After six, consecutive lay days, the Billabong Pro Mundaka sprang back to life this morning, running the remaining eight Round 1 heats at the backup venue of Sopelana before completing the whole of Round 2 at the primary site of Mundaka.
Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Billabong Pro Mundaka had no shortage of action today, opting to run the dual-heat format for Round 2, resulting in some incendiary performances and major shakeups on the ASP World Tour ratings.
Mick Fanning (AUS), 28, former ASP World Champion (2007), has usurped former frontrunner Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, in the race for the 2009 ASP World Title. Surfing in overlapping heats, Parkinson was eliminated with an Equal 17th place finish (his third consecutive) before Fanning took down David Weare (ZAF), 29, to advance through to the third round. The advancement moves Fanning 44 points ahead of Parkinson on the ASP World Tour ratings.
“I’m not thinking about it (ASP World Title) at all,” Fanning said. “It’s just one heat. If you want to win the World Title, you have to win heats and that’s all I’m working on. I’ve got a long way to go. It’s unfortunate for Joel (Parkinson) that he got another bad result, but he’s still right there and it’s going to come down to the wire.”
Having won the last two ASP World Tour events, Fanning’s momentum is nigh untouchable at present, and the powerful natural-footer is keen to keep competition going at Mundaka’s punchy lefthanders.
“It’s been such a challenging contest for waves but my hat goes off to Snips (Mike Parsons) for his call today,” Fanning said. “You really couldn’t have done it any better. The waves were really fun and I would have loved to have been on my forehand like Bobby (Martinez). Looks like we’re going to power through again tomorrow so hopefully the swell stays around.”
Fanning battles goofy-footer Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), 27, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka.
Drew Courtney (AUS), 30, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP World No. 38, caused the upset of the event, eliminating then-ASP World No. 1 Joel Parkinson (AUS), 28, in Round 2 of competition.
“The top seeds may be battling for the World Title, but we’re battling for requalification so we’re not giving anything away,” Courtney said. “It’s a super important event for me and I was stoked to get a couple of good waves under my belt out there. I’m feeling confident and looking forward to the next one.”
Courtney will take on Kai Otton (AUS), 29, when competition resumes.
Kelly Slater (USA), 37, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 5, was in sensational form today after suffering a near-debilitating knee injury.
“I wouldn’t have surfed if we ran yesterday,” Slater said. “I haven’t surfed since my last heat in Hossegor. I hurt my knee –my Ilio-tibial band is super tight and it rubbed against the knee so much that it’s bruised. I have inflammation in my knee. Two days ago, I couldn’t walk. Yesterday, I got on these anti-inflammatory patches that make it feel better. I drove straight from France and jumped in the water.”
Despite the setback, Slater netted the day’s high heat total of a 17.84 out of a possible 20 for a inspired backhand assault on Mundaka’s roping lefthanders.
“It actually felt okay,” Slater said. “The first two waves I got, I was kind of scared to go hard on it. Towards the end, it loosened up and I felt confident going through those motions.”
Slater will face Tom Whitaker (AUS), 30, in Round 3 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka.
When competition resumes, up first will be former ASP World Champion (2001) C.J. Hobgood (USA), 30, against former ASP World Junior Champion (2005) and 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 24.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am to assess conditions for a possible 8am start. Conditions permitting, the dual-heat format will once again be utilized in hopes of crowning a champion tomorrow.
REMAINING BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 9: Dean Morrison (AUS) 13.66 def. Dean Bowen (AUS) 9.96
Heat 10: Mick Campbell (AUS) 11.77 def. Marcos San Segundo (EUK) 9.50
Heat 11: Chris Davidson (AUS) 12.34 def. Nathaniel Curran (USA) 10.93
Heat 12: Michael Picon (FRA) 14.20 def. Tim Reyes (USA) 13.00
Heat 13: Nic Muscroft (AUS) 14.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.43
Heat 14: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.50 def. Dustin Barca (HAW) 5.67
Heat 15: Chris Ward (USA) 10.86 def. Dayyan Neve (AUS) 9.20
Heat 16: Greg Emslie (ZAF) 15.00 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 10.34
BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.00 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 8.27
Heat 2: Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 13.33 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 8.20
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.43
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.83 def. Michael Picon (FRA) 10.53
Heat 5: Bobby Martinez (USA) 16.84 def. Chris Ward (USA) 7.00
Heat 6: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.16 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 12.80
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.36 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.27
Heat 8: Drew Courtney (AUS) 13.67 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.30
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.67 def. David Weare (ZAF) 5.73
Heat 10: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 11.74 def. Dean Morrison (AUS) 5.44
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.63 def. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 10.37
Heat 12: Taylor Knox (USA) 11.23 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.10
Heat 13: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.84 def. Jihad Khodr (BRA) 15.30
Heat 14: Tom Whitaker (AUS) 11.96 def. Mick Campbell (AUS) 9.84
Heat 15: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.83 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.70
Heat 16: Kieren Perrow (AUS) 12.33 def. Ben Dunn (AUS) 11.43
UPCOMING BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Kekoa Bacalso (HAW)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Drew Courtney (AUS)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Tom Whitaker (AUS)
Heat 8: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)