Heavy Hitters Dominate Day One of Billabong Pro Rio
May 10, 2012
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Photo: Â© ASP/Kirstin
Owen Wright Billabong Pro RioDay one of the Billabong Pro Rio consisted primarily of higher seeds taking easy control.Â Both the Billabong Pro Rio and the Womenâs Billabong Pro Rio ran in clean head high to overhead surf at the secondary venue of Arpoador, a solid backhand beachbreak.Â Julian Wilson, the defending ASP Rookie of the Year, posted a high round one score of 17.14 to advance easily to round three of the contest.
Mick Fanning Billabong Pro RioâI got kind of lucky there because Freddy (Patacchia) didnât go on that wave,â said Wilson. âThe set before that, Freddy went on the first wave and the one behind was better. I think he was worried about that happening again and when that second set came through, it lined up really well for me. I got to my feet straight away, but then saw that the section was still building and wasnât really there yet. I took my time and squared it up because I really wanted to get strong starts to those waves, keep it clean and not try to rush it.â
Owen Wright Billabong Pro RioWilson is making an attempt at redemption after his early first round exit at last weekâs Nike Lowers Pro.Â âI think after that heat at Lowers where I had the interference today was a bit of redemption,â said Wilson. âTo come down here, I still had a bit of frustration and I just wanted to come out of the gates strong and get a good solid start. The waves were really fun in that heat, so it was exciting to do well.â
Sage Erickson Women's Billabong Pro RioTaj Burrow is another highly ranked surfer looking to rebound after his disappointing round three defeat at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.Â Burrow opened with a strong 16.16 score to advance directly to round three, and admitted that it was a relief not to have to surf in the second round.
Owen Wright Billabong Pro RioâItâs always good to get that first round out of the way,â said Burrow. âSkipping the second round is a real treat. I hate that round and it was great to catch a couple of fun lefts. It was kind of inconsistent at the start. My board was brand new, so I was a bit nervous, but it went well.Â Bells was a shocker and they always hurt, especially after a win.Â I was hungry and confident to back it up and had an absolute meltdown there. It happens, but I donât feel any pressure. I know exactly what I did wrong. I surf better when Iâm relaxed and happy and want to have fun. I put pressure on myself down there, but thatâs not how I operate. Here, thereâs no pressure.â
Rebecca Woods Women's Billabong Pro RioWhile the Billabong Pro Rio saw a relative absence of major first round upsets, a lot of the favorites in the Womenâs Billabong Pro Rio lost in their opening round heat.Â Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Courtney Conlogue, Laura Enever, Paige Hareb and Coco Ho are among the surfers who were upset and have to surf an additional round.Â Visit billabongpro.com for complete results and webcast coverage of the Billabong Pro Rio.