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Slater Withdraws – Heats Amended for Billabong Rio Pro

May 9th, 2012

The draw has now been settled for the following stop on the ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Rio Pro, cementing the Round 1 match-ups for the world’s best surfers to go down at Rio de Janeiro’s Barra da Tijuca this week.

Kelly Slater, reigning 11x ASP World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, has bowed out from the contest following a heel injury sustained in Java. Slater has been replaced by Willian Cardoso from Brazil.

“I injured the inside of my left heel in Java and then re-opened it again the following week at Cloudbreak,” Slater said. “It became infected and I flew to Australia to get it treated and stitched in hopes of making it to Rio, if not for Round 1, at least for Round 2. I’ve been in the water since getting it stitched and while I can go straight, I can’t do turns at all right now so I’ll have to pull out of Rio. It’s unfortunate, but I’m just going to focus on healing up as soon as possible right now. Good luck to all the competitors in Brazil and I’ll be watching online.”

Dusty Payne from Hawaii has also withdrawn, quoting an ankle injury that has kept him out of the water most of the season. Payne will be substituted by fellow Hawaiian Frederick Patacchia.

Event number 3 of 10 on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Rio Pro will recommence this year’s race for the World Title, pursuing wins by Taj Burrow on the Gold Coast and Mick Fanning at Bells Beach. With kelly Slater’s secession, the top spot is up for grabs.

Up first for the men will be Josh Kerr, Bede Durbidge and Jadson Andre in Heat 1 of Round 1. Running in alignment with the men’s event is the 5th stop on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour. This year has bore witness to return of 4x ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore to the top of the ratings after posting 2 big wins. Sofia Mulanovich and Silvana Lima have both withdrawn from the event due to illness or injury. They have been replaced by Melanie Bartels and Sarah Mason. When the women’s competition commences, up first will be Courtney Conlogue, Lakey Peterson and Sage Erickson.

The Billabong Rio Pro will run from May 9 – 20, 2012 and will be webcast LIVE via Billabong Pro

Heat 1:
Josh Kerr (AUS), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS), Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 5: Taj Burrow (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS), Brett Simpson (USA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS), Damien Hobgood (USA), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Heitor Alves (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)

Heat 1:
Courtney Conlogue (USA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Justine Dupont (FRA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sarah Mason (NZL), TBA
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Melanie Bartels (HAW)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 6: Laura Enever (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)


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