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.”

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

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)

Kelly Slater: he dreams of Puerto Rico every night

The stage is set. The waves are waiting. The champagne is chilling in the freezer. It's time for the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search, the ultimate surfing event to be held in Puerto Rico.

And there's one man waiting for so long. His name's Kelly Slater. The North American surfer from Florida might secure his 10th crown in South America, a few thousand miles away from his Cocoa Beach, Florida.

There are four scenarios in the decision table for Kelly Slater:

- If Slater finishes Equal 3rd or better, he clinches the 2010 ASP World Title.
- If Slater finishes Equal 5th or Equal 9th, Smith must win the event to send the ASP World Title Race to Hawaii.
- If Slater finishes Equal 13th or Equal 25th, Smith must finish Equal 3rd or better to send the ASP World Title Race to Hawaii.
- Essentially, if Smith fails to finish higher than Equal 5th, Slater claims the 2010 ASP World Title.

And Jordy Smith knows what's at stake.

“My goal is the same it has been all season - make heats,” Smith said. “The rest is out of my hands.”

The 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search Puerto Rico will be a memorable surfing event.

Make sure you don't miss a bit with

Heat 1:Adrian Buchan (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 2:Dane Reynolds (USA), Taylor Knox (USA), Roy Powers (HAW)
Heat 3:Taj Burrow (AUS), Tiago Pires (PRT), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 4:Mick Fanning (AUS), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 5:Jordy Smith (ZAF), Brett Simpson (USA), Dylan Graves (PRI)
Heat 6:Kelly Slater (USA), Daniel Ross (AUS), Dillon Perillo (USA)
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8:Owen Wright (AUS), Andy Irons (HAW), Luke Stedman (AUS)
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Bobby Martinez (USA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10:Damien Hobgood (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 11:C.J. Hobgood (USA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 12:Michel Bourez (PYF), Chris Davidson (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)

SurfAid: leading operations in Indonesia

The Indonesian Government has requested that SurfAid take a lead in coordinating the Non Government Organisations’ (NGO) response to the Mentawai tsunami.

SurfAid CEO Andrew Judge initially met with the Indonesian Vice President, Bapak Boediono, and Indonesian cabinet members, in Padang on Tuesday.

At that meeting, the Vice President asked SurfAid to provide an assessment to the Indonesian Government of the situation on the ground in the Mentawai Islands.

“To take the lead coordinating role in this disaster is a great honour and a huge level of responsibility,” Judge said today. “SurfAid is a locally based NGO with commitment to, and extensive knowledge of, the Mentawai. We have worked here for 10 years and this is our fifth major emergency response.

“SurfAid is rapidly expanding its operations to provide the essential assessment information so that the necessary responses can be targeted to the areas in greatest need. We have also delivered shelter, building, hygiene and kitchen materials to thousands of people and those deliveries are continuing.”

Distribution and assessment continue

SurfAid’s Mentawai Program Manager Tom Plummer is leading a response team that is distributing shelter, hygiene and building kits via surf charter boat Huey at village Sabaegungung, on South Pagai island.

Due to bad weather at midday yesterday, the team had to stop distribution and head to Sikakap to coordinate distribution with other SurfAid teams and the local disaster management coordination centre.

SurfAid’s small boat Sibex will continue assessing the bottom of South Pagai island today.

A cargo boat is shipping SurfAid’s Non Food Items (NFI): 2000 shelter kits, 1000 building kits, 1000 hygiene kits, and 500 kitchen kits. The cargo boat is heading to Sikakap today, a 10-hour steam, and will distribute from there.

After the Indonesian Government’s request for SurfAid to lead a comprehensive assessment of the Mentawai, SurfAid is scaling up its assessment work. On Wednesday night a team of 19 - a combination of three SurfAid staff, eight KOGAMI staff (a respected Padang based NGO) and eight Mentawaian volunteers, headed to Sikakap to do rapid assessments.

Four experienced Rapid Assessors from the ASEAN Secretariat arrived in Padang last night and are heading to Sikakap today to join the SurfAid assessment teams. And SurfAid Program Manager Asrial is heading to Sikakap to coordinate with local BPBD in Sikakap.

The surf charter boats Mangalui, Addiction and Barrenjoey, and resort owner John Ocean, are also carrying out assessments of various villages in the Mentawai so that the response can efficiently target the much-needed emergency supplies.