One World Ranking Points up for Grabs as ASP Heads Towards Cutoff Date
The first Prime event of 2011 to take place on European soil starts tomorrow, June 14th at the Portuguese point break Ericeira. This newly classified Prime event offers 6500 One World Ranking points to the winning surfer, equal to a third place finish in a World Tour event, and carries a prize purse of $250,000.
Many of the World Tour’s Elite will battle it out with World Tour up-and-comers and local and event sponsor wildcards in an effort to win the $40,000 first place check, and to accrue enough points to stay on tour past the mid-year cutoff point. After the 7th World Tour contest of the season (the Quiksilver Pro New York in September) only the top 32 surfers on the ASP World Ranking will continue competing in the remaining four contests of 2011.
Because of the new World Ranking system and this mid-year cutoff, Ericiera will play host to World Tour greats like world no. 11 Jeremy Flores, 2001 World Champion CJ Hobgood, Aussie Aerialist Josh Kerr, superstar Julian Wilson, veteran tour competitor Cory Lopez, and Hawaiian Fred Pattachia Jr., all of whom lie on the brink of elimination and are looking for a strong result to stay on tour.
World Tour Number 9, Portugal’s national surf hero Tiago Pires, will be the crowd favorite of the event and is aiming for a podium finish after coming off of a disappointing 25th place on the third stop of the World Tour, the Billabong Rio Pro, in May.
Watching the live webcast will be tough for viewers on the west coast of the US where the event will start at 11 pm PDT and finish at 9 am, due to the 8 hour time difference.
The first call will be made by contest director Jose Gregorio tomorrow at 6:30 am (Portuguese Time) for a possible 7 am start.
You can check out the live webcast of the Quiksilver Pro Portugal at www.quiksilverlive.com. English commentators include 1989 World Champion Martin Potter, and recently retired tour vets Jake Patterson and Spencer Hardgraves.