Stab Magazine | Gabriel Medina progresses to round 4, Bede Durbidge injured
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Gabriel Medina progresses to round 4, Bede Durbidge injured

Today, there is a very, very good chance that a world champion will be crowned at the Billabong Pipe Masters. As of first heat, Mick Fanning, Filipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, Adriano de Souza (and very distantly, Julian Wilson) are in contention. At first look this morning Pipe is big, straight, and ugly. There’s a big rip running through […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Today, there is a very, very good chance that a world champion will be crowned at the Billabong Pipe Masters. As of first heat, Mick Fanning, Filipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, Adriano de Souza (and very distantly, Julian Wilson) are in contention.

At first look this morning Pipe is big, straight, and ugly. There’s a big rip running through it. We’re thinking that it could be a day of twos and anticlimax. But then, Gabs paddles out and starts picking the eyes out of the unruly conditions. It’s comical how Gabriel Medina’s gone from not being able to surf big waves to, “Jordy’s not going to beat Gabs at big Pipe.”

The camps of all the title contenders are next to each other on the beach. The entourages of Fanning, Medina and Wilson are all next to each other on the beach, their boards speared in the sand like pikes.

The big ones wedge up too much – you’ve got to look for the runners. Natural footers are are at a serious disadvantage at shifty Pipe. It’s all lefts, late drops and fast spiraling tubes. Goofy footers can see it better, it’s easier to read.

It’s a faux pas to mention the title race, it seems like the commentators deliberately aren’t mentioning it because, well, no one on the beach really understands what it means. All those scenarios!

Heat 1: Gabriel Medina vs Jordy Smith

Wave 1: Medina opens with a flurry of waves, staying busy, and signalling his intentions in the wobbly early morning conditions. Swoops into a mid-size Pipe nugget for a clean exit and a 7.67.

Wave 2: Finds a bigger, foamier Pipe left, navigates a chattery drop and bottom turn before it opens up for a solid barrel. Throws a little claim on the exit for an 8.1

Jordy Smith is unable to find any rhythm and wave selection is poor. Manages two scores in the one to two point range.

Bede Durbidge is seriously injured on a solid inside Pipe wave in his overlapping heat with Keanu Asing. An air drop to face plant halfway down the face sees him slammed on the reef and stretchered up the beach continuing the horror run of injuries at the wave this year. WSL beach commentator Strider Wasilewski reports it is a suspected hip compression. Pottz calls it a classic “scorpion,” in which the legs end up over the back of the head. Bede can feel all his extremities, which is a positive sign. He’s reported to be in “a lot of shock and pain” as he was assessed on the beach before being taken away in an ambulance for X Rays.

“I’ve been spending a lot of time in the water,” said Gabriel after his heat. “I got my two best ones when I wasn’t with priority. The waves are good, I was worried about not having waves today. This wave is really powerful, Bede just got a gnarly wipeout. It’s got bigger. Also, I just want to send some love to Owen and Bede.”

More to come soon…

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