Drug Aware Pro Does Its Best Eddie Impersonation For Rounds Three And Four
Main Break calls the day?
After teasing the thought of holding today’s action at The Box in the early hours of the morning, the WSL backtracked, holding rounds three and four again at Main Break. The swell had noticeably built compared to previous days, and Margaret River was showing flashes of Waimea Bay during today’s action.
The freight train conditions favoured rail-heavy power surfers, which was noticeable in the round three results: Conner Coffin, Julian Wilson, Owen Wright, Michel Bourez and more advancing. Now, let’s run through the highlights.
In the inaugural heat of the day, Jack Freestone iced Kelly Slater with a 13.83, besting Kelly’s combined 11.07. Jack started slow, looking hesitant on his first wave, which was scored a meagre single point. But, after that trial run, he gathered his bearings. Picking up a 7.33 on the following wave, the highest single score of the heat.
It’s pretty good out there,” Jack said after his upset victory. “It was a hard morning because we were deliberating about running at The Box or Main Break, but there wasn’t enough consistency at The Box, so we decided to come back. There were so many big sets and I couldn’t hear anything, I didn’t know what the situation was until about two minutes to go. I wanted to let off, but you just can’t against Kelly.”
Things got a little hairy in the next heat, as several bombs rolled in from the horizon and detonated on Julian Wilson and Miguel Pupo. While both competitors spent a significant amount of time holding their breath in the impact zone, it was Julian who was able to shake off the aquatic shock and compose himself for the win. The goofy footer’s combined 3.33, a result of two paltry wave scores of a .83 and 2.50, didn’t stand a chance to Julian’s 16.84.
“It was a really good challenge out there, to be honest,” said Julian. “It’s pretty clean, but obviously there’s some serious size. Positioning is pretty key, I got a couple of good scores at the start and got pretty smashed in the middle of the heat. The takeoff zone is about the size of a football field so you just have to take your angle and stick with it out there.”
Reigning world champ John John Florence was the sole proprietor of the two highest heat scores of round three: A 9.57 and 9.70. A result of wrapping his way, and finding a hanger, around two massive right-handers.
“It was a lot like the waves back at home,” remarked John after the heat. “Just big, open faces, it’s like snowboarding almost. Honestly, I wanted to get on one of those bombs that were barreling out the back, but it’s hard to make a decision to sit further in or out.”
In one of the more testing heats of the day, Jordy Smith bested Jesse Mendes in heat seven after catching just two waves. It was a sluggish affair all around, though, with the Brazilian only pocketing a duo as well. For a grand total of four waves being ridden in the entirety of the heat. A testimony to how arduous the conditions were, with many surfers being rightfully choosy of their waves to avoid being caught in the destructive impact zone.
“It definitely slowed down in the heat,” Jordy echoed. “The wind was as good as it gets for Margaret’s, but with it came a lack of sets. It wasn’t really pulsing. I caught my first wave and immediately realised I needed to downsize my board from a 6’5” to a 6’3”. I didn’t have too many opportunities, though, as I only got one wave with each board. Technically, the 6’5” got a higher score, so maybe that was the better one.”
Round four kicked off immediately afterwards. With a powerhouse heat between Jack Freestone, Owen Wright, and Julian Wilson. The swell dropped slightly, but what it lost in size it gained in chop, with the onshore winds noticeably affecting the previously clean faces. Owen Wright picked up the best score of the exchange, with a 9.17, which carried him to a round four, heat one victory.
“That’s the first heat I’ve had with Jack,” said Owen afterwards. “I missed his first year on tour, so it was cool to go out there and have a heat with him and Jules. Just a good Aussie heat, that one.”
Mr Florence’s established composure coasted him to victory in the following heat. Picking up a 9.43 and 9.73 for a combined 19.16, a score superior to fellow competitors Michel Bourez and Conner Coffin’s 12.16 and 11.50, respectively.
On the bottom side of the draw, Adriano de Souza and Kolohe Andino hopscotched to the quarterfinals, getting the better of competitors Sebastian Zietz, Jordy Smith, Jeremy Flores and Filipe Toledo, respectively. Both matchups were relatively low-scoring affairs, with Adriano notching a combined 16.83 and Kolohe grabbing a 14.77. Noticeably smaller scores when compared to Owen’s 17.44 and John’s aforementioned 19.16.
With swell tomorrow, the girls will likely be paddling out. So, if you’re thirsting for more CT action, hang tight, you’ll get your quench soon.
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