The first day of MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, 10th stop for the Men’s Samsung Galaxy Championship tour of the World Surf League, has been greeted by difficult conditions that made it normal for most surfers to get a low scoring 6-point waves. But Kelly Slater was determined to make something good out of it and found the perfect rhythm to post a high scoring 9-point wave!
The 11-time World Champion nailed a rapid 360 air reverse in a spectacular fashion. His 9.0 was the highest single wave score for the day.
Meanwhile in the other heats, Frederico Morais, the serial giant-killer has eliminated world No. 2, Gabriel Medina in a hot battle with a slim 1.61 margin. Morais does it again in Portugal where he previously eliminated Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning in recent years. The 2013 Triple Crown Rookie of the year was able to out-maneuver Gabriel Medina.
As for the World Title Race, current World No.1 John John Florence may possibly earn the World Championship title in Portugal, if Gabriel Medina loses early and that Florence can make it to the semifinals or better. But before he can do that, the Hawiian has to face the local wildcard Miguel Blanco in Round Two. John was forced to go through round 2 after his early loss.
The event is currently put on hold awaiting for a green light from the organizers to resume.