Here’s your semifinalists for the 2015 Drug Aware Pro:
Today was easily one of the best days of competitive surfing in recent memory. With a 10 to 15 foot (maybe?) swell pulsing through Margaret River Main Break, and groomed by a clean offshore, the remaining 12 men in the draw unsheathed their longest crafts and hunted the walling rights crushing into the rocks. There were some […]
Today was easily one of the best days of competitive surfing in recent memory. With a 10 to 15 foot (maybe?) swell pulsing through Margaret River Main Break, and groomed by a clean offshore, the remaining 12 men in the draw unsheathed their longest crafts and hunted the walling rights crushing into the rocks. There were some huge heat totals today: Nat Young dropped 16.93 points in round four, then in round five Jay Davies put 17 on the board, and Julian Wilson clocked a 19.06 two heats later. John John Florence put down 17.87 in the quarters, and Taj Burrow didn’t go below a 16-point total in his two heats. Actually, neither John John, Nat Young or Taj lost a heat today – just in case you’re wondering who to bet on. So, how’d they all do it?
Like he did at Lowers, but on a much more grandiose scale, John John again silenced any lingering criticisms where his rail game is concerned. The pace and ferocity he took through his frontside wraps today was unrivalled, period. And, all linked with minimal jitter between (watch above). “I was so nervous because Jay is such a good surfer,” said John John. “I’ve had the pleasure of surfing against him a few times in the past and especially in these kinds of waves he’s such a strong surfer. So going out there to Main Break like that with those big open rights I was definitely pretty nervous. It took me a couple of waves to get going but it was a really fun heat. I was stoked we were able to get back-to-back waves like that.”
Oh, Mr Florence. Photo: WSL
Whether or not familiarity is a thing, Taj knew exactly which waves to be on today. And, rode a big enough board to a) scratch into them and b) minimise bumpiness. He drew smooth, energetic lines and wasn’t afraid of cracking the thumpy end section. He beat Adriano de Souza and Julian in round four, and then Jules again in the quarters. He’ll now face Adriano again in the semis, and repetition never looked better. “I’m so excited to be at this event and into the Semis,” said Taj. “I’m really proud of this area and to have great waves and weather and have the guys all putting on a show has been unreal. I don’t feel any pressure to perform, it’s the opposite I just go out to surf good waves and have fun and if the results come then that’s just a bonus.”
TB swoops. Photo: WSL
Nat Young, the only goofy left in the draw, was thoroughly winding up to 12 o’clock all day. The committed first turn on his second scoring ride in round four (below) was kinda loony, and he backed up solid to close. Skipping round five, he’d later go on to beat good pal and last year’s event winner, Michel Bourez, in a scrappy quarterfinal. He now faces John John in the semifinals and if you miss that you should be ashamed of yourself. “It definitely seems like the swell is picking up a bit,” said Nat. “The wind is coming up too so it’s difficult but it’s a pretty awesome day, it couldn’t get much better. Last year Michel and I stayed together and met in the Quarterfinals so it’s great to get him back this year.”
Adriano de Souza perhaps took the most subtle path to the semis. But, a semis berth is a semis berth. After losing to Taj and Julian in round four, he fought back in round five to dispatch Josh Kerr with 14.83 points, before sending Kelly Slater packing. Yep, Ads was far more in rhythm than the man who posted a 19.50 combined total yesterday. Adriano’s post heat interviews have made him more affable too, he’s refined and considered, saying very thoughtful things and being realistic about where he’s at. Which is hard not to dig. He’ll take on Taj in the second heat of the day tomorrow.
“I was actually relieved when I saw that huge wave because I knew Kelly was out of position, but it was so painful,” said Adriano. “I’m so happy with what’s happened in this contest so far. It’s been wonderful at Main Break and huge at The Box and I’ve survived all these conditions and I’m so happy and proud with what I’ve done so far. I’m going to refill my energy and my focus again ready for the Semifinals because I’m competing against a local. I’m going to try my best in the Semis.”
Adriano, the pluckiest little string! WSL/Cestari
And a special mention to Mr Jay Davies, the hostess with the mostest, who despite being knocked by John John in the quarters, did surfing like the below all week and made the webcast shine a little brighter. “I didn’t think I’d make it this far at all,” said Jay. “I was just going to wait and see how I went in the first heat but I guess I got some confidence surfing The Box. I’m pretty stoked with where I ended up and I got to surf against one of my favorite surfers today. It makes me feel very humble to hear the local crowds and be the people’s champion for today. I wish I could have gone further for everyone.”
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 14.60, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.73, Michel Bourez (PYF) 6.77
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 16.93, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.90, Jay Davies (AUS) 7.83
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.17, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.43, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.30
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.17, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.10, Owen Wright (AUS) 4.50
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Jay Davies (AUS) 17.10 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.00
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.70 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.50
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 19.06 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.00
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.83 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.66
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.87 def. Jay Davies (AUS) 13.84
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 14.60 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.23
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 16.27 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.67
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.73 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 9.96
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Match-ups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
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