Stab Magazine | The Top Seed Slaughter House Or Round Three At The Fiji Pro

The Top Seed Slaughter House Or Round Three At The Fiji Pro

Kelly, John, Mick, Owen, Gabs, Kolohe, ADS and Jordy are no longer with us. 

news // Jun 14, 2017
Words by James Royce
Reading Time: 3 minutes

And now, our nation turns their lonely eyes to Julian Wilson, Wilko, and, uh, Leo, after an unpleasant day three. May the top seeds be remembered It was windy, two-to-three feet, inconsistent and echoed of Brazil. While the occasional barrel did make an appearance, a roundhouse affair at one of the world’s best tubes is like telling a stripper you love her.  

“Today was a really challenging one,” WSL Commissioner Kieran Perrow reflected on a WSL Instagram post following today’s events. “We had clean lines earlier in the morning, but a lot of bump on the face from the tide. Unfortunately, we had a lot of wind and things were shifting around and were really unpredictable.

“The reason why we had to go on a day like this when it’s a little smaller is that we have three days left in the window, and we know Thursday and Friday are going to be the best two days in the event. So we needed to finish those eight heats in round three.”

In terms of results, today was ripe with upsets. A testament to how a majority of surfers struggled to adjust to the trying waves. In total, six out of eight red jersey wearers fell to their respective blue jersey, lower-seeded opponents. If anything, it’s made for an eclectic set of matchups in round four. And with that, here’s who bowed out:

The day started off with heat five, where Mick Fanning was knocked off by Michel Bourez, who found a quick coverup on his first wave for a 7.00, which he followed up with a 6.53. Mick returned with a succession of cutbacks for two scores of a 5.67 and a 5.53 while also hitting the eject button on two attempted coverups of his own.

Leonardo Fioravanti won only his second heat of the year, upsetting John John Florence, after performing well on his backhand while the yellow-jersey wearer stumbled through the wind-torn inside. “My momma always tells me I surf better on my backhand,” Leo told Strider afterwards. “I just tried to hit those lips as hard as I could, and it paid off.” In heat seven following, Jordy Smith failed to take advantage of an opportunity to jump John in the rankings, choosing to lose to Joan Duru instead.

Kelly Slater lost a slow heat to Connor O’Leary shortly afterwards as he was only able to pick up 3.67 and 6.67, which fell short of Connor’s 5.17 and 5.57. “There was not much I could do,” Kelly later said on the boat. “I sat there with priority, I had the biggest score of the heat, I played it the way I wanted to. I just got that one wave at the 22-minute mark and sat there the rest of the time needing a four; just a tricky day.”

In one of only two situations where the top seed prevailed, Joel Parkinson nudged past Jeremy Flores by just 1.46 total points that were carried by a 7.77 that came off a wave he did just two turns off of. Bede Durbidge made sure the upsets kept rolling in the next heat, though, advancing past Kolohe Andino, who couldn’t find a score north of seven points (Bede picked up a 7.67 and an 8.43).

Sebastian Zietz scratched past Wiggolly Dantas in heat 11 by just .13 total points following and will be up against Bede and Stu Kennedy — who upended Adriano de Souza in the final heat of the day — in round four.

Here’s the official numbers breakdown from today, with a look ahead at round four.

Round three.
Heat five: Michel Bourez 13.53, Mick Fanning 11.20.
Heat six: Leonardo Fioravanti 16.83, John John Florence 13.33.

Heat seven: Joan Duru 17.60, Jordy Smith 11.73.
Heat eight: Connor O’Leary 10.74, Kelly Slater 10.34.

Heat nine: Joel Parkinson 15.30, Jeremy Flores 13.84.
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge 16.10, Kolohe Andino 11.90.

Heat 11: Sebastian Zeitz 12.93, Wiggolly Dantas 12.80.
Heat 12: Stu Kennedy 14.83, Adriano de Souza 14.33.

Round four.
Heat one: Ian Gouveia, Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson.
Heat two: Italo Ferreira, Michel Bourez, Leonardo Fioravanti.

Heat three: Joan Duru, Connor O’Leary, Joel Parkinson.
Heat four: Bede Durbidge, Sebastian Zietz, Stu Kennedy.


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