- 11 May 2014 | Surfing
Mick Fanning has been knocked out of the Billabong Rio Pro 2014, after being defeated by David do Carmo in Round 2, at Barra da Tijuca.
Wildcard David do Carmo claimed a 7.00 for three big turns on his forehand and improved his situation with two backhand blast for a 7.93.
With Fanning against the ropes, the veteran worked to battle back, logging a series of mid-range scores. The Australian continued to hunt the lineup, but was unable to find the near-perfect 9.10 needed to take the win.
"It's amazing to be here in my country and surfing against Mick. I've never had a feeling like that before. I've been watching Mick my whole life. He's the best in the world. I'm so happy to beat him," says the Brazilian underdog.
Fired up from the Brazilian upset over Fanning, the crowd looked for a repeat as wildcard Peterson Crisanto took to the water to face 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.
Unphased by the energy on the beach, Slater opened with seamless carves for a 6.67. A mid-range score on a tight tube ride left Crisanto on the hunt for a 7.30 with 10 minutes on the clock.
Slater used priority to deny Crisanto a building wave and closed on a layout that improved his bottom score to a 5.17. Crisanto botched the landing of an air reverse on a last ditch effort to overcome the lead but came short of the 7.84 needed to avoid elimination. Slater will advance to Round 3.
"I've surfed against a lot of wildcards and you never know what will happen. It's all about the mindset that they come into the competition with. I didn't underestimate him," underlines Slater.
Local favorite Miguel Pupo and Aritz Aranburu stuck to what they know best: Pupo trying to maximize his air game while Aranburu worked his powerful backhand carves.
With choppy surf and unpredictable ramps, the vertical approach won out. Anaburu's scored an early 6.83 and found a similar wave in the final 10 minutes, cutting through the foam for progressive-style carves.
Unable to land big cleanly, Pupo found himself short of the excellent score he needed, allowing Aranburu to advance in another upset.
"It was going to be a hard heat. I knew I couldn't do much against Miguel if he started doing airs but I thought that if I played a smart heat and could get some open faces I could do some damage. Luckily the waves came my way and I made it so I'm stoked," concludes Aranburu.
Billabong Rio Pro Round 3 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)