All Photos: Corey Wilson
It was an interesting opening day in Portugal. In tubos that were borderline super, both of the world title frontrunners lost their non-elimination Round 1 heats. Kelly got got by 16-year-old Aussie wildcard Jacob Wilcox and Mick fell to Matt Wilkinson. There was an eerie nip to that offshore Peniche wind. The lefts were running for longer than the rights, allowing for more scoring potential and helping the two goofs dig a couple potholes in the world title race. Both Mick and Kelly are matched up against Portuguese wildcards in Round 2.
Outside of world title land, the surprises were few and far between. Most of the favorites prevailed and nobody stuck an alley-oop that would bring Timmy Curran to tears. With the swell expected to taper off, we’re likely to see a string of lay days until a new swell emerges next week. The event has until October 20th to wrap up. —Brendan Buckley