Stab Magazine | Cardoso Wins And Wilson Takes Back The Yellow Jersey
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Cardoso Wins And Wilson Takes Back The Yellow Jersey

And Johanne Defay is the first ever woman to be chaired up the Uluwatu stairs after winning the women’s inaugural CT event on the Bukit Peninsula. 

news // Jun 10, 2018
Words by Michael Ciaramella
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Words won’t describe the suspense of those last four minutes in the final, but Willian Cardoso’s backhand prowess fended off Julian’s last (fin)ditch attack to take home his maiden CT victory.    

Panda might not have the flair, progression, or even variety of Julian Wilson, but he does have an unbelievable (and perhaps predictable) backhand snap and is now $100,000 richer because of it. (Update: it has come to our attention that money was equally divided between all competitors at the conclusion of the Margie’s event. The Uluwatu make-up was simply for points. Sorry, Will.)  

Willian picked off the two best waves at a tide effected Ulu’s in the final, jammed the same, but critical, backhand slash along both of them and received a pair of scores lingering around that excellent range – an 8.07 and 7.5 to be exact. His surprisingly impeccable wave knowledge also factored into his success in the final and every heat leading up to it. 

And aside from his surfing, there wasn’t anyone in that field today with half the grit and determination of Panda. 

He wanted it and he fucking got it. 

Jules may not have won, but the yellow jersey ain’t a bad consolation prize. Photo. WSL/Sloane

The judges’ public criteria might place ‘progressive and innovative manoeuvres’ at the top of the pile, but you can’t not reward power and precision to the magnitude of Willian’s backside jams today.   

Julian nosepicked his way to the best score of the heat and was unlucky not to chip into a small-insider to steal the win that we all knew he was capable of – a backside reverse on a small runner would’ve more than done it. 

The clock ran down, Panda was deemed the winner and those celebrating in the cove fought over who was responsible for chairing the hefty Brazilian up the stairs for his maiden win.  

In the women’s, despite Tatiana Weston-Webb having the supposed ‘forehand advantage’, a determined Johanne Defay ended up being the first woman to ever be chaired up the Uluwatu stairs after taking out what was left of the Margaret River Pro. 

Tatiana appeared to have it wrapped with smooth carves, occasional lip-bashes and risky end-section throwaways, but Johanne caught the wave of the heat and all she needed to do was hold on from there.

The “rollercoaster of a wave”, as Barton called it, tried its best to buck her off, but Defay wasn’t waving any white flags on this one; she somehow stayed upright, threw a few wobbly turns and gave it to the end section for a 6.63, just enough to secure the win. 

Johanne Defay giving her case for why natural footers do it better on left hand point-esque waves. Photo. WSL/Sloane

Prior to the event, Stab – and just about everyone else who saw a split second of the freesurfing – expected the goofies to dominate at fast-running, head-high Uluwatu, but the past two days couldn’t have proved us more wrong. The warning signs from Snapper, Bells and Keramas should’ve heeded our expectations earlier, and in hindsight, we should’ve realised that Pritamo’s a Surfcore fan and backhand ‘nooners’ are well and truly back in scoring fashion.  

The two finals weren’t all that happened though, in actuality, the waves deteriorated throughout the day.

Here’s the highlights of what happened when it was actually firing, according to Mikey Ciaramella.  

Is it just me, or did the Margaret River makeuvent at Uluwatu not feel like a real CT event? Only like 20 of the athletes are there, the waves are laughably long, and people are sipping mixed drinks from the rafters. Come to think of it, this event is very much like Founder’s Cup.

Except not(!), because it will help decide our 2018 World Champions.  

Put some respect on Main Peak!

When most people think of Uluwatu, what they’re really thinking about is Racetracks – the long, shallow, sometimes tubing, always rippable last 300 meters of the wave. Images of Gerry Lopez and Rob Machado gliding through late afternoon gems dance in our minds, the Racetrack’s long walls stretching well out of sight.

And Racetracks is great, it really is, but I cannot allow Uluwatu’s Main Peak to go unappreciated any longer. When the tide is up and Racetrack is nothing but a soy-bean-tofurkey burger, Main peak is the gem of Uluwatu, producing a side-swiping wedge that provides for tubes, turns, and as we saw in Filipe’s heat this morning, massive punts. The best comparison I can make is a Blacks x Rocky Point collab.

It’s incredibly fucking fun.

And don’t even get me started on Temples.

How could Gabby lose?

In his Round 4 heat, Gabriel Medina caught a wave so reminiscent of small Cloudbreak that one could have been convinced he would win this entire event. Because that’s what Racetracks is: a smaller, not-quite-as-good version of Cloudbreak (with some Restaurants mixed in for good measure). And Medina is almost impossible to beat at Cloudbreak.

An unqualified man with a mullet seems to hold the antidote to Gabriel’s usual competitive edge. Photo. WSL/Sloane

However, Medina is totally beatable if you rock drawn-on stickers and a mullet – a truth we should have remembered but didn’t want to believe. In a slow quarterfinal, Mikey got the best of Gab once again. This guy is relentless (and will probably CT-qualify via his wildcard entries).

The NSSA Open Men’s final

Kolohe Andino and Conner Coffin shared a quarterfinal today and it was truly a beautiful thing. On top of their very impressive surfing, this was an homage to their NSSA days (Hey Janice, Gayline!), in which Kolohe more or less dominated and the chubby, Hurley-cow-suited Coffin clawed his way into award ceremonies but rarely to the podium. The two of them are more evenly matched now, surf-wise, but Kolohe still came out on top today.

Julian saved his title hopes

Jordy Smith caught an absolute dream wave in his quarterfinal against Julian Wilson. It was a three-foot double-up on the Racetrack section, with the wave behind just barely breaking atop the first – enough to multiply the power of the first wave without crumbling over the top. The wave bowled-out sublimely and Jordy tucked inside like a cold testicle. Eventually he came flying out and tagged the end section, but somehow fell which took its toll. 

Fast forward through an 8 and and 9 for Jules and Jordy respectively, and Julian needed a seven in the dying minutes.

Holding priority, Jordy took off on the first wave of the heat’s final set.

A mistake.

Not only did this wave close out, but it smoothed the surface for Julian’s wave behind it. Jules scampered into the chip-shot left, faded into the bowl and stuffed a larger if slightly-less-perfect tube. Quickly after exiting the funnel, Jules was confronted with a lurching closeout which he lipline-floated to the flats for a make. He ended up winning the heat by less than a point and I can’t help but feel that if Jordy had landed his post-tube turn, too, it could have gone the other way.

If Julian Wilson wins the 2018 Title it will be in large part thanks to that wave. Regardless this was a fantastic heat.

The biggest scoring snafu of 2018

In Men’s Quarterfinal 4, there was a moment that will forever change the way we think about surf judging. Taking off on a Main Peak bomb, Filipe Toledo unleashed a dizzying series of turn, float, and turn before pumping toward the Racetrack. It’s there that Willian Cardoso was lying in wait, holding onto the coveted priority, which he used to legally burn Filipe, therefore hindering Fil’s ability to bolster his score down the line.

Surprisingly, after Filipe was forced to exit the ride, Cardoso didn’t kick out but rather surfed the shit out of the wave’s second half, collecting a legitimate score of his own.

A 6.57, to be exact.

Now here’s where it starts getting interesting: Filipe scored a 4.33 for his efforts on the samewave.  

If you’re no good at math, that’s a tag-team 10.9.

But theoretically, and one might even say quite realistically, Filipe Toledo could have surfed the second half of the wave equal-to or better-than Cardoso.

But you can’t get a 10.9 on a wave.

This wasn’t during the combined 10.9 in question, but it may have received that score in its own right had Filipe stomped it. Photo. WSL/Sloane

You can only get a 10, and if we were to pretend that Willian didn’t have priority, and Filipe was therefore able to surf the rest of the wave, and he did so exactly the same as Cardoso, I’d be willing to bet that he wouldn’t even have gotten a nine.

But my beliefs are beside the point.

The fact that 10.9 points were garnered on a solitary wave in which a baton was effectively passed from one surfer to another confirms something that most of us have known for years but could never really prove:

In competition, waves and maneuvers are judged on a curve, not linearly.  

In other words, maneuvers don’t count for the same amount of points in every circumstance –  even within the same heat, or in today’s case, on the same wave. Rather, as you move further up the scoreline, it becomes increasingly more difficult to improve your score.

For instance, there’s a much bigger difference between a 9.8 and a 10, than there is a 3.8 and a 4.

Between a 3.8 and a 4, the difference could be as small a foam climb. Between a 9.8 and a 10, it would have to be a powerful fin-drift or a tidy air rev.

That’s why Willian could get 6.57 on the second half of a wave in which Filipe had already scored a 4.33. Whereas, had Filipe continued on that wave, he could have only acquired 5.67 more points.

Uluwatu CT Men’s Final Results: 
1 – Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.57
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.43

Uluwatu CT Women’s Final Results: 
1 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.13
2 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.67

Uluwatu CT Men’s Semifinal Results: 
SF1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.83 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.53
SF2: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.77 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 13.16

Uluwatu CT Women’s Semifinal Results: 
SF1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.50 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 2.50
SF2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.77 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.73

Uluwatu CT Men’s Quarterfinal Results: 
QF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.33 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 11.83
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.20 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.50
QF 3: Mikey Wright (AUS) 11.13 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.90
QF 4: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.24 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.67

Uluwatu CT Women’s Quarterfinal Results: 
QF1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.10 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.66
QF2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.83 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 7.64
QF3: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.00 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 6.97
QF4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.50 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.84

Uluwatu CT Men’s Round 4 Results: 
Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.34 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.10, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.47
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.13 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 13.04, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.50
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.07 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 14.66, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 14.63
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.50 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 8.83, Joan Duru (FRA) 7.44

Uluwatu CT Men’s Remaining Round 3 Results: 
Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.54 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 11.83
Heat 11: Joan Duru (FRA) 12.67 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.70
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)* (Wright progresses as Florence out injured)

Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (after Uluwatu CT)
– Julian Wilson (AUS) 27,215 pts
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA)  25,900 pts
3 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 24,995 pts
4 –  Gabriel Medina (BRA) 20,990 pts
5 –  Willian Cardoso (BRA) 19,740 pts

Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (after Uluwatu CT)
1 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 35,630 pts
2 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 35,575 pts
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 29,160 pts
4 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 24,800 pts
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 22,305 pts

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