Updated: November 6, 2010, 11:18 PM ET

Rip Curl Search Puerto Rico Preview

A comprehensive statistical guide to Stop 9 of the 2010 ASP World Tour

By Mike Newman
ESPN Action Sports
Archive

LuskThe Rip Curl Search is mobile this year and contest officials have plenty to choose from, like this beast on the northwest coast.

There are plenty of surfers to watch in the ninth event of what we're now calling the "Kelly Slater Title Watch Tour," but before we get to them, let's recap where things stand in the march toward a historic tenth world title for Mr. Slater:

Jordy Smith is the only surfer who can still feel the chop from Slater's wake. If Slater wants to get this thing over with and not worry about Smith, he needs a third place finish or better. If Slater gets a fifth or a ninth, Smith can take the fight to Hawaii with a first. If Slater gets a thirteenth or a twenty-fifth, Smith needs a third. And if Smith get a fifth or worse, than Slater will be champion even with a twenty-fifth.

Considering Smith has finished second, fifth, and fifth in the last three events, maybe it would be premature to crown Slater before the opening bell. Then again, considering Slater has finished first, second, and first in that same span, maybe it's not premature at all.

But there are more than two surfers headed to the fifth-ever Rip Curl Search event, aren't there? Of the five events -- at Reunion Island, Mainland Mexico, Chile, Bali, and Portugal -- 32 current tour surfers have competed previously. Four others are first timers, while two surfers have won The Search before -- Mick Fanning and Andy Irons have both won twice.

So who -- besides Slater and Jordy Smith -- should you keep an eye on? Well, there's Mick Fanning. He's not too bad. He won The Search in Reunion and Portugal and, while he's out of the title race, he's win heat win percentage in Search events is 86, making him the favorite.

Then there's Mr. Consistent, Damien Hobgood. In four starts, he has three "keepers," including a runner-up finish in Chile and a fifth in Portugal. His win percentage is only 65, due to having missed the first event at Reunion, but his Quarterfinal finish a few weeks ago at Rip Curl Pro put him back in the top 10 and might indicate that he has momentum. Plus, Florida boys have spent more time in Puerto Rico than anyone else on tour.

As for the young guard, Owen Wright didn't quite quench his frustration from his wildcard performance in Portugal last year, when a ruptured eardrum forced him to bow out of the Semifinal, with a fifth place finish a few weeks ago. As the highest rated rookie on Tour at seventh, Puerto Rico offers him a chance to corner the race for Rookie Of The Year.

2010 Hurley Pro Event Rankings

A Surfers Ratings Explained:
Add the sum of events surfed to the number of final 16 heats surfed. Divide that number by the surfer's average event result. Then add bonus points for heats surfed in the final 16 (1st = 1.0, 2nd = 0.5, 3rd = 0.25, 5th = 0.1).

SAMPLE: Kelly Slater
(9 events + 13 finals = 22)
(22 / 7.67 ave result = 2.868)
(2.868 + 3.50 bonus points = 6.370)

NAME RATING STARTS ASP RANK AVE. RESULT LAST THREE YEARS
1. Fanning (AUS) 4.347 5 3 6.20 3, 9, 1
2 Search wins: Reunion Is '05 and Portugal '09. 3rd in Chili in '07, 9th Bali '08.
2. Irons (HAW) 4.000 16 4 5.00 1, 9, --
2 Search wins: Mexico '06 and Chili '07.
3. D HOBGOOD (USA) 1.570 4 10 8.25 2, 17, 5
'07 runner-up and '09 placed 5th. Good event for goofy footer.
4. Parkinson (AUS) 1.493 5 24 7.00 5, 9, 3
Finished in finals every season, 3rd in '09 and 5th in '07. Out with injury.
5. Durbidge (AUS) 1.282 5 8 13.20 33, 9, 2
'09 runner-up and 5th in '06. Missed event 8.
6. Burrow (AUS) 1.280 5 4 8.60 17, 5, 9
3rd in '06, 5th in '08 and couple of 9ths. Favorite for this event.
7. Patacchia (HAW) 1.071 5 18 9.00 9, 2, 9
9th in '07, runner-up '08, 9th in '09.
8. Martinez (USA) 1.057 4 17 7.00 5, 9, 5
Hasn't won a final series at the Search, always made final-16 in 4 starts.
9. Knox (USA) 1.013 5 23 15.60 9, 33, 17
Runner-up '06, only won 3 heats in last 3 events.
10. C Hobgood (USA) 0.882 4 14 9.50 3, 17, 9
3rd in '07, a couple of 9ths in 4 starts.
11. Morrison (AUS) 0.867 4 35 9.00 5, 9, 17
5th in '06 and '07, 9th in '08. '09 was forgettable.
12. Slater (USA) 0.626 5 1 11.40 9, 17, 17
5th in '06 2 x 9th in '07 and '09. Not his best event.
13. Otton (AUS) 0.622 3 30 7.67 9, 5, 9
5th in '08 2 x 9th in '07 and '09.
14. Wright (AUS) 0.472 2 7 18.00 --, 33, 3
3rd in '09, wild card in '08 but bombed.
15. Pires (PRT) 0.472 2 18 18.00 --, 3, 33
3rd in '08 and then bombed badly in '09 without a heat win.
16. Perrow (AUS) 0.408 3 22 13.00 17, 5, 17
5th in '08. Sitting on bubble for qualification.
17. Whitaker (AUS) 0.294 5 31 17.00 33, 17, 9
2 x 9th in '09 (Mexico and Portugal). 6 heat wins in 5 starts.
18. Smith (ZAF) 0.258 2 2 19.00 --, 33, 5
5th in '09 but started with 33rd in '08. He won't do that again.
19. de Souza (BRA) 0.211 4 9 19.00 33, 17, 9
9th in '09 but won only 4 heats in other 3 starts. Won 1 of last 7 heats in '10.
20. Buchan (AUS) 0.176 3 5 17.00 17, 17, 17
3 x 17ths. Currently in a career high.
21. Logie (ZAF) 0.176 3 29 17.00 9, 33, --
2 x 9th in '05 and '07. Needs big result.
22. Stedman (AUS) 0.160 4 31 25.00 33, 17, --
Only 2 heat wins in 4 starts. Must reach finals or he may be off Tour.
23. Powers (HAW) 0.134 3 34 22.33 --, 17, 17
Last two events with 1 heat in each start. Might be the end, struggling this year.
24. Flores (FRA) 0.118 2 15 17.00 17, 17, --
Only won 2 heats in 2 starts in '07 and '08. 3rd in '09.
25. Reynolds (AUS) 0.095 2 6 21.00 --, 33, 9
Won 2 heats last season, but are only heat wins.
26. Munro 0.061 2 33 33.00 33, 33, --
Never won a heat in 3 starts. Needs 6 heat wins.
27. Gudauskas (USA) 0.059 1 20 17.00 --, --, 17
Wild card in '09 and finished with 1 heat and placed 17th.
28. Davidson (AUS) 0.030 1 13 33.00 --, --, 33
First event in '09, placed 3rd.
29. Bourez (PYF) 0.030 1 10 33.00 --, --, 33
Back for a second try, 10th position for last 2 events.
30. Ross (AUS) 0.030 1 26 33.00 --, 33, --
Needs to win at least 2 or 3 heats or he could be finsihed this season.
31. Wilkinson (AUS) 0.030 1 27 33.00 --, --, --
Wild card entry in '05, placed 33rd.
32. Kling (USA) 0.030 1 36 33.00 --, 33, --
Might get a start in this event.


2010 The Search Puerto Rico Rookies (Current ASP Rank):

  • Jason Andre (10)

  • Bret Simpson (20)

  • Adam Melling (25)

  • Dusty Payne (28)

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