Rip Curl Pro Search

As of 11am, the Rip Curl Pro Search has gone ON HOLD until 2pm. This morning saw Heats 9 through 12 of Round 1 completed at Lagido before the tide ped too low. Event organizers have opted to go ON HOLD until 2pm where they will reconvene at Lagido to assess a possible restart.

The Rip Curl Pro Search is called on this morning, with the back half of Round 1 taking on the clean four-to-five (1 – 1.5 metre) lefthanders of the backup site of Lagido, ning at 9am.

Stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search ran the opening eight heats of Round 1 yesterday at the third backup venue of Molhe Leste, but with more favorable winds for the other side of the peninsula projected for the day, event organizers have opted for the reeling lefthanders of Lagido in hopes of running as many heats as possible.

“We have much more favorable conditions on offer today but the winds were looking a bit onshore at Supertubes and much cleaner at the backup venue of Lagido,” Damien Hardman, Rip Curl Pro Search Contest Director, said. “It’s high tide right now and we’re still seeing some good waves come through and we expect it to improve as the tide' s out.”

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Marlon Lipke

The Rip Curl Pro Search got underway today in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) wedging righthanders at Molhe Leste, where the world’s best surfers carved, snapped and aired their way through the opening eight heats of Round 1.

Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search operated at its third backup site today – the primary venue of Supertubes being destroyed by large surf and surging tides two nights ago and the backup sites of Lagido and Belgas buffeted by onshore winds today. Opting to run the new competition format, featuring man-on-man elimination heats from the outset, today’s Round 1 action saw no shortage of upsets, with five of the eight higher-seeded surfers eliminated from competition.

Marlon Lipke (DEU), 25, 2009 ASP World Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 44, scored a major victory today, defeating fellow rookie Michel Bourez (PYF), 23, utilizing an aggressive backhand approach to post the day’s highest heat total of a 14.66 out of a possible 20, and advance through to Round 2.

“I saw Michel (Bourez) free-surfing this morning and he surfed amazing,” Lipke said. “I thought to myself, ‘I just have to get the better waves’. Lucky, I did manage to get them. It feels so good, I forgot how good it feels to get through a heat as I haven’t got through one all year!”

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Jamie O'Brien

An international cast of surfers were literally on “Cloud 9” today with Typhoon Lupit whipping up epic 1.5-2 metre (6ft plus) waves for the opening day of the Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational at Siargao Island in the Philippines.

Cloud 9 lived up to its hype, serving up a smorgasbord of hollow, tubing waves, as contest organisers opted to run round one heats before completing four sudden-death round two heats to close out the day.

Excellent scores were the norm as surfers from Australia, Bali, Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, South Africa and the Philippines pushed their tube riding skills to the limit, weaving deep through the bellies of cavernous waves in the tussle for important round three berths. 

Hawaiian hotshot Jamie O’Brien fired a warning shot to his fellow rivals by switch footing his way through a Cloud 9 keg to post the event’s first perfect 10-point ride.

The former pipeline master, who arrived at the out-of-the-way break only a few hours before his opening round heat, showed no signs of jetlag, netting a combined two-wave total of 17.80 to easily beat Australian Cahill Bell Warren (9.83 – Jan Juc, Victoria) and local Philippines surfer Rodolfo Alcala (3.10) in a one-sided affair.

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