Rip Curl Pro Search – Day 1 Recap
The first day of the contest window for the Rip Curl Pro Search brought solid-sized waves and strong offshore winds, with conditions good enough for the competition to begin. The first round started at 8 a.m., and the 25-minute heats lasted straight through until 4:10 p.m.
The activities of the contest were certainly exciting, with a few particularly noteworthy details:
- Kelly Slater, 10-time world champion, came one step closer to winning his 11th world title after he won his first heat. All he needs now is one more heat victory to secure a historic 11th title. If conditions are good enough for the contest to run on Wednesday, which seems likely, then Slater will probably surf for the title then.
- In one of the first rounds of the day, Hawaiian surfer Dusty Payne exited the water early after claiming to see a shark in the water. The contest was not stopped by the alleged sighting. George Durgerian of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area told two Ocean Beach Bulletin reporters at the contest that National Park Service lifeguards believed they saw what Payne saw, but that it actually was a dolphin. The NPS sent a personal watercraft out to examine the water, but remain convinced that it was a dolphin.
- Ocean Beach lived up to its reputation for having powerful currents. Spectators often had to shift back and forth along the beach to see the action. In the water, many local surfers who were surfing near the competition were dragged into the contest area, which prompted contest announcers to scold them through a public-address system to stay out of the contest area.
- The noon, Tuesday emergency preparedness test set off a comical flurry of worry by the many visitors who were not prepared for the loud siren.
Keep checking the Ocean Beach Bulletin for contest updates and other stories related to the Rip Curl Pro Search. And be sure to check out our Twitter feed, where we will update throughout the event.
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