Bobby Martinez of Santa Barbara, California, USA

© ASP/ Kirstin Scholtz

Bobby Martinez of Santa Barbara, California, USA

Bobby Takes Down the Champ

Martinez Defeats Slater in Billabong Rio Pro Round 3 Heat

In a battle between two part-time Santa Barbara area residents in Brazil this morning, the one who was actually born here came out on top. Surfing in the Billabong Rio Pro, goofey-foot power broker Bobby Martinez narrowly defeated 10-time and current reigning World Champion Kelly Slater in their Round 3 heat by a score of 14.5 to 14.1.

For Martinez, who entered the contest ranked number 55 in the world, without a major sponsor and in desperate need of a good showing in order to secure his spot amongst the elite on the Association of Surfing Professional (ASP) World Title Series, the result ensures that this contest will mark his best finish in a top tier event in over a year. A humble and focused Martinez summed up after the heat, “I just got lucky, things worked to my advantage.”

In the waist to occasionally overhead beach break peaks of Rio de Janeiro’s Barra Da Tijuca, Martinez used a combination of flowing front side hacks and sneaky tubes along with one lofty and raw backside air to take down Slater.

The win advanced to Martinez to Round 4 where a third place finish sets him up for a Round 5 showdown tomorrow with fellow American surfer Damien Hobgood. If successful, Bobby will find himself in the Quarterfinals of the $620,000 contest.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Jon Peterson Departs Habitat for Humanity

Takes a post with Covenant Trust Company of Chicago.

Montecito Pushes Back on Streamlined Rebuild Process

Not so fast with fast-track rebuilding, leaders tell the county

St. George Files Suit Against Gelb for Unpaid Debt

Pair of Isla Vista landlords in legal tussle over property sales costs.

Thousands of Plaintiffs Added to Refugio Oil Spill Case

Litigation follows footsteps of 1969 Union Oil spill attorneys.

Push Comes to Shove Between Law Enforcement and Mental Health

County supervisors confront too many needs with not enough money.