Top seeds stumble in the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2016

October 18, 2016 | Surfing
Kelly Slater: he loves doing airs in Supertubos | Photo: Poullenot/WSL

The top 3 surfers on the Championship Tour (CT) rankings will have to surf Round 2 at the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2016, in Supertubos.

John John Florence, Gabriel Medina, and Matt Wilkinson were not comfortable in the shifty beach break located in Peniche and will have to win their repechage heat to keep their world title hopes alive.

The first top seed to fall was Wilkinson. The Australian was not able to stop Miguel Pupo's determination. The Brazilian aerialist chose the best spot in the lineup and is through to Round 3.

"I feel a lot of pressure, but I've been in this position before, and I managed to requalify. This is a wave that I love very much but I've never done well, so this could be the year maybe. I'm trying not to rush things," said Pupo.

Frederico Morais, the always dangerous Portuguese wildcard, took down Medina. The Qualifying Series campaigner found the best waves and is ready to play the joker's game, even when his actions have world title implications.

"I have nothing to lose, so I just surf. Conditions are really hard, and there are a lot of closeouts, so you just need to take a lot of waves to get some good ones. I want to qualify so bad, but everyone knows how hard the QS is. I'm 38th, and there are three events left. I love Hawaii, the big surf, so hopefully I can do good there and maybe even qualify next year," added Morais.

John John also fell. The Hawaiian surfer didn't find his rhythm and saw Jadson Andre taking another step towards requalification.

"I definitely don't want to be in that position every year, but sometimes you don't have a choice. I love Portugal; I always do good here, and I really hope I can win a couple more heats," expressed Andre.

Kelly Slater, 44, had another great day in Supertubos. The Floridian landed a giant forehand air and earned nine points from the judges. Then, all he had to do was finding a decent backup wave.

"I saw that right and knew there wasn't much in it except for an air, so I took as much speed as I could and hit it as late as I could and that one stuck. I took a few days for myself in France and feel relaxed now," concluded Slater.

Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2016 | Round 2 Match-Ups

John John Florence (HAW) vs. Miguel Blanco (PRT)
Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Nat Young (USA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)

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