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Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Updated: October 18, 6:58 PM ET
Super Barrels

By Peter 'Joli' Wilson
ESPN.com

Gabriel Medina
Gabriel Medina nailed a perfect 10, on the best wave he ever had in Portugal.

Preview Day 1 Day 2 Day 3

Imagine competing in a world tour event like the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in Portugal and you just scored the perfect ten-point ride but you can't remember anything about it. This is exactly how it was for Florida's CJ Hobgood.

Hobgood was competing in round one today at Supertubes in Peniche, Portugal against South African duo Jordy Smith and Travis Logie, when he snared the left hand tube that ran down the sandbank. The goofy footer milked it to the very end and the judges had no problem throwing down tens for his score. But Hobgood, in the process of trying to find a second scoring backup wave became the victim of the high tide backwash and took his board to the noggin.

"The board just whacked me in the head," he said, "It's more like a temple jab and it kind of stung at the time. I still made the heat but the only thing is that I couldn't really remember the 10. I've been trying to think back on it and I can't really remember. I've been going, 'How was that wave?' and honestly I think I'm going to have to go back and watch the footage because I can't remember much about it at all."

CJ Hobgood got a perfect 10 but then bumped his noggin and can't remember it.

Not only was Hobgood having trouble remembering but he also added to his injury list.

"The last day in France before I drove here I got a nice fin cut to my heel," he explained about the bandage on his foot. "I've got eight stitches in it, but it's not on the bottom of my foot or near my Achilles so it's all right to surf. Now I've got one more stitch in my head just for comic relief from that little whack and I can't remember my perfect ten-point ride. I don't get enough of them not to remember!" he said laughing before adding, "All's good and I'm through to round three."

There was another perfect ten points ride today and it belonged to Gabriel Medina who had no trouble remembering his ride. "That's the best wave I've ever had in Peniche and it was fun."

While Medina was having fun on day one, so were three out of the four World Title contenders. John John Florence, Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater all recorded comfortable heat wins while Mick Fanning was forced into round two after losing his first round heat.

"It was very tricky this morning," he said describing the first round heat. "It was very reminiscent to the first day in France, (Fanning lost to Dane Reynolds on day one in the Quiksilver Pro.) With little barrels, I actually thought I'd have the edge on those guys (Kieren Perrow and Dusty Payne) in those sort of conditions but there was just no waves."

Fanning bounced back in his second round heat against Rip Curl Trials winner, Pierre Valentin Laborde, of France.

"I bounced a lot out there," said Mick Fanning with a laugh, after being asked about the win. Fanning was not only describing the win but also how he had to deal with the severe backwash conditions caused by the high tide.

"Getting through that round two heat has calmed the nerves a bit," he added.

While he was relieved to stay in the event, he also knows that he can't afford another slip up in the race for this year's World Title.

"We all know what's going on and we all know we have to win events," he explained, "It's very close and one stumble can mean a lot so everyone has just got to keep getting through heats... if we all make it to the semis, then we are all up against each oother, (laughing) and we can knock each other out. It would be great if we could do it earlier, but that's the way it is. I'm going to have Kelly if we both make the semis and Parko will have John John so it's going to be exciting."

Fanning claims to not dwell on the World Title when he's in a heat.

"You can't think about winning the contest when you're just trying to get through round two, (laughing) but you do think about it. I think it played a lot on my mind going into France, sitting in that number one spot (on the ratings) you try not to put pressure on yourself, or get too precious with it but sometimes it creeps up on you and before you know it you think way too much," he said and then sighed, " You know, I've got nothing to lose right now, I've just got to go for it."

Mick Fanning
Mick Fanning and the friendly backwash at Supertubos. Fanning lost his round one heat, but stayed alive in round two with the title race at stake.

It would be very interesting if all four contenders made the semi finals, but after watching the first day of the Rip Curl Pro at the beach break the locals call 'Supertubos', the result of any heat is wide open, almost as wide as some of the barrels on offer today. Matty Wilkinson landed a rodeo flip and Ace Buchan had the barrels of the day for an 18.50 total over Pat Gudauskas. Jordy Smith and Miguel Puppo are out already.

If the wave forecast delivers more of the same and it's predicted to do just that over the next two days, stand by for more perfect ten point rides and some exciting barrel riding.

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 6.30, Brett Simpson (USA) 5.06, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 3.67
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.33, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.36, Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.73
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.73, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 7.34, Kai Otton (AUS) 4.13
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.67, Kieren Perrow (AUS) 9.70, Dusty Payne (HAW) 2.33
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.67, Dillon Perillo (USA) 6.60, Damien Hobgood (USA) 5.90
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.17, Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.36, Pierre Valentin Laborde (FRA) 2.96
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.26, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.94, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.65
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.70, Taylor Knox (USA) 7.43, Heitor Alves (BRA) 5.53
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.50, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.83, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.67
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.00, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.87, Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.67
Heat 11: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.73, Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.83, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.03
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.53, Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.27, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3.13
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.17 def. Pierre-Valentin Laborde (FRA) 6.17
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.33 def. Dillon Perillo (USA) 10.37
Heat 3: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.80 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.77
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.50 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 17.73
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.73 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.93
Heat 6: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 15.00 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.93
Heat 7: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.10 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.24
Heat 8: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.63 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 12.33
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 9: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)