The Shortest Day At Supertubos - Stab Mag

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Could Lakey meet Tati in the final for a 2022 rematch? Photo by Damien Poullenot/WSL

The Shortest Day At Supertubos

Early bird gets the skunk.

features // Mar 12, 2024
Words by Pedro Ramos
Reading Time: 5 minutes

The day broke out with clear blue skies on an otherwise frigid winter morning.

With little swell in the water, Renato Hickel announced the final day of competition with uncertainty, disclaiming that Semis and Finals could, in fact, only run a day later.

The Atlantic appears to have gone out for a smoke. “Do you want good wind or do you want good swell?” How about both, Kaipo?

What ensued was the third consecutive day of playing in the ocean with surfboards for prizes. A very short one, though…

TLDR

  • Long tide makes for short day of competition
  • The old guard returns
  • Women’s semifinalists decided

Women’s Quarterfinals

The day began with Gabriela Bryan and Tyler Wright bobbing about in the glassy ocean for about a third of their heat. Tyler decided to paddle into one just to avoid the restart. And that she did, taking an early advantage and building upon it for a heat total above 12 with only half of it elapsed.

The judges’ scale for the day appeared to have been set a bit low, evidenced by Tyler getting a 7 for two average turns on a right. Just as the horn sounded, Gabby put forth a valiant effort, delivering the best gouge of the heat on a tapering right, followed by routine turns. Needing an 8 to advance, her score came in at a 6.6, which felt unfairly skewed against Tyler’s highest-scoring ride.

Tatiana was looking nice and limber for her early heat. Photo by Damien Poullenot/WSL

Tatiana Weston-Webb came strong out of the gates and wasted no time in putting Bettylou in a combination after tearing a left to shreds for a 7.83, her top score. BLSJ broke the combo with a forced-exit tube ride but was hounded by Tati, who held priority and kept the young Hawaiian off any waves with scoring potential.

Caroline Marks dominated most of her heat against Lakey Peterson, sticking to whatever lefts she found among the straighthanders. Surprisingly, her best score came on a right. While Lakey came close to evening out the score, her consistent failure to complete crucial follow-up maneuvers wasn’t helping her case.

Could Lakey meet Tati in the final for a 2022 rematch? Photo by Damien Poullenot/WSL

In the dying moments, Caroline safety-surfed what could’ve easily been the best wave of the heat, while Lakey found an opportunity, took it, and didn’t fall. She was already in the athlete zone when scores came through. The judges gave her the nod.

The matchup between Johanne Defay and Luana Silva was another tight one that came down to the final exchange. Luana needed a 5.34 to overtake Defay’s lead before taking off on a clean left for a combination of decent turns. Already under the shower, Johanne heard her opponent’s score, a 5.1. The young Brazilian’s campaign comes to an end, although she now sits above the cut line.

Competition quickly came to an inevitable halt due to the uncooperative tide conditions. The organization monitored changes successively throughout the morning before calling it a day around lunchtime.

With a touch more swell in the water — and a touch more wind — tomorrow looks the only half-decent opportunity to run Finals day. Otherwise, another bout of swell is set to arrive on the final day of the waiting period (Saturday the 16th), but it might be bringing some wind with it.

Come-ups

Despite her loss today, Luana Silva is looking poised for the remainder of her sophomore year on tour. Photo by Thiago Diz/WSL

Peak performance: Tatiana Weston-Webb (13.86), WQF H2
Hit replay: Tatiana Weston-Webb (13.86) vs. Bettylou Sakura Johnson (12.17), WQF H2
Monster maneuver: Tati’s 7.83, WQF H2
One-liner: “Sometimes you have to put on the ballet slippers and soft-shoe around it.” — Kaipo offering up some heat strategy.

Tatiana quickly adapted to the conditions on offer and wasted no opportunities in announcing herself as an event favorite in Peniche. The 2022 event winner has a strong chance of meeting Lakey Peterson, who sits on the other side of the bracket, for Part II of their past final matchup at Supertubos.

Under the tutelage of Leandro Dora, Luana Silva has presented herself as a completely different surfer compared to her halved rookie season in 2022. Today, she looked unfazed and confident against a much more experienced competitor. With two 5th place finishes thus far, the young Brazilian-Hawaiian is giving herself a good chance at avoiding the MYC and advancing into the latter half of the season.

Let-downs

Not quite Super. Photo by Thiago Diz/WSL

Caught behind: Broken record (I know) but, the conditions.
Blind mice: Unfairly skewed scores in the first heat of the day.
Say what?: “I now have access to my pre-frontal cortex.” — Tyler discussing her off-season health procedure during the post-heat interview.

It’s ironic that some of the surfers who upped the ante during the Hawaiian leg never had the opportunity to show their worth in the barrel at one of the world’s best beachbreaks, which repeatedly refuses to show up. Seeing some of the surfers who typically struggle in heavier water claim 5-point rides in such anticlimactic conditions felt almost disrespectful to those fallen trailblazers.

Instead of capitalizing on the errors of her opponent, the defending world champion let a golden opportunity slip in Peniche. Caroline Marks had the chance to stamp her ticket into the semis but lost due to a risk-averse approach on a wave that could’ve given her the heat win against Lakey Peterson.

Gamble Ramble

Joan Duru, the darkest of horses. Photo by Thiago Diz/WSL

The shortest day at Supertubos was also the dullest day for gambling. Mikey C has lost 3/4 days in this event so far, but remains firmly in the back.

Women’s QF
$50 on Johanne Defay at -125 to win $40 WON

$50 on Caroline Marks at -175 to win $29 LOST

Day 4 earnings: $-10

Event earnings: $264

For (the real) Finals day

Men’s QF
$50 on Jake Marshall at +115 to win $58

$100 on Griffin at -250 to win $40

Women’s SF
$50 on Tyler Wright at -115 to win $43

$50 on Johanne Defay at -130 to win $38

Oh, and Men’s winner…


$10 on Joan Duru at +3300 to win $330 (just for kicks)

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