Womens Rounds 2 and 3 Billabong Rio Pro


All photos Steve Sherman

While the wind laid still and the sun rose pretty, the ASP made the call to run Round 2 of the 2014 Billabong Rio Pro this morning. The swell had dropped a tad but it was still rippable. And the surfers — pinned on Nescafe and acai — were salivating over the waist high wedges. And so, they went.

Girls Gone Wildcard!
“In four heats, three pink jerseys went down,” said Bianca Buitendag’s dad, shaking his head after watching his daughter fall to injury wildcard Tatiana Weston Webb. Don’t dad’s always say it best? Mrs. Buitendag agreed, mumbling something about the “snake move” Tatiana pulled on her kin. Late in the heat a cute little A-frame came in. Tatiana was on the right side, Bianca on the left. Bianca went left and Tatiana went left and the judges dropped a triangle on the leggy South African. In all fairness, though, Tatiana already had the heat locked down with a 15 point heat total. And this was after…
Silvana Lima…orchestrated a late-heat aerial assault on 5-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore. Having battled with Steph through much of her career (and losing 10 of 15 heats against her), Silvana hustled her 4’10” frame through a flawless air-reverse to get the 9.10 and the win against the Aussie. The Brazilian crowd erupted, and so did Tyler Wright and Carissa Moore.
Alessa Quizon…was the first white jersey to win over pink in heat 1 of Round 2, sending still-sponsorless Dimity Stoyle home early. Round trip to Brazil from Australia for equal last is a hefty pill to swallow. Someone get Dimity some water.
The other half…of the Round 2 heats went as expected, with Coco Ho, Malia Manuel and Pauline Ado advancing.

A Return to order
As the tide dropped and a light onshore fog wind blew, odds makers saw things play out as they should. Lakey Peterson surfed was far and away the standout, the small-pocket waves favoring her quick technical approach. She beat Silvana Lima and Malia Manuel with a 17.13 heat total. Carissa Moore also looked strong, but what else is new? Watching her lay down a beastly carve from the competitor’s area with her shaper Matt Biolos, he turns to me and says, “She’s the only person without a dick that can do that.” Matt is also a dad and like I said, dad’s say it best.

They say that tomorrow…
It’s going to be even smaller and thus a layday. After the day wrapped I sat in on a Waves For Water presentation by Jon Rose. He spoke to the commentary team about his organization and demonstrated the ease with which the water filters are assembled. Tomorrow he’ll take a select few to an impoverished area of Rio to implement the project. We’ll likely tag along.

—Taylor Paul