Ericeira: Europe's surfing jewel | Photo: Husond

Portuguese town of Ericeira could become the first European region with the World Surfing Reserve title. The application has been presented yesterday by municipality of Mafra, in Portugal.

The Portuguese bid is supported by public and private institutions and includes the coastal strip from Empa Beach to São Lourenço Beach. The application was submitted last week to Save the Waves.

"Ericeira is internationally recognized by its conditions for surfing, has unique natural features, 11 miles of coastline and 22 waves. Seven of them will be candidates," said Helder Silva, from Tourism of Mafra.

The candidate waves are Pedra Branca, Reef, Ribeira de Ilhas, Cave, Crazy Left, Coxos and São Lourenço.

The first ever World Surfing Reserve title was awarded to Malibu, in California.

Jordy Smith: aerial specialist

The Rip Curl Pro Portugal completed Round 4 this afternoon in punchy two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at the backup venue of Belgas.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Portugal executed the three-man, non-elimination Round 4 this afternoon with surfers pushing the boundaries of high-performance surfing and the event setting up for a possible finish tomorrow.

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 2, proved the form surfer of the day, netting a near-perfect 9.93 out of a possible 10 for an incredible aerial 360.

“That score didn’t change my approach much actually,” Smith said. “Jadson (Andre) and Owen (Wright) can pull big scores out at any moment. I knew I could ease up and needed a solid backup score.”

One of the remaining threats in the hunt for the 2010 ASP World Title, Smith remains nonchalant when discussing his plans for the end of the year.

“It would be nice to win but there’s more to life than just the title,” Smith said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for me to have for someone at my age and I’m just looking forward to the end of the year. I’m enjoying myself.”

Kelly Slater (USA), 38, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, dominated his Round 4 heat today, taking advantage of the non-elimination format.

“This round definitely allows you to relax and loosen up a bit for sure,” Slater said. “Of course, winning today takes the pressure off a little bit and let’s you bypass a round on the last day.”

Adrian Buchan (AUS), 27, current ASP World No. 6, opened up today’s action in incredible form this morning, dispatching of Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 22, and Michel Bourez (PYF), 24, en route to his advancement to the Quarterfinals.

“It’s really fun out there but kind of hard to find the ones that really line up,” Buchan said. “Matty (Wilkinson) and Michel (Bourez) were really getting frustrated out there, but I was just focusing on picking good waves and surfing them completely.”

Jeremy Flores (FRA), 22, current ASP World No. 20, kept the European contingent progressing through the day, taking out his Round 4 bout and moving to the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

“It’s all good,” Flores said. “As long as I win heats, I’m stoked. I haven’t had the best waves in the last few heats but today was pretty fun. The last few years, I’ve been trying add airs and fin throws to my repertoire and it hasn’t been working. I’ve moved back to what I do best and it’s been working really well for me. I’m stoked to be in the Quarterfinals and hope I can keep going.”

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.77, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.03, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 5.50
Heat 2:Kelly Slater (USA) 13.60, Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.83, Chris Davidson (AUS) 6.08
Heat 3:Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.07, Travis Logie (ZAF) 13.73, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.17
Heat 4:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.16, Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.57, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 2:Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 3:Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 4:Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)

Travis Logie: a great comeback

The world’s best surfers showcased their unparalleled versatility today, trading the barrels of Supertubos for punchy two-to-three (1 metre) peaks at Belgas for Round 3 of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2010 ASP World Tour, today’s Rip Curl Pro Portugal bore witness to major developments in the ASP World Title Race, with two major contenders bowing out in Round 3 of competition.

Travis Logie (ZAF), 31, current ASP World Tour No. 34, caused the upset of the event this afternoon, eliminating reigning ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 3, Mick Fanning (AUS), 29, from competition with a frenzied backhand assault on the Belgas righthanders.

“I can’t believe it,” Logie said. “Halfway through that heat, I was comboed and couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Then I got two good rights and surfed them for all I was worth. The scores didn’t come through for a while because there were a lot of waves close together. Then it came out that I had taken the lead and Mick (Fanning) got that good one right at the end. He just missed out and I’m so stoked.”

After dispatching of current ASP World No. 5, Dane Reynolds (USA), 25, in Round 2 yesterday, Logie’s confidence is running high with intentions of carrying him to a solid result in Portugal towards his requalification campaign.

“It’s a crucial event for me for sure,” Logie said. “I’ve had so many close calls this year that haven’t gone my way and I really need to put some results on the board if I want to make the cutoff after Pipe. After these last two heats, I have a lot of confidence and hopefully things keep going my way.”

Matt Wilkinson (AUS), 22, 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 27, caused another monster upset in the opening heat of the afternoon, eliminating current ASP World No. 4, Taj Burrow (AUS), 32, with an inspired display of progressive surfing.

“I had a little free surf this morning and had a few fun ones,” Wilkinson said. “My board felt really good and I was just excited to surf a heat and see what the outcome was. That was the third heat I’ve had Taj (Burrow) this year and he’s got me twice before. It feels good to get him back. The forecast doesn’t look excellent for the remainder of the period and I feel like if we continue to surf in beachies, I can compete with the best of them.”

Kelly Slater (USA), 38, former nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, survived his Round 3 heat against compatriot Gabe Kling (USA), 30, this afternoon, coming one step closer to clinching an unprecedented 10th ASP World Title.

“You can’t really have a plan out there. You have to be active and catch a lot of waves. I was just trying to figure it out while I was out there. I have to win some heats and surf the same way. I need to be aggressive and go for big scores, but you also have to be smart and pick your waves.”

Jordy Smith (ZAF), 22, current ASP World No. 2, kept his ASP World Title hopes alive this afternoon, besting replacement surfer Dean Morrison (AUS), 29, in the final heat of the day.

Owen Wright (AUS), 20, 2010 ASP World Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 8, kept the action hot and heavy, collecting this season’s fourth Perfect 10 for a fin-free turn straight into a full rotation mute grab on his forehand.

“I had actually creased my board on the wave previous and I was really just coming in to change boards,” Wright said. “I was really just going for broke and the section presented itself. I actually got more height than I thought I would and rotated out of it clean. I was pretty psyched when I heard the score.”

One of the form surfers of the event last season as a wildcard, Wright’s campaign was cut short because of a blown ear drum in the Semifinals. Into Round 4 of competition already, the young Australian is moving ever-closer to notching his first ASP World Tour event win.

“I have great memories from this event last year,” Wright said. “I have some bad memories too, but I feel like I’ve put those behind me and I’m moving forward. That was a great heat for me and hopefully I can move forward.”

Jadson Andre (BRA), 20, fellow 2010 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 10, was not to be outdone in the race for 2010 ASP Rookie of the Year, executing two high-profile aerials on his final wave to edge past Brett Simpson (USA), 25.

“I had lots of opportunities but I kept falling,” Andre said. “I knew I needed a big score at the end and that wave was perfect. When I landed the second air I was so happy.”

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.67 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.50
Heat 2:Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.00 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 7.56
Heat 3:Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.17 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.40
Heat 4:Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.90 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.24
Heat 5:Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.60 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 10.67
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA) 13.17 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 11.60
Heat 7:Travis Logie (ZAF) 16.04 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.93
Heat 8:Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.60 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 8.50
Heat 9:Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.77 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.70
Heat 10:Owen Wright (AUS) 17.50 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 12.80
Heat 11:Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.83 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 13.67
Heat 12:Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.17 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 11.26

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL MEN’S ROUND 4 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Michel Bourez (PYF), Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 2:Damien Hobgood (USA), Chris Davidson (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 3:Travis Logie (ZAF), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4:Owen Wright (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Jordy Smith (ZAF)