Stab Magazine | Gabriel's floater throws a spanner in QS works
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Gabriel’s floater throws a spanner in QS works

Words by Jed Smith (Skip to 8:31 above for the floater) You knew it was coming. Like the quiet Ninja that bides his time in the corner of the rumble, Gabriel Medina delivered two killer blows in the dying stages of his round three heat at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset – […]

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

Words by Jed Smith

(Skip to 8:31 above for the floater)

You knew it was coming. Like the quiet Ninja that bides his time in the corner of the rumble, Gabriel Medina delivered two killer blows in the dying stages of his round three heat at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset – the last second heroics throwing a spanner in the works of QS qualification calculations.

In a dramatic final 10 seconds, Medina scratched into the last wave of the heat from under the priority of Newcastle’s Ryan Callinan. Needing a solid score to take the lead, the Brazilian world champ executed the most daring tightrope floater on the heaviest Sunset inside section, landing awkwardly, and holding on through an incredible layback recovery for a dramatic heat win. Despite holding the lead for the majority of the heat, Gabriel’s heroics condemned Ryan to third place in the heat, eliminating him from the contest and placing the equal-ninth ranked surfer in serious jeopardy of missing qualification.

Freestone-Sun15Masurel

Jack Freestone is ranked third on the QS and advanced through round three with a 17.67 combined total. V safe. Photo: WSL/Masurel

Cronulla World Tour hopeful, Connor O’Leary, who was also in the heat, finished fourth and now faces a similar scenario. Coming into Sunset 11th on the QS, had Connor maintained his place, he was assured a 2016 world tour spot. He will now death-ride the remaining QS contenders. Among them, Dusty Payne, last year’s runner-up at Sunset, who requires a semis finish to complete back-to-back miracle re-qualification runs. The Hawaiian is arguably the form surfer left in the draw, matching impeccable wave-reads with smooth, powerful lines.

Lennox’s Stu Kennedy is another hoping to shove Connor with a semis finish at Sunset. Ranked 16th on the QS coming into the event, Stu, who’s been travelling the QS without a major sponsor, is a pointbreak, power surfing specialist well suited to Sunset.

Coffin-Sun15Masurel

Conner Coffin kept his World Tour qualification hopes alive by scratching through his round three heat over Wiggolly Dantas and Seabass. Photo: WSL/Masurel

Santa Barbra’s Conner Coffin is another needing a quarters finish to crack the Tour. Stylish gouges and great rhythm in the tricky open ocean conditions has him looking likely. He faces a stacked heat in round four, ling up against John John Florence, Portuguese giant killer Frederico Morais, and WSL Rookie of the Year Italo Ferreira.

Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey is another distant possibility, ranked 22nd on the QS. He’s still alive at Sunset going into the final day. Should he, Dusty and Stu all manage strong results, a reshuffle of the QS ratings would occur, potentially pushing Connor, Ryan and Davey – who lost in round two – out of contention.

Wade Carmichael, Zeke Lau, Nate Yeomans, Cooper Chapman and Adam Melling were among the surfers who had their World Tour qualification hopes squashed today by round two eliminations.

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Mick Fanning survived his Round three scrap. Photo: WSL/Kirstin

Round of 64 (1st and 2nd advance to next round)

Heat 1: Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.90, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.10, Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.96, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 9.37
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 11.66, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.60, Benji Brand (HAW) 6.03, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 1.73
Heat 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.50, Conner Coffin (USA) 11.16, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.60, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 5.27
Heat 4: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.54, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.33, Kekoa Cazimero (HAW) 7.80, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 7.60
Heat 5: Jack Freestone (AUS) 17.67, Nat Young (USA) 11.93, Mason Ho (HAW) 10.60, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 9.40
Heat 6: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.07, Torrey Meister (HAW) 6.56, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 3.57, Adam Melling (AUS) 2.33
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.00, Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.27, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.23, Marco Giorgi (URY) 5.83
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds (USA) 14.94, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.50, Joan Duru (FRA) 13.66, Noe Mar McGonagle (CRI) 9.20
Heat 9: Ian Walsh (HAW) 15.77, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.10, Adriano De Souza (BRA) 9.50, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 7.57
Heat 10: Yadin Nicol (AUS) 17.40, Soli Bailey (AUS) 13.30, Kai Otton (AUS) 13.10, Keanu Asing (HAW) 10.50
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.40, Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.84, Jamie O’Brien (HAW) 8.17, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.30
Heat 12: Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.50, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.36, Pedro Henrique (PRT) 7.93, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 7.00
Heat 13: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 16.43, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.30, Davey Cathels (AUS) 11.23, Joel Centeio (HAW) 6.63
Heat 14: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 16.67, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.57, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.70, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 8.23
Heat 15: Michel Bourez (PYF) 18.60, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.50, Miguel Tudela (PER) 10.86, Bino Lopes (BRA) 6.10
Heat 16: Deivid Silva (BRA) 15.70, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.34, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.66, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.90

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