Kelly Slater: Ai, ai, ai, ai, ai, ai Puerto Rico!

Three-to-four foot waves greeted surfers of the Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico, in the first day of competition in South America. There have been a few surprises.

Portuguese star Tiago Pires, 30, current ASP World No. 4, caused a big upset this morning, eliminating current ASP World No. 4 Taj Burrow, 32, in the opening round of competition.

The win included the day’s high single wave score of an 8.87 out of a possible 20 for an incredibly deep forehand barrel.

“Luckily, the wave is so fast and perfect so I don’t have to think much. My back heel is pretty painful right now, but hopefully the urchins bring me luck. The wave is really fun. It’s a really high-performance wave with good barrels. The last two contests have been bad for me. I’m very happy to get through my heat and I’ll be able to get some rest now and better familiarize myself with the area.”, Pires said.

For Kelly Slater, everything is doing well. The 9-time world champion surfed pretty relaxed and got over Daniel Ross and Dillon Perillo.

“I actually felt a little jittery out there at the start,” Slater said. “I kind of found my feet towards the end and I feel a lot better now that I’m straight into Round 3. I have a really good support crew here. My girlfriend Kalani, my manager Terry and publicist Shelby are flying in. I flew Mark Cunningham over from Hawaii because he’s never seen me at a contest and I told him he had to come. I’ve seen a bunch of old friends from here and Florida and I have friends coming in from Barbados. I’m really thankful for all the support.”

Slater took his heat with combined total of 16.27 points.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 2, kept the 2010 ASP World Title race alive, although he think it will be hard to beat Slater.

“At this point for me, it’s all about surfing for me,” Smith said. “He has to lose pretty bad for anything to change at this point so I’m just enjoying things at the moment. It’s an honor to be in the race still and I’m really enjoying Puerto Rico.”

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.56, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.77, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.13
Heat 2:Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.83, Taylor Knox (USA) 11.80, Roy Powers (HAW) 8.73
Heat 3:Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.70, Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.40, Luke Munro (AUS) 10.60
Heat 4:Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.10, Gabe Kling (USA) 12.93, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 11.70
Heat 5:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.90, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.20, Dylan Graves (PRI) 6.60
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27, Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.40, Dillon Perillo (USA) 11.80
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.70, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.26, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.14
Heat 8:Owen Wright (AUS) 13.50, Luke Stedman (AUS) 7.37, Andy Irons (HAW) N/S
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.37, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.77, Bobby Martinez (USA) 10.40
Heat 10:Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.50, Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.00, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.67
Heat 11:C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.50, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 13.50, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.17
Heat 12:Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.83, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.33, Chris Davidson (AUS) 9.03

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Dillon Graves (USA)
Heat 2:Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Dylan Graves (PRI)
Heat 3:Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 4:Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 5:Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 6:Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 7:Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8:Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 9:Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10:Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 11:Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 12:Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)