RIO DE JANEIRO, Brasil (Monday, April 8, 2013) – After the completion of two events on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and four events on the ASP Women’s WCT, the men’s and women’s races for surfing’s ultimate crowns, the ASP World Titles, have tightened up heading into a crucial stop at the Billabong Rio Pro from May 8 – 19, 2013.
Kelly Slater (USA), 41, 11-time ASP World Champion and 2012 ASP World Runner-Up, reclaimed the current ASP WCT No. 1 spot following a big win at the opening event on the Gold Coast and staved off a charge from challengers despite an uncharacteristic 13th place last week at Bells Beach.
Slater now holds a slender 500 point lead over two-time ASP World Champion (2007, 2009) Mick Fanning (AUS), 31, heading into Rio de Janeiro next month, a venue that the Floridian missed in 2012 and that could have cost him last year’s ASP World Title.
Joel Parkinson (AUS), 31, reigning ASP World Champion, finished Runner-Up on the Gold Coast and had opportunity to overtake Slater following his early ousting at Bells Beach. However, despite a near-perfect 19.10 out of a possible 20 heat total in Round 3, Parkinson would fall just one heat later to a rampaging Raoni Monteiro (BRA), 30.
Adriano de Souza (BRA), 26, perennial ASP World Title threat, rebounded from a slow start on the Gold Coast (with an Equal 25th place finish) to a big win at the second stop of the season at Bells Beach. The Brazilian will have the momentum with him as the world’s best surfers head into Brazil for the Billabong Rio Pro next month.
Carissa Moore (HAW), 20, 2011 ASP Women’s World Champion, has enjoyed a strong start to the 2013 season, collecting a 3rd, 5th and back-to-back wins at Margaret River and Bells Beach to maintain the frontrunner position heading into the back half of the season. The Hawaiian’s biggest challenger to date this season has been young Australian Tyler Wright (AUS), 19, who enjoyed Finals’ berths in the opening three events including a win on the Gold Coast.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 25, reigning five-time ASP Women’s World Champion, has had an incredible consistent run in 2013, posting three Semifinal finishes and a Quarterfinal finish throughout the Australian and New Zealand leg of the women’s tour. The absence of any wins, however, has kept the Australian hovering at 5th on the ASP WCT rankings and Gilmore will need a strong run through the back half of the year if she is to remain in contention.
The Billabong Rio Pro will run from May 8 – 19, 2013 and will be webcast LIVE via http://wctbrasil.com/rio13
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
ASP WCT Top 5 (Heading into Billabong Rio Pro):
1. Kelly Slater (USA) 11,750 pts
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11,700 pts
2. Taj Burrow (AUS) 11,700 pts
4. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10,500 pts
5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 9,750 pts
5. Nat Young (USA) 9,750 pts
ASP Women’s WCT Top 5 (Heading into Billabong Rio Pro):
1. Carissa Moore (HAW) 31,700 pts
2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 30,000 pts
3. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 26,900 pts
4. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 26,200 pts
5. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 24,700 pts