Mick Fanning Wins Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal

Fanning, Slater and Medina World Title Showdown Heads to Pipline

SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Monday, October 20, 2014): Mick Fanning (AUS) has won the 2014 Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, defeating Jordy Smith (ZAF) in clean 3-to-5-foot barrels at the iconic Supertubos in Peniche.

Fanning’s third event victory this season, after wins at Bells Beach and Jeffreys Bay, moves him up to World No. 2 on the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) rankings.

Following the event in Portugal, only reigning three-time ASP World Champion Fanning, 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and current World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) remain in contention for the World Title heading into the final event of the season in Hawaii.

Fanning looked in form throughout the contest, winning all but his Round 1 heat. The Australian surfed five separate heats on the final day, dispatching Alejo Muniz (BRA), Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Kai Otton (AUS), en route to the Final, where he faced Jordy Smith (ZAF). Fanning overtakes Kelly Slater (USA) on the WCT Rankings, claiming the second spot going into the last event of the season, the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

Fanning built his scoreboard early in this afternoon’s Final before locking into a deep backhand barrel for a nine-point ride and the heat lead. The reigning champ backed it up with another barrel to net a 6.50 and seal the deal, winning a second event in Peniche, after his 2009 victory at the Rip Curl Search event.

“I am just so stoked,” said Fanning. “I didn't really think about a win to tell you the truth, it just happened. Jordy (Smith) surfed amazing, John John (Florence) surfed amazing, Kai (Otton) too. Everyone has been ripping this whole Euro leg and I’m just stoked I got to get a result out of it. It feels so good to get a win, it’s been five years since I won here, so I am very stoked. Going into Hawaii with a title on the line is so stressful, but I guess I will just deal with that when I get there. For now I’ll just enjoy the win here.”

A runner-up finish in Portugal is Jordy Smith’s (ZAF) second best result of the year, after a win in Lower Trestles, and sees the South African move up to seventh place on the WCT Rankings. Smith’s runner-up finish in Peniche and a previous quarterfinal berth in the ASP Prime Cascais Billabong Pro solidified his position at the top of the Portuguese Waves Series and earned him the Cascais Trophy and the coveted bonus of $50,000 in prize money.

In the Final today Smith answered Fanning’s 9 with a good wave of his own, punctuating a smaller barrel with a powerful gauge for a 7.67. Unfortunately for Smith, a slow lineup didn’t deliver many other opportunities, and the talented regular-footer was left chasing a second-score for the remainder of the final.

“That’s incredible taking out the Cascais Trophy and the $50,000,” said Smith. “I’m definitely coming back next year. I am so excited and stoked. I didn't realize it until I came in after my Semifinal and a friend of mine said to me that I’d just won the Cascais Trophy. I was like, “are you kidding me”, I was pretty pumped. I like this place, I really like the waves around here and I love Portugal and the people here. It’s a really great place and I always love surfing here.”

Smith previously defeated one standouts of the event, John John Florence (HAW), in the Semifinal today. Despite posting the only two perfect 10-point rides of the event Florence lost his momentum and was eliminated after Smith posted two excellent scores, which were too much for the young surfer from Hawaii to overcome. Florence leaves Portugal in equal third place and the loss is the end of his 2014 World Title hopes.

“I’m super bummed, but at the same time I’m stoked to have made the Semifinals,” Florence said. “I’ve been on a fun, good run for these last few events. Jordy (Smith) got the good ones, so congratulations to him. I’m definitely excited to go into Hawaii as a possible spoiler to the World Title, I want to win Pipeline no matter what. The World Title is now out of my hands, so there’s no pressure on. I just can’t wait to go home and surf Pipe.”

Defending event champion Kai Otton (AUS) was on the verge of a second consecutive Final in Peniche, but with only minutes remaining in his Semifinal heat Fanning the came back with two consecutive fast barrels to turn the heat and steal the win. Otton’s excellent campaign in Portugal marks a season’s best and will take the Australian up six places to 18th on the rankings.

“I just got bumped off on a lot of my waves,” Otton explained. “I think that one wave I had would have been a really high score, then I might have been in control of the heat. Mick (Fanning) fought his way back like a champion with that 7.17 score. It’s beautiful having the family here, and it’s great coming in from each heat, win or lose, and they’re there to cheer me up.”

Heading into the final event of the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipeline Masters, three surfers remain in contention for this year’s world surfing crown: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA):

If Medina finishes 2nd or better at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, he will clinch the 2014 ASP World Title.

If Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Fanning will need to win the event and Slater will be out of contention.

If Medina finishes 5th at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Fanning will need to win the event and Slater will be out of contention.

If Medina finishes 9th at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Fanning will need to finish 2nd or better and Slater will be out of contention.

If Medina finishes 13th or 25th at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Fanning will need to finish 3rd to win or 5th to send the title race into a one-heat “surf-off” between himself and Medina. If Medina finishes 13th or 25th at the Billabong Pipeline Masters, Slater will need to win the event.

The next and final stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour is the Billabong Pipe Masters from December 8 - 20, 2014.

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:
Winner: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.50
Runner-Up: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.67

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semifinal Results (1st to Final, 2nd finishes equal 3rd):
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.64 def. John John Florence (HAW) 7.27
SF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.17 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 8.40

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Results (1st to Semifinals, 2nd finishes equal 5th):
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.83 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 11.83
QF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.27 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.23
QF 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.80 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.17
QF 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.07 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.10

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 5 Results (1st to Quarterfinals, 2nd finishes equal 9th):
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 7.50 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 5.90
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.60 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.63
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.83 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 8.33
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.23 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.30

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results (1st to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 5):
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.27, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.96, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.03
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 17.26, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.66, Brett Simpson (USA) 9.00
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.10, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 6.66, Michel Bourez (PYF) 2.03
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.74, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.76, Kai Otton (AUS) 3.60

Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 3 Results (1st to Round 4, 2nd finishes equal 13th):
Heat 1: Adam Melling (AUS) 11.66 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.93
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 8.83
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 18.77 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.27
Heat 4: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.07 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.67
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.90 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 2.83
Heat 6: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.06
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 12.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 6.30
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.27 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.07
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.10 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.50
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) 18.20 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 6.00
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.00 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.17
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.10 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.33

Current ASP WCT Top 10 (following the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal):

  1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,550 pts
  2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 53,100 pts
  3. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,050 pts
  4. John John Florence (HAW) 47,950 pts
  5. Michel Bourez (PYF) 43,750 pts
  6. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 43,100 pts
  7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 42,900 pts
  8. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 42,250 pts
  9. Taj Burrow (AUS) 41,700 pts
  10. Kolohe Andino (USA) 35,900 pts
Aufkleber sce minimal Jeff Johannson