Kelly Slater

The standard of surfing at the Boost Mobile Pro pres. by Hurley was nothing short of electrifying today, but per usual, it was eight-time ASP World Champion and ratings leader Kelly Slater (USA) who stole the show.

With a 9.17 and 9.60 in his Round 4 scoreline, Slater had opponent Kieren Perrow (AUS) needing a combination of scores to beat him with half the heat to go. Still, with 20 seconds remaining, Slater pulled out all the stops and stamped his authority on the heat by posting the first and only perfect 10 of the event thus far.

“I’m not sure it was a 10 – it was a good ride though,” Slater said with a smile. “There was some bump on it, but I was able to get just steep enough in the pocket to get a vertical bang on it and I got that reverse at the end and stuck it.”

Slater surfed twice today, beating wildcard and former ASP World Champion Sunny Garcia (HAW) in Round 3 and then Perrow in Round 4. His upcoming quarterfinal opponent Bobby Martinez (USA) was among a bevy of standout surfers today.

Martinez made his heat with a 9.87 and 8.50 to find himself matched up with the Slater, the two-time and reigning Boost Mobile Pro Champion. The two recently went head to head in Fiji, with Slater victorious there, but barely.

“The surfing has been great,” Slater said. “There was some really good surfing in the heat before mine with Bobby (Martinez) and Kai (Otton). Bobby just ended up out-classing him, so we’ve got a rematch now. I’m not sure how I want to approach it just yet – maybe just like that last heat. Lay it on rail.”

Slater’s pick for form surfer of the event – Dane Reynolds (USA) – wowed again today and took out World No. 2 Joel Parkinson (AUS). Currently campaigning for a record ninth world title, Slater was obviously pleased about that, but isn’t letting his guard down. Always the mathematician, he is already looking at how the ratings will change when the surfers start to their two low results – only 9 of 11 events count toward an ASP World Tour surfer’s final tally.

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Rebecca Woods

Rebecca Woods (AUS), 23, has defeated fellow ASP Women’s World Tour campaigners Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, and Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 23, as well as Brazilian icon Tita Tavares to claim the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star Billabong Girls Rio.

Woods with 8.83 single-wave score bested her fellow finalists, earning the event title and moving up to No. 2 on the ASP WQS.

“I got heaps of waves on my head when I was paddling out and I was thinking ’Please God send me a good one’ and it came," Woods said. "I am stoked because the heat was really hard. It was my first time facing only ASP World Champions in the same heat and definitely gives me a lot of confidence and a good value for my victory."

“This result gave me a lot of confidence for ASP Women’s World Tour event which will happen in the next few days here in Rio de Janeiro," Woods said. "I am enjoying Rio de Janeiro, it’s my first time here. The city is beautiful, good waves. I just hope the sun will come up tomorrow and the conditions get better on the next days."

Woods claimed the ASP WQS in 2005 while fellow Australian Miley-Dyer followed suit the following year. Gilmore is the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and the Final was rounded out by former ASP Women’s World Tour campaigner Tavares, who led in the beginning, but was unable to maintain throughout the Final.

"I am stoked," Gilmore said. "I didn’t know about this guest place in the ASP Women’s World Tour event, but Rebecca got the best wave and won. It’s my first time in Rio, and I like the waves here. I would like to surf in Prainha, where I know the waves are stronger and I hope to have time to visit the tourists place in Rio."

Tavares receives a wildcard into this week’s Billabong Girls Pro Rio, event No. 4 on the ASP Women’s World Tour.

The Billabong Girls Pro Rio will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com/rio08

BILLABONG GIRLS PRO RIO - ASP WQS 4-Star

FINAL
1 - Rebecca Woods (AUS)
2 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
3 - Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
4 - Tita Tavares (BRA)

SEMIFINALS
1: 1-Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 2-Tita Tavares (BRA), 3-Silvana Lima (BRA), 4-Tais de Almeida (BRA)
2: 1-Rebecca Woods (AUS), 2-Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 3-Nicola Atherton (AUS), 4-Monik Santos (BRA)

QUARTERFINALS
1: 1-Taís de Almeida (BRA), 2-Silvana Lima (BRA), 3-Krisna de Souza (BRA), 4-Valeria Sole (PERU)
2: 1-Tita Tavares (BRA), 2-Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 3-Melanie Redman (AUS), 4-Juliana Quint (BRA)
3: 1-Rebecca Woods, 2-Jessi Miley-Dyer, 3-Samantha Cornish, 4-Layne Beachley (AUS)
4: 1-Nicola Atherton (AUS), 2-Monik Santos (BRA), 3-Serena Brooke (AUS), 4-Gabriela Teixeira (BRA)

CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S ASP WQS RATINGS:
1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) – 9.695 points
2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) – 7.855
3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) – 7.520
4: Rosanne Hodge (AFR) – 7.415
5: Paige Hareb (NZL) – 7.120
6: Bruna Schmitz (BRA-PR) – 6.790
7: Jacqueline Silva (BRA-SC) – 6.725
8: Alana Blanchard (HAV) – 6.695
9: Laurina McGrath (AUS) – 6.645
10: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) – 6.155
10: Bethany Hamilton (HAV) – 6.155


SOURCE: ASP

Boost Mobile Pro 

The world’s best surfers were treated to perfect conditions at the Boost Mobile Pro presented by Hurley today. All of Round 1 and the first two heats of Round 2 were run in consistent three to five foot waves at Lower Trestles.

Having the opportunity to score another surf in today’s excellent conditions was not lost on ASP World No. 3 Bede Durbidge (AUS) and World No.4 Taj Burrow (AUS). Both surfers came up short in Round 1, but bounced back in Round 2 beating former ASP World Tour competitors Shane Beschen (USA) and Rob Machado (USA) respectively to avoid an untimely exit from the event.

“When I get to Trestles the wave is so much fun that I always get too excited, I don’t know what to do with that perfect wall and I usually blow it,” Burrow said. “I get a bit too over amped. I want to surf it the way I would free surf it. I just want to stay consistent and make some heats.”

Burrow was beaten by injury replacement surfer Sunny Garcia (HAW) in Round 1, but redeemed himself by posting the second highest heat total of the day – 18.50 – when he eliminated Beschen in Round 2.
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Former Boost Mobile Pro Champion Bede Durbidge (AUS) had to claw his way back into contention after losing to wildcard Brett Simpson in Round 1. Durbidge beat eight-time ASP World Champion and current ratings leader Kelly Slater (USA) in the 2006 final to post his first ASP World Tour victory. He beat Machado in Round 2 to keep his chances of finding himself in another Lower Trestles final alive today.

“Winning in 2006 was definitely a career highlight and it gave me so much confidence for the rest of the tour,” Durbdige said. “Coming back, I have so many good memories and I just love the wave. It’s so rippable.”

Slater is shooting for his third ASP World Tour win at Trestles having entered the event the defending champion and first winning it in 2005. He posted two excellent scoring rides in Round 1 – a 9.60 and 9.00 – to amass an 18.60 out of 20.00 point heat total – the highest of the day.

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