World title race is wide open
THE 2013 World title race for the men's and women's is wide open and the next whistle-stop to see who will come up on top will be in Brazil from May 8th - 19th.
The beach breaks at Barra Da Tijuca; Rio De Janerio, will offer a level playing field naturally favouring the local surfers.
A win for the Brazilians would open up the world title race even more.
The Billabong Rio Pro mens was won by Hawaii's John John Florence last year, he is still recovering from a horrible ankle injury sustained from an expression session at Snapper Rocks during the Tour opener.
World ratings leader Kelly Slater will be a reluctant starter in Brazil, but did say after the Kirra win he would be 100% committed to the ASP World Tour.
That commitment was not as evident at Bells after his shock loss in round three to Brazils William Cardoso.
Defending World Champion Joel Parkinson will shrug off his shock elimination at Bells and make the most of it in Brazil.
Joel loves to compete and will be itching to try and peg Kelly's lead back while his Coolangatta compatriot Mick Fanning will build on his two consistent results, as will Taj Burrow.
No doubt Brazil will be flying the flag for their little champion Adriano de Souza, who will grow 10 feet tall on local turf.
While the women's race favours Hawaii's Carissa Moore after two wins, Lennox Tyler Wright and California's Courtney Conlogue are biting at her heels.
Sally Fitzgibbons and Steph Gilmore are trailing in 4th and 5th respectively and both are badly in need of a win.