PORTUGAL – Kauaians Keala Kennelly and Rochelle Ballard each fell in the opening round of the women’s divison of the Figueira Pro in Portugal.
Neridah Falconer (Aus), currently rated #17 on the women’s WCT after missing the last tournament due to injury, dominated the opening round with the best overall two-wave total. Against Heather Clark (SAfr) and Ballard, the 30-year-old collected an 8.0 first wave and then waited patiently for another 8.25 to seal victory with 16.25-points.
Current #10 Serena Brooke was another heat winner, accounting for fellow Australian and 1993 world champion Pauline Menczer, as well as Kennelly, who won the last WCT in Tahiti.
Maria Tita Tavares (Brz) also posted a convincing win, defeating reigning four-time world champion Layne Beachley (Aus) and replacement Marie Pierre Abgrall (Fra). The Brazilian displayed a commanding performance, scoring two 8.0s in the testing conditions.
Australian WCT rookies Samantha Cornish and Chelsea Georgeson both earned big wins over current ratings leader Melanie Redman-Carr and current #2 Lynette MacKenzie and Amee Donohoe (both Australian).
Men’s Second Round – Taj Burrow dominated his clash with Marcelo Nunes (Brz). The Australian opened with an 8.5, before launching a huge aerial reverse spin and landed with ease to score a near-perfect 9.8.
Current #5 Joel Parkinson (Aus) eliminated local wildcard hero Tiago Pires (Port). The pair put on a great show, though the Australian capitalized with a 9.25 to advance into round three.
Luke Egan (Aus) continued his recent success, advancing over replacement surfer Jose Antunes (Port) in the first heat of the mens second round.
Michael Lowe (Aus) also advanced, though there was some controversy during his match with wildcard Jose Gregorio (Port).
Shane Dorian (Haw) ousted Paul Canning (SAfr), after their match was brought forward to accommodate Pat O’Connell’s (USA) missing equipment situation.
Kauaian Andy Irons will surf next in the third round, to be held today pending good conditions.