Foster’s ASP World Tour ratings leader Mick Fanning (AUS) may have advanced convincingly from Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Mundaka held in Bakio today, but co-title contenders Kelly Slater (USA) and Joel Parkinson (AUS) followed suit and made their ASP World Title intentions clear as well.
Parkinson posted the day’s highest heat total, 17.83 out of 20.00, to send Floridians Cory Lopez (USA) and Gabe Kling (USA) to Round 2. Currently rated 4th on the Foster’s ASP World Tour, Parkinson has made the Quarter and Semifinals in all but one event this year, but has yet to earn a Final berth. He knows he needs a big result in Spain to keep his title hopes alive.
“I was really hungry,” Parkinson said. “I paddled and hunted a lot. The race is not over until it’s over, so I basically just need to go heat for heat. I just feel like I’m really hungry, I’m frothing at the bit to surf heats. I just want to go out there and surf more and more heats, so hopefully that keeps it alive.”
Slater, who won his eighth World Title in Mundaka last year, made the most of today’s small conditions to advance straight to Round 3 over local surfer Hodei Collazo (EUK) and Hawaii’s Fred Pattachia.
“It’s great to avoid Round 2, especially if we’re going to have to surf in small waves like this,” Slater said. “It was not all that different from Florida out there today.”
The Floridian made an early Round 3 exit in France last week, his worst result in two years, but has come to Spain to win. Currently rated 2nd behind Fanning, Slater and Australia’s Taj Burrow (World No. 3) must finish within two rounds of Fanning to keep the title race alive. Burrow lost his Round 1 heat today and must surf Round 2 now.
When asked if he is still committed to campaigning for his 9th World title, Slater was quick to speak up: “Definitely, if I’m here I’m going to going to be here one hundred percent,” Slater said. “I don’t think Taj will have too much trouble in Round 2, but you never know.”
Fanning avoided Round 2 despite a late charge from rookie Kai Otton (AUS).
“Kai, as a rookie, has been very smart about his surfing,” Fanning said. “He’s taken down a lot of the big name surfers throughout the events. You can never count a guy out like Kai.”
Despite his win in France last week and the possibility that he could win his maiden World Title in Mundaka, Fanning is maintaining the same focus he’s displayed all season.
‘Its one of those things, new event, new place, new venue,” Fanning said. “You’ve just got to do what you did in the events before and just go back and tick all the boxes and get ready again. You can’t win the event if you’re only in the first round, you’ve just got to get there heat by heat.”
Despite a sizeable lead, Fanning is not resting on his laurels. He knows Slater, Burrow, Parkinson and Andy Irons (HAW) are still threats.
“It’s not over until the fat lady sings,” Fanning said. “I wouldn’t expect those guys to give up at all and there are still three events left. You can make up a lot of points in those three events.”
Defending champion Bobby Martinez (AUS) advanced over Ricky Basnett (ZAF) and Mark Occhilupo (AUS) in the tightest heat of the day today. Martinez beat Basnett by one-tenth of a point and Occhilupo by less than two-tenths. Live scores were not available to the surfers due to complications with today’s mobile event change and Martinez thought he’s lost his heat.
“It’s hard when you don’t have live scoring, you are kind of lost out there,” Martinez said. “I was thinking that Ricky won but I’ll definitely take the win. This year has been really different for me than last year. It’s just going the way it is, if I get a little break I’m going to take it. I’m glad I got through that round, hopefully I just move on up from here.”
Basque Wildcard Aritz Aranburu (EUK) avoided Round 2 with his elimination of Andy Irons and Ben Dunn (AUS). Aranbau competed in last week’s Foster’s ASP World Tour event in France but did not advance to Round 3.
“For me, this is a big honor to be in this contest,” Aranburu said. “This has been my dream since I was a little kid to be in this contest here at Mundaka, or Bakio for today. I really appreciate what Billabong has done for me by giving the support to be able to make this contest. Hopefully the waves will pick up a little bit more and I’ll continue to win some heats.”
A call on competition status for Round 2 will be made at 7am in Mundaka.
ROUND 2 BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA MATCH-UPS
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Manoa Drollet (PYF)
Heat 2: Andy Irons (HAW) vs. Hodei Collazo (EUK)
Heat 3: Pancho Sullivan (HAW vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 4: Dean Morrison (AUS) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 5: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Tem Reyes (USA)
Heat 6: Tom Whitaker (AUS) vs. Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 7: Daniel Wills (AUS) vs. Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Michael Lowe (AUS)
Heat 9: Chris Ward (USA) vs. Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
Heat 10: Bruce Irons (HAW) vs. Victor Ribas (BRA)
Heat 11: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Leonardo Neves (BRA)
Heat 13: Ben Dunn (AUS) vs. Bernardo Miranda (BRA)
Heat 14: Cory Lopez (USA) vs. Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA)
Heat 15: Greg Emslie (ZAF) vs. Troy Brooks (AUS)
Heat 16: Ricky Basnett (ZAF) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
ROUND 1 BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA RESULTS
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.90, Troy Brooks (AUS) 10.50, Michael Lowe (AUS) 4.63
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.50, Luke Munro (AUS) 12.60, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 8.27
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.67, Ricky Basnett (ZAF) 12.57, Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 12.50
Heat 4: Trent Munro (AUS) 15.63, Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.13, Greg Emslie (ZAF) 14.23
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.90, Tim Reyes (USA) 11.67, Pancho Sullivan (HAW)7.90
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.83, Cory Lopez (USA) 13.60, Gabe Kling (USA) 8.83
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 13.67, Ben Dunn (AUS) 13.67, Andy Irons (HAW) 12.00
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.07, Kai Otton (AUS)14.17, Manoa Drollet (PYF) 6.57
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.00, Hodei Collazo (EUK) 11.43, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 10.14
Heat 10: Michael Campbell (AUS) 13.90, Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.07, Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.63
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.27, Taylor Knox (USA) 10.20, Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 6.50
Heat 12: Dayyan Neve (AUS) 12.17, Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA) 11.10, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 8.83
Heat 13: Luke Stedman (AUS) 16.50, Victor Ribas (BRA) 15.50, Daniel Wills (AUS) 9.40,
Heat 14: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.23, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 12.10, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 11.94
Heat 15: Royden Bryson (ZAF) 15.97, Chris Ward (USA) 14.34, Leonardo Neves (BRA) 11.20
Heat 16: Phillip MacDonald (AUS) 14.73, Bernardo Miranda (BRA)13.00, Bruce Irons (HAW) 10.24