Seeing as we've talked about the world title scenarios already this week, let's get right down to the facts about the inaugural Rip Curl Pro Portugal. Twenty four of the 35 listed Dream Tourists in 2010 have competed in Portugal previously, 11 others are first timers. The World Tour pulled through Portugal in 1989, '90, '96, '97, 2000, '02 and last year with the Rip Curl Search. The '02 contest was called off due to a lack of consistent swell, and 16 surfers were awarded equal ninth place -- it then took seven years for the Tour to return.
As far as this year's top contenders, Mick Fanning -- last year's event winner -- is keen to repeat his efforts and make a move up the ladder into contention. He may be too far back in the title race to be World Champ in 2010, but there are still a lot of points left on the board and a strong finish here increases the likelihood that the race will come down to Pipeline in November.Read More »