At A Glance: Rip Curl Pro Portugal
2013 Rip Curl Pro Portugal Preview
Mick Fanning's win at the Quiksilver Pro France gave him command of the world title race, but heading into the Rip Curl Pro Portugal in Peniche, there's a crew nipping at his heels and anything could happen. Here's what to watch out for.
If Mick Fanning wins the event, Kelly Slater will need a third or better to take the title decision to Hawaii, and Jordy Smith, Taj Burrow and Joel Parkinson will be out of the title race.
If Fanning finishes runner-up in Portugal, Slater will need a ninth or better to take the title decision to Hawaii, while Smith will need to win the event to take the title decision to Hawaii, and Burrow and Parkinson will be out of the race.
If Fanning finishes third in Portugal, Slater will need a ninth or better to take the title decision to Hawaii, while Smith, Burrow and Parkinson will need to win the event to take the title decision to Hawaii.
If Fanning finishes fifth or worse in Portugal, the ASP World Title decision will go to Hawaii as, even with a 25th in Portugal, Slater can still win in Hawaii.
All the wheelie airs in the world may not be enough to save Parkinson's world title hopes. The 2012 world champ is a long shot to go back-to-back, but numerically he's still in the hunt.
Some would say that Gabriel Medina was robbed in the final this year in France. Those same people would also say he was robbed in the final last year in Portugal. Either way, the Brazilian is overdue for some payback.
For Kieren Perrow, the acting commissioner of the ASP, this will more than likely be the last run through Europe as a competitor. It it's pumping in Portugal, he could be looking to make one final statement.
John John Florence
Without a first-place finish to his credit this year, John John Florence will be going for broke in Portugal. The scary thing is, the barrel/air section combo on offer at Supertubos fits his skill perfectly.
Damien Hobgood will tell you his 13 years on tour have been a blur. But he's ranked 28 in the world and the dream may be coming to an end ... unless he can lock in a couple good results.
The race for Rookie of the Year honors is anything but sewn up. Santa Cruz native Nat Young started the season strong but has since cooled. A strong result in the last two events of the year could put him over the top.