Can Anyone Beat Robbo? - Stab Mag

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Jack blew everyone out of the water today amassing a 16.26 heat total when only three other surfers broke double-digits. In this past year he's won 3 CT events (inc. Barra de la Cruz) and made 4 finals. Frankly, he looks kinda unstoppable. Photo by WSL

Can Anyone Beat Robbo?

The Spartan plays footsies, wildcards go switch & the broadcast sentences us to HOLD limbo on day 2 of Tahiti.

news // Aug 18, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 6 minutes


  • Jack Robinson won his 24th heat this season courtesy of a psycho 9.43, by far the wave of the event so far. If he continues this form he could easily make his fourth final this year and be wearing yellow come Lowers.
  • Tyler Wright, Issy Nichols and Gabriela Bryan all fell out of the elimination round and will NOT be winning World Titles this year. Brisa Hennessy and Lakey Peterson now have a surf off for the final spot at Lowers in Round 3. Tatiana and Steph are now locked in for Trestles
  • Local wildcards: Kauli Vaast and Vahine Fierro both advanced into Round three, easily. Kauli even took off switch on one of his waves i.e. he’s very comfortable out here
  • After leaving viewers in limbo after multiple HOLD calls, the WSL finally pulled the pin before the geriatrics got their turn. The Hog, Kelly and Filipe Toledo (combined age of 120yrs), will see the most experienced heat of this CT season unfold tomorrow morning. 
Tati’s currently booking her AirBnb at San Clemente. Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League


Good viewing. 

Bar the morning sickness which saw the ocean looking chopped and boggled, the waves came alive a little in the men’s rounds and we got our first glimpse of proper Teahupo’o. The women’s elimination round (ER), owing to aforementioned boggle, was slow. No one in the women’s ER fetched a heat total over 9 points. Morning sickness saw the girls going to turns (mostly) with the exception of Brisa who found the only decent tube in the final moments of her heat for a 7.00. 

Current #2, Johanne Defay getting beaten by local wildcard Vahine Fierro is worth noting. ⅔ of Johanne’s CT wins have come in left reef breaks, and though this won’t affect her making it into Lowers, it may affect her seeding if Tati, Steph, Brisa or Lakey perform well here. BTW, Brisa and Lakey will now surf off in a head-to-head for the remaining last spot at Lowers in Round 3. Mental.

Killing em, kindly. (Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League

The men’s event only got through three heats before the WSL subjected viewers to their call waiting list. Vets Hog and Slatz will face off with Fil first thing tomorrow.

Winners of the men’s opening round were Yago Dora, Jack Robinson and local wildcard Kauli Vaast. Translation: Leandro Dora’s heart is warm and Kauli’s DMs are firing on all cylinders. Yago has now won nine out of his 11 previous heats, and Jack blew his 12.30 heat average at reef breaks out of the channel with a 16.26 heat total (+3.96 margin) when 66% of the field couldn’t reach double digits. Kauli caught five waves in about five minutes, rinsing Ethan Ewing and Baz Mamiya easily with nimble frontside tube threading and a switch stance takeoff to boot.

In his previous Tahiti CT campaign as a 17-year-old rookie, Kauli got a ninth. Odds him going a lot further this time, here. Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League


  • Peak performance: Jack Robinson in R1H3, 16.26 points
  • Hit replay: Brisa Hennessy R2H2, Jack Robinson R1H3, Kauli Vaast’s R1H2
  • Monster maneuver: Jack Robinson’s 9.43 airdrop and Michel Bourez’s footdrag pigdog

Swell’s heating up and there’s more of it on the way. Das a win. There’s also 35 heats to get through and only four days left to run, meaning the WSL cannot tease viewers with the HOLD button much longer. 

Local wildcards Kauli Vaast and Vahine Fierro winning their heats convincingly over tough opponents is exciting. As a bit more of a specialty event, big-waves/tubes, this is the kind of contest where they could be in the mix at the pointy end. Throw some money on their heads here.

On day one, Vahine made the rest of the field look like delicate flowers made from paper mache trying not to get wet. Kauli taking off switch and changing stances was very audacious and shows his level of comfort here.

I like this theater.

Off it. Italo has a best result of 5th in five previous events at Teahupo’o (2015 and 2018). Italo has not made a CT Final since Newcastle last season, 16 events ago. The last time he failed to win a single event in a season was 2017 — you can be damn sure he wants to break this streak. (Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League)


  • Caught behind: Mens R1H3 – Michel Bourez and Nat Young looked like they were surfing a different break against Robbo, comboe’d by 9-point margins.

I don’t envy the position of WSL event coordinators after this year. Been pretty cursed with the forecast at every event window other than Pipe and J-Bay. Poor form from Huey. Anyhowz, the WSL gave this event a full 11-day window and thank baby Buddha for that. The last three days should be jam-packed with action and waves. 


It’s been a while since we last saw the Spartan. Today, we saw him get absolutely savaged by Robbo but not before showcasing a foot-drag pigdog that fetched a lowly score. In Cloudbreak in 2017, MB showed us a similar variation of this trick, and event in which he placed third. A good omen, perhaps?

Today and Fiji, 2017. The Spartan’s innovative big toe BS drag technique.

Gamble Ramble

So far, Mikey’s season earnings stand at $850. Here are his R2 results:

Event winner:

  • $50 on Vahine Fierro at +1600 QF
  • $50 on Tatiana Weston-Webb at +800 QF
  • $20 on Seth Moniz at +1600 R1
  • $20 on Barron Mamiya at +1800 ER
  • $20 on Connor O’Leary at +2500 R1
  • $50 on Kelly Slater at +1000 R1

Round 1 picks:  

  • $40 on Caio Ibelli at +180
  • $20 on Barron Mamiya at +150 LOST
  • $40 on Jadson Andre at +400
  • $20 on Nat Young at +400 LOST
  • $20 on Yago Dora at +225 WON $45

Round 2 earnings: $5
Event earnings: -$25

Day 3 picks:

  • $20 on Caroline Marx at +125 to win $25
  • $50 on Courtney Conlogue at -105 to win $47
  • $30 on Vahine Fierro at -105 to win $28
  • $50 on Kelly Slater at +100 to win $50
  • $40 on Caio Ibelli at +180 to win $72
  • $40 on Jadson Andre at +400 to win $160

Make your own picks here.

Who ya got, Lakey or Brisa? Photo by Damien Poullenot/World Surf League)


Outerknown Tahiti Pro Women’s Elimination Round Results:

  • HEAT 1: Vahine Fierro (FRA) 6.60 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 3.20
  • HEAT 2: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 8.93 DEF. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 5.33
  • HEAT 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 6.34 DEF. Isabella Nichols (AUS) 6.17
  • HEAT 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 6.65  DEF.  Tyler Wright (AUS) 6.37

Outerknown Tahiti Pro Men’s Opening Round Results:

  • Heat 1: Yago Dora (BRA) 8.66 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.14, Matthew McGillivray (RSA) 5.10
  • Heat 2:  Kauli Vaast (FRA) 13.6 DEF.  Barron Mamiya (HAW) 10.93, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 2.33
  • Heat 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 16.26 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 7.33,  Michel Bourez (FRA) 6.70

Outerknown Tahiti Pro Men’s Opening Round 1 Remaining Matchups:

  • Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kelly Slater (USA),  Nathan Hedge (AUS)
  • Heat 5: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Jordy Smith (RSA), Jadson Andre (BRA)
  • Heat 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jackson Baker (AUS)
  • Heat 7: Callum Robson (AUS), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Seth Moniz (HAW)
  • Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Jake Marshall (USA)

Outerknown Tahiti Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:

  • HEAT 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
  • HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
  • HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Vahine Fierro (FRA)
  • HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)


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