Opening Day At The 2014 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal

It’s on?
I suppose so. Dawn broke with rain. With wind. With the whole of Peniche awakening in that lay day sort of mood (see: I’m hitting the snooze button three more times before I even think about making coffee). But intuition isn’t all-knowing. The future of the 2014 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal is about as predictable as a Bulgarian cocaine lord set loose in the sooty streets of Las Vegas. The event can run at a handful of different spots and the wave/weather will do whatever the hell it pleases. It could be firing; it could be the worst waves of the year. Nobody knows, not even Peter Mel. Which is exactly why Round 1 was called on today in not-quite-vintage Supertubos. Because when guys are doing airs on almost every wave during the morning freesurf, it’s hard not to call an event on. And you know what? Today turned out just fine.

It seems like there’s a new language every 3rd roundabout in Europe. Portuguese people, drumroll por favor, speak Portuguese. So we embraced Round 1 at Supertubos and progressed from the Oh I’ll be fine, I can speak Spanish stage to the No wait I’m totally fucked linguistic realization. It was grand. Now, some highlights.

Jadson Andre: Jadson cannot stop and he will not stop. After grabbing a potentially season-saving 2nd place in France (he’s still got work to do if he wants to re-qualify), Jadson won the Prime in Cascais for the second straight year and then beat John John and Brett Simpson in Round 1 in Peniche. He also fell in love with one of the girls working the event. Just show her that smile and she’s yours, big guy.
Sebastian Zietz: Seabass has only made it out of Round 3 once this year. He’s far too talented for that, but he only proves it in fleeting bursts. Today was one such burst.
Kelly Slater: Matt Wilkinson has had a knack for beating the king this year and looked to continue his roll today — he even opened with a 9.57. Then Slater Slater’d him with a 9.67 (which was wow) towards the end of the heat. There’s a reason why this man was literally given the key to the city in Peniche — yeah, they still do that here.
Gabriel Medina: I thought I’d be a journalistic eagle for this heat. I watched from my perch right next to Filipe Toledo, Miguel Pupo, Jadson Andre and Alejo Muniz thinking that I’d get a hot take. Turns out, I don’t speak Portuguese and got absolutely nothing out of that. Gabriel easily won the heat against Kai Otton and Jacob Wilcox in that unflinchingly amazing way we’ve seen all year.

It’s on… again?
After the first 7 heats of Round 1, the call was made to go on hold for a few hours. A pesky outgoing tide will do that to ya. So it was time for a siesta — or is that only in Spain? — before finishing off the round. The hope was that conditions would improve. They didn’t. Oh well. Adriano, you’re in red…

Jordy Smith: Turns have been his moneymaker this year, but today he reminded everybody that he’s still one of the world’s best north of the lip. The air he stuck for a 9.27 should not be physically possible from a man of his stature surfing waves like these.
Owen Wright: Owen is probably one of the most well-rounded surfers on tour. The guy who won the Andy Irons Most Committed Surfer Award at the Billabong Pro Tahiti is the same guy we saw surfing powerfully and landing airs on both rights and lefts this afternoon. If you look up the word versatility in the dictionary, you won’t see Owen’s face. But you will see an accurate description of Owen’s surfing.

They say that tomorrow…
You know that lay day mood we discussed earlier? Expect that. But this time, it’ll actually be real. —Brendan “Tried To Get Into Surfers Parking Lot With A Parking Pass From Cascais” Buckley

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 1 Results (1st advances directly to Round 3, 2nd and 3rd to Round 2):
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.10, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 8.97, Travis Logie (ZAF) 7.37
Heat 2: Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.93, Brett Simpson (USA) 12.60, John John Florence (HAW) 11.10
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.83, C.J Hobgood (USA) 9.24, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.47
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.10, Mick Fanning (AUS) 10.66, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 4.83
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.00, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.07, Nic Von Rupp (PRT) 7.50
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.27, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.83, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 8.43
Heat 7: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.33, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 8.73, Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.53
Heat 8: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.83, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.60, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.56
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.60, Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.83, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7.60
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.60, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.50, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.37
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.13, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.00, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.60
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.16, Tiago Pires (PRT) 12.93, Nat Young (USA) 10.27

Upcoming Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Nic Von Rupp (PRT)
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 5: Nat Young (USA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 10: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)