mick and Taj in France I'd probably be right there in the hunt, same thing with Andy. That said, if Jordy knocks out Andy it might put all of the pressure back on because then I'd really need to capitalize on the situation," Slater said. "Either way, I like the situation."
A call will be made at 7:30am tomorrow for a possible 8am start for Round 4 of the Boost Mobile Pro.
Before the Round 4 action begins, be sure to catch 'The Dawn Patrol,' a TV quality production being webcast LIVE on www.boostmobilepro.com at 7:30am local time.
BOOST MOBILE PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Troy Brooks (AUS) 13.70 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.00
Heat 2: Chris Ward (USA) 11.50 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.60
Heat 3: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) 14.50 def. Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 11.73
Heat 4: Neco Padaratz (BRA) 16.73 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.00
Heat 5: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 16.77 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 9.77
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.33 def. Royden Bryson (ZAF) 13.97
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.00 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.27
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.70 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.50
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.67 def. Rob Machado (USA) 9.73
Heat 10: Frederick Patacchia (HAW) 12.27 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.90
Heat 11: Taylor Knox (USA) 16.90 def. Victor Ribas (BRA) 11.66
Heat 15: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 13.90 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.83
Heat 16: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.50 def. Leonardo Neves (AUS) 10.50
BOOST MOBILE PRO ROUND 4 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Troy Brooks (AUS) vs. Chris Ward (USA)
Heat 2: Pancho Sullivan (HAW) vs. Neco Paearatz (BRA)
Heat 3: Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: C.J Hobgood (USA), Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Fred Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ben Dunn (AUS)
Heat 8: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)