- 05 April 2010 | Surfing
The second of 10 stops of the 2010 ASP Dream Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach presented by Snickers, has completed Round 1 despite challenging conditions and has seen nine-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), 38, and ASP World Tour Rookie Patrick Gudauskas (San Clemente, CA), 24, lead their fellow American ASP Dream Tour contingent through to Round 3 with solid Round 1 victories.
With the 45 man field currently representing the ASP World Tour roster being cut to 32 after event No. 5 of the season, a keeper result at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will play a crucial role in surfer’s chances of requalification for their chance at this year’s ASP World Title.
Slater, who has confirmed his intentions of an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title this year, has clinched the coveted Bells trophy on several occasions and marched through his Round 1 heat with a solid performance to relegate Australian veteran Mick Campbell (AUS), 35, and Brazilian Rookie Marco Polo (BRA), 27, to Round 2.
"Obviously didn't get the result I was looking for on the Gold Coast but it's a long year ahead,” Slater said. "I'm taking it event by event, but the title is always the goal. We'll see how it pans out."
Gudauskas, who was the only other mainland American surfer aside from Slater to clinch a Round 1 heat win, pushed current ASP World No. 2 Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, and Jay Thompson (AUS), 27, into Round 2 while navigating through the tough conditions on offer at Bells to move directly through to Round 3 with a last-minute effort to take out the heat win by combining progressive aerials and critical turns.
"That wave was deeper on the peak and it had a really good wedge on it," Gudauskas said. "I was just trying to go big and not hold back. The beauty of the first round is you can just throw it out there and see what happens. Jordy (Smith) is really talented in conditions like this, and in every condition, and Jay Thompson is phenomenal himself so I was just hoping to get something started. I actually had a pretty slow start in that heat."
The remaining American surfers will all keep their hopes alive for this year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Title when they hit the water in Round 2.
To watch the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach LIVE log on to www.live.ripcurl.com
REMAINING RIP CURL PRO BELLS BEACH ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Adam Robertson (AUS)
Heat 4: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 5: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 6: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 7: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 8: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 9: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Nate Yeomans (USA)
Heat 11: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 12: Daniel Ross (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 13: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 14: Mick Campbell (AUS) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 15: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 16: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
SOURCE: ASP World Tour