It was moving day today at the Quiksilver Pro Portugal. Round 2 has been relegated to "heats on demand" status, and there are but 24 surfers left. Some solid scores were dropped -- as were a couple more high seeds -- and it'll be man-on-man from here on out. "It's time to throw down the gauntlet," noted Tanner Gudauskas after making short work of his heat at the end of the day.
The "Prince of Portugal," Tiago Pires -- who's hailed as a top-flight, A-list sports star at home in Ericeira -- was among the most notable to bow out early. "It's disappointing," said Pires. "You want to do well for the hometown crowd, they offer so much support."
Joining Pires on the sideline will be Brazil's favorite tail flicker Jadson Andre. In fact, a number of Brazilians stumbled today, but needless to say, there are still seven left in the contest, which is nearly twice as many as any other country. And just when you thought you'd heard of them all, some guy named Hizunome Bettero comes out and drops a 9.50 and an 8.00 against Julian Wilson. Who? Exactly. They just keep coming. In maybe the most exciting heat of the day, Bettero and Wilson battled back and forth, exchanging excellent-range scores before Bettero got the better of him at heat's end. The two took first and second to advance on into Round 3.
American interests were upheld as John Florence (who's listed as Hawaiian, but since his passport reads "United States" I'm calling him a blue blood), Cory Lopez and the brothers Gudauskas all moved on. "It reminds me a lot of home, we love Portugal," told Tanner Gudauskas to Rosie Hodge, who seemed to blush and get giddy as a school girl as their online interview went on.
Blame it on their flight-of-the-concords-like luck, but New Zealand doesn't usually have much to cheer about at Prime events. Of course, that was before Jay Quinn and Richard Christie got up this morning, smeared some Vegimite on their toast, and went to work. Christie got things going early, winning the first heat of the day, and then Quinn put the accent mark on it in heat 10 when he posted a 9.40, a score which carried him to an easy heat win.
"Winning a heat is so much better than coming second because it does so much for your confidence to keep the roll going and to keep you relaxed," told Christie. "Any contest with over-head waves makes me happy because I am not the smallest fellow."
There's a lot at stake as the Quik Pro heads into the final three days of the event. Pride be damned ratings points are priceless. Stay tuned.
Upcoming Quiksilver Pro Portugal Round Three Matchups
Heat 1: Richard Christie (NZL) Vs Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 2: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) Vs Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 3: Junior Faria (BRA) Vs Heath Joske (AUS)
Heat 4: Travis Logie (ZAF) Vs Pat Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) Vs Brandon Jackson (ZAF)
Heat 6: Andre Silva (BRA) Vs Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) Vs Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) Vs Alain Riou (PYF)
Heat 9: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) Vs Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 10: Hodei Collazo (EUK) Vs Jay Quinn (NZL)
Heat 11: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) Vs Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) Vs Joan Duru (FRA)
Quiksilver Pro Portugal Round Two Results
Heat 1: Richard Christie (NZL) 15.73, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 15.27, Austin Ware (USA) 9.36, Jihad Khodr (BRA) 9.18
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.66, Cory Lopez (USA) 11.50, Dimitri Ouvre (BRB) 7.47, Ben Dunn (AUS) 6.26
Heat 3: Junior Faria (BRA) 12.43, Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.47, Tiago Camarao (BRA) 11.23, Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.06
Heat 4: Pat Gudauskas (USA) 11.57, Heath Joske (AUS) 11.40, Nat Young (USA) 10.67, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.00
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 13.73, Andre Silva (BRA) 11.97, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.83, Granger Larsen (HAW) 10.10
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.76, Brandon Jackson (ZAF) 13.66, Billy Stairmand (NZL) 9.97, Jeronimo Vargas (BRA) 8.33
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.64, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 11.13, Tim Boal (FRA) 8.93, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 8.30
Heat 8: Alain Riou (PYF) 14.47, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 12.87, Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 12.67, Ruda Carvalho (BRA) 10.66
Heat 9: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 14.17, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 12.97, Charles Martin (GLP) 12.30, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 12.26
Heat 10: Jay Quinn (NZL) 16.30, Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.27, Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.26, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 9.67
Heat 11: Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 17.50, Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.23, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 14.87, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 7.67
Heat 12: Joan Duru (FRA) 15.04, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.87, Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.67, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.33
Remaining Quiksilver Pro Portugal Round One Results
Heat 17: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 14.83, Jay Quinn (NZL) 10.87, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.83, Indar Perez (EUK) 6.94
Heat 18: Tanner Gadauskas (USA) 15.60, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 12.40, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 10.67, Diego Rosa (BRA) 8.33
Heat 19: Davey Cathels (AUS) 14.83, Charles Martin (GLP) 13.47, Gabe Kling (USA) 12.20, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 12.00
Heat 20: Heitor Alves (BRA) 15.57, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 14.80, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 14.46, Nic von Rupp (DEU) 10.07
Heat 21: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.60, Joan Duru (FRA) 15.34, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 12.26, Medi Veminardi (REU) 5.20
Heat 22: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 15.60, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 15.50, Jano Belo (BRA) 9.74, Eneko Acero (EUK) 7.63
Heat 23: Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.00, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 11.37, Vincent Duvignac (FRA) 10.26, Eric Geiselman (USA) 7.57
Heat 24: Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.00, Royden Bryson (ZAF) 12.74, Bernardo Miranda (BRA) 8.94, Filipe Jervis (PRT) 6.26