Mitch Rawlins: he will be starting a new airline company

Round 2 was completed in 3-4 foot barreling peaks, ideal for technical tube riding a high-flying airs. With only one last chance to improve their rankings, some riders find themselves in a challenging position, requiring a win in Round 3 to progress, where as others can afford to relax as their position in the top half of the draw is secure.

Each rider receives 6 points for a win, 4points for 2nd place, 3 for a 3rd and only 1 point for 4th. This presents a task to accumulate enough points throughout Round 1, 2 and 3 to make it into the top 16, which advance out of the Leaderboard stage and into the final phase of the Grand Slam event.

Having won their Round 1 and 2 heats, 2 x World Champion, Jeff Hubbard, brother Dave Hubbard (HAW) and Brazilian powerhouse, Magno Oliviera are in a commanding lead with 12 points a piece. In the past two events, any rider with 10 or more points out of a possible 18 has made it into the top 16 and safely into Round 4. Any ties around on the 16th seed mark will be decided by the highest individual wave score of the 3 rounds.

Oliviera managed to score the first perfect 10 point ride of the event. Drawing a clean line through a long barrel and finishing it off with an impressive ARS to roll combination. Oliviera added “I was just having fun, and felt blessed. I did not do much, all I had to do was get in the barrel, those waves came towards me.”

Jeff Hubbard, in an equally comfortable position, says he is excited for round 3. “I have two wins now, so the pressure is off for Round 3. I still want to win and surfing some great waves with three other guys out at Puerto is going to be sweet.” Hubbard added.

2010 World Champion, Amaury Lavernhe (REU) managed to win his Round 2 heat today but still plans to improve his consistency. “My first wave I surfed pretty safe, then I realized that I needed to stop playing safe and go big,” Lavernhe expressed, “I was a little upset with my second place yesterday. I really like to win all my heats. My next heat I want to give it my best.”

Jake Stone (AUS) and Dave Winchester (AUS) both won their round 2 heats, earning them a total of 10 points out of a possible 18 putting them into a good position to qualify for the top 16.

Winchester added, “I hadn’t had a win in 6 heats. I really needed this to take take the pressure off going into the 3rd round. I’m happy I can just chill today and not worry about tomorrow.”

Trials winner, Sergio Alonzo (VEN) sits with a dangerous 7 point total as he prepares for round 3. Although Alonzo came away with an impressive win today, scoring a 9.25 for a long barrel, finished off with a big roll, he will have to keep his form by placing 2nd or 1st in round 3 if he intends to secure his place amongst the top 16.

Round 3 of the Leaderboard series is bound to be grand display of punts and pits, as 32 riders fight for 16 spots and the coveted 2011 AGIT/Turbo Zicatela Pro Grand Slam Title.