Amid two-to-three-foot waves, the 18th-ranked ASP surfer beat friend Matt Wilkinson of Australia when the action finally got underway at 4:45pm local time.
“We’ve been down since 6:30am assessing the conditions,” Simpson said. “I’m excited, it’s a bummer for Wilko (Matt Wilkinson) but we both got chances.
“I want to keep my dreams alive on this tour and I feel like I have a lot more to give to it so hopefully I can just keep pushing.”
The top 22 surfers at the end of the year will automatically qualify for the 34-man 2013 tour. There are two events remaining after Portugal, with surfers’ points at their best eight events of the total of 10 counting towards the rankings.
Australian Kai Otton got the better of compatriot Adam Melling.
“I was actually really lucky to get that good left. I made a paddling mistake and I couldn’t catch the wave – maybe I’m too old,” the 32-year-old Otton said.
“I don’t know, but I missed it and gave up priority and Adam actually got a nice righthander straight after. I was just lucky enough that my left was behind that, otherwise he would have had the heat.
“Tomorrow looks reasonably good and there’s an Armageddon swell coming which I think it’s going to wash away the whole scaffolding so they probably want to finish by Tuesday. You know, conditions like last year don’t come very often so if we get even half of that, it’d be pretty amazing.”
In the other two remaining second-round heats, Kolohe Andino beat the only home competitor Tiago Pires while Travis Logie triumphed over Damien Hobgood.
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL REMAINING ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 9: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.40
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) 11.67 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 8.00
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) 10.94 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 10.27
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.70 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.50
RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)