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Upsets Abound On Opening Day of Rip Curl Pro Search Competition.
The Rip Curl Pro Search got underway today in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) wedging right handers at Molhe Leste, where the worldu2;019s best surfers carved, snapped and aired their way through the opening eight heats of Round 1.
Event No. 9 of 10 on the 2009 ASP World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Search operated at its third backup site today u2;013 the primary venue of Supertubes being destroyed by large surf and surging tides two nights ago and the backup sites of Lagido and Belgas buffeted by onshore winds today. Opting to run the new competition format, featuring man-on-man elimination heats from the outset, todayu2;019s Round 1 action saw no shortage of upsets, with five of the eight higher-seeded surfers eliminated from competition.
Owen Wright (AUS), 19, wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Search and current No. 3 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS), is no stranger to the elite level of competition, having attended the past two yearsu2;019 worth of Rip Curl Pro Search events. One of the up-and-coming stars of the sport, Wright displayed his world-class talent today in eliminating former ASP World Junior Champion (2005) and current ASP World No. 17, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), 24, in Round 1 of competition.
u2;01CI have been to the Rip Curl Search event in Chile and Bali and that was great,u2;01D Wright said. u2;01CThe Search concept allows the guys to go somewhere different every time and they are the best surfers in the world so they can deal with anything. I am really stoked to be put alongside of these guys and be able to compete here in Portugal.u2;01D