Billabong Rio Pro Women's Top Seeds Dominate Opening Day
BARRA DA TIJUCA, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil - The ASP Top 17 kicked off the opening day of Billabong Rio Pro competition at the main event site of Barra Da Tijuca in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf. Today's highlights saw the ASP Women's World Tour's top seeds donate top performances to complete Rounds 1 and 2 before competition was called off due to deteriorating conditions in the afternoon.
Silvana Lima (BRA), 26, shook off the nerves that often come along with the pressure to perform in front of the home crowd to take a commanding Round 1 victory by linking into several Barra Da Tijuca rights.
"I was nervous at first but I feel so much better right now," Lima said. "The waves are small and clean and everything's good because I'm in Brazil."
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 23, reigning four-time ASP Women's World Champion, has yet to make a Final throughout her 2011 campaign and is out to use the Billabong Rio Pro as a breakthrough event.
"It's new territory and I don't really like it," Gilmore said. "I haven't made a Final yet and I feel like I'm sort of learning how to surf heats again. I'm definitely learning a lot, It's so funny how you can feel so familiar with something for so long, but it has been a good challenge and it's now or never at this event.
When men's competition begins, 2010 ASP Rookie of the year Owen Wright (AUS), 21, will take on Heitor Alves (BRA), 29, and Bobby Martinez (USA), 28, in Heat 1.
Billabong Rio Pro organizers will reconvene at 7am local time tomorrow for a possible 7:30am start.
To watch the event hightlights, pics and the LIVE WEBCAST log on to http://www.billabongpro.com