Stab Magazine | 2014 Fiji Pro: Round 2/3 wrap
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2014 Fiji Pro: Round 2/3 wrap

Story by Craig Jarvis In heat 12 of the second round of the 2014 Fiji Pro, Jeremy Flores found the wave of the day (at that point). The Reunionite, up against rookie Mitch Crews, was in need of a huge score in this heat, and in life in general, to regain his rightful place in […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Story by Craig Jarvis

In heat 12 of the second round of the 2014 Fiji Pro, Jeremy Flores found the wave of the day (at that point). The Reunionite, up against rookie Mitch Crews, was in need of a huge score in this heat, and in life in general, to regain his rightful place in the order of things. He rode the wave with aplomb, screaming across the first section and hooking a huge turn, leading into another long bottom turn and gaining ground for another big hook. Jeremy managed a third big bash under the lip for an 8.43 from his best friends – the judges. And when I say best friends… still, it was enough for a comfortable win.

The biggest upset of the shit round (lose and you’ve got equal 25th and no glory) was Kerrzy going down to Micro. Glen Hall has a bit of a point to prove out here in Fiji, seeing was the very location that took his career out from under his feet. After qualifying for the first time after many years of WQS slogging and sponsorship hardships, a big wipeout last year at Restaurants resulted in a hyper-extended back and quite a bit of blood on the reef in his heat against Jordy, and no more tour surfing for the year. So Micro needed to kill all of his demons, and Kerrzy fell by the wayside in the process.

In other news, Taj and Mick went through, Tiago beat CJ in another upset, and Kolohe advanced past Aritz. And it was on to round three.

Mick hit the water against Alejo and pulled into a long backhand tube for an 8.9, and kept the pressure on all the way to the end as the waves started improving, and getting quite good.

“I snuck into that little one, the little barrel, and lucky enough I came out the hole and got a good turn in,” said Fanning of that wave. “I also changed my equipment for today. I have been riding a 5’11 and half, and then I went out last night on a 5’11, and I hated it at first. Then I found the sweet spot, and it has been getting better and better ever since.”

Michel Bourez blew minds, especially Jeremy Flores’ mind, with his round three surfing, scoring a 9.50 highest score thus far and a 9.2 backup for some deep backhand tube riding, to find him with an incredible 18.70 heat total. The waves were totally pumping at this stage – barrels galore, and Cloudbreak was just gold for the remaining competitors. Everyone wanted to be out there. Sets just kept marching in, the excitement was palpable, Michel was looking like a genuine world title contender, but all eyes were on the Jordy Smith V Felipe Toledo match-up, and other such clichés that add to my word count. But first, a word from our Spartan.

“The conditions just turned on in my heat, and it was very positive for me to be out there and to just get barreled,” said Michel, a very comfortable backhand tube-rider. “I was stressing out the whole heat, and even before the heat, but you just have to stay positive, and find the best waves. I’ve been stressing my whole life, since I made the tour actually, and I feel this year is different, and that I can change things in my heats.”

Back to the Jordy V Filipe performance, and drama it was. Filipe is not that well known for backhand carves and barrels, with his specialty being in the air, mainly on his forehand. He proved this point, blowing a bunch of backhand tubes and looking rather shaky. They both got rhythms going however, with a few easy opening rides for both surfers, and mid range scores. This paved the way for a more standard heat that looked like it was going to be won on more conventional surfing and not crazy airs.

With Jordy in a decent lead, Filipe picked found a bomb and cracked it on the outside, continuing to hook it incredibly tightly all the way through to the inside. His score of 8.27 put him in the lead with a few minutes to go. With sudden pressure and all eyes on him, needing 7.21, Jordy picked up on a smaller wave that might’ve gone the distance, but he pushed the tail too hard and fell, and it was over. An elated Filipe took the win in a massive upset, despite showing his massive Achilles Heel of left tubes. When he finds his feet in tubing lefts, this man is going to be a serious threat and leading a new charge.

When it comes to the act of riding waves, Jordy is arguably the best in the world, and when he has a heat when there is no real strategy at play, and with no real hassling or priority dramas, he wins. It’s that simple. With the pressure put onto him in the dying moments, like this, he folded, and was sent in to Happy Hour. Another unsettling loss for the man who should be king.

On the other hand, Kelly Slater wins heats on strategy and under pressure in his sleep. Apart from having the most skill and talent in the history of the sport, he also has a sharp and cunning mind, ready to psyche other surfers out, ready to melt people’s brains. In the final heat of the day, he chose to surf instead of melt brains, and either way, Mitch Coleborn was toast. Slater racked up an opener of 7.83, and he quickly backed it up with an 8.5 for a thick tube ride halfway up the point, followed by a critical hook, leaving Mitch deep into combo-land, where he stayed until the bitter end. It was never going to be any other way, was it?


Fiji Pro Round 2 Results:

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.00 vs. Isei Tokovou (FJI) 4.43
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.43 def. Wiggolly Dantas (AUS) 11.60
Heat 3: Glenn Hall (AUS) 11.76 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.97
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 14.67 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 11.17
Heat 5: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.87 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 7.40
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.37 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.20
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.10 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.93
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.70 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.83
Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.10 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.10
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.50
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.10 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.96
Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.53 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.70

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