Stab Magazine | Barrel Party on Day three of the Billabong Pro, Rio De Janeiro
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Barrel Party on Day three of the Billabong Pro, Rio De Janeiro

Words by Craig Jarvis | All photos ASP/Daniel Smorigo As the first siren sounded at the Billabong Pro, Rio today, Gabs Medina was airdropping under the lip of a bomb. He made it to the bottom to stand in a perfect tube, and weaved through three sections before riding out. It was the day’s first wave. This was […]

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

Words by Craig Jarvis All photos ASP/Daniel Smorigo

As the first siren sounded at the Billabong Pro, Rio today, Gabs Medina was airdropping under the lip of a bomb. He made it to the bottom to stand in a perfect tube, and weaved through three sections before riding out. It was the day’s first wave. This was the wave that the day’s scoring would be based on. The judges dropped a fair 8.5, the crowd erupted, and Travis Logie was in the dust before anyone knew what had happened.

Gabs followed up with a backhand tube that swallowed him, and Travis opened his account with an average lefthander. Then Gabs backdoored a little left tube, and finished with a massive air reverse attempt, landing in the flats but slipping off at the last second. Travis was chasing a nine-point ride as the time kicked out. Pottz mentioned that Gabs was keeping busy and that Travis needed to get more active, but Trav was sitting tight to the right of the contest area. Then it happened. A solid and perfect left appeared, and Travis airdropped down to turn straight into a gaping tube, and planted his left foot firmly over the tail to slow down. It had 10 points written all over it, but the judges settled on a 9.5. It was still a winning wave, and the number one surfer in the world was sent packing in front of a home crowd while the diminutive South African, all smiles, kept his dreams alive.

“I was thinking of my friends the Nicholson family back in Durban,” said Travis of his win. “My friend Simon lost his wife recently, and I think Jess was watching over me, and I think she sent that wave to me.”

Gabs took his licking admirably, acknowledging Trav’s performance, and talking openly about his defeat: ”This event is a throwaway for me. I’m looking forward to Fiji now, and I’m going to train more before the event.”

Kolohe and Julian went toe-to-toe in their round three heat, with the lead going back and forth a few times, before Kolohe sneaked through with the win: “I was totally nervous of Julian out there,” said Kolohe after the heat. “He can pretty much get six points off any wave.”

Kolohe’s had a noticeably fresh new approach recently. “I’ve shaved the fat off my life,” he said. “I just decided to simplify it, and go to work.” And it seems too be working.

Then Bede Durbidge paddled out, and had the wave whistle throughout the heat, picking up on bomb barrels all over the shop. Two lefthand tuberides, a solid righthand barrel and then a deep, tight tube towards the end that saw him awarded an 8.83 to put the other Brazilian standout, Filipe Toledo, out of the event.

Kelly Slater faced Brazilian wildcard David Do Carmo, who opened up with a nice little backhand tube to get the scores going. Then the two of them seemed to paddle around, dodge sets, get stuck in rips and pull back on chunky closeouts. Kelly went over the falls hard, and there was very little else to watch. Until the last five minutes, when there was a pulse and both Kelly and Do Carmo both hooked into a flurry of waves. The heat ended with a split peak; Davey went left, Kelly went right, and the crowds went berserk. No one seemed to know who was cheering for who, but Do Carmo’s wave was a lesser tube than Kelly’s, and Kelly advanced at the expense of the wildcard.

“Out there you just kinda get lucky to get the right wave,” said Kelly afterwards. “There’s lots of current moving around, it’s a tricky spot. There really wasn’t much happening at all until the last five minutes of the heat.”

Defending champion Jordy Smith defeated Jadson Andre with relative ease, but when he came in after the heat all he wanted to talk about was his friend Travis Logie.

“Trent went mental out there,” said Jordy. “He got so pitted on that last one, I was freaking out! I was so happy for him and he got me so fired up. He’s on the other side of the draw, and it would be really cool if we could meet in the final.”

Jordy won his round three heat without any really crazy airs, getting his scores with big power turns and hacks. Still, he’s ready to go. “I’m feeling more confident than ever about my air game,” He continued. “I just wish I had a few more opportunities in that heat.”

In the non-elimination round four there weren’t too many surprises. There never are in non-elimination round. It actually seemed a bit like the surfers were tired, and over it after a hard day of getting pounded. No one seemed to be trying very hard. All that came to light was that this wave, Barra do Tijuca, can throw a few real barrels, Travis is still the ultimate dark horse, Bede surfed so good the whole day that he might have peaked, and Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith have still not even come close to hitting their strides. Not even close.

Kelly will meet Adriano, the last Brazilian surfer left in the event, in the first heat of round five.

Billabong Rio Pro Round 5 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)

Billabong Rio Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 15.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.34, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.03
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.27, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.43, Kelly Slater (USA) 5.30
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.53, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.24, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.10
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.83, Michel Bourez (3.20)

Billabong Rio Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 12.03 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 7.33
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.97 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 7.63
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.70 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.33 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.53 def. David Do Carmo (BRA) 10.93
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.36
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.04
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.00 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.17
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.13 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43

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