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|Not quite the Superbank, but Mick Fanning fared all right just the same.|
That Perfect Storm of yesterday still has a day or so to blow itself out. Today we were greeted with rainstorms, swirling winds, messy four- to six-foot Supertubos and a number of contest calls. Round 1 was eventually called on at 1:00 p.m. with the first heat hitting the water at 1:30.
|Yeah Kelly, give this kid your board...|
A major sporting event on a Sunday in Portugal with Tiago Pires, who is basically a National hero, meant large crowds with umbrellas and traffic jams like there's a party happening. Just before Pires hit the water a huge storm front came in off the ocean dumping rain. Instead of the massive patriotic crowd heading for their cars a sea of umbrellas opened up to cover the beach and in what was to be the story of the day, Tiago was pushed into the second spot by the unorthodox surfing of Matty Wilkinson, who makes bad surf look good. When I asked Tiago if the heavens had opened up for him in his heat, he replied pointing to his eye, "No crying for me."
The crowd had also come to see Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith strut their stuff but nobody expected underdogs Tom Whitaker and Gabe Kling to win their respective heats. Gabe said later "I'll take it anyway I can. I couldn't see what Jordy was doing to get his scores and there definitely weren't any barrels out there so I was pretty happy getting those sevens."Read More »