Italo Gets Robbo-ed - Stab Mag

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The look of incredulous defeat. Photo: WSL

Italo Gets Robbo-ed

Goofies and John John Florence exit on Day 6.

news // Apr 16, 2022
Words by August Howell
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Today should have been finals day. Instead it was quarterfinals day. Let’s get straight into it.

  • Filipe Toledo gets the jump on John John Florence in their first matchup since the 2019 Bells final
  • Italo returns to his porta-potty perch, only to emerge to the horns of defeat.
  • Only the men’s four quarterfinals ran today as the swell rose and tide dropped.  
  • All three remaining goofies got knocked out. 
  • Ethan Ewing likely just showed Owen Wright the door off the CT.

Slow start, big finish

Filipe’s birthday present was wrapped in red. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/WSL)

The comp was on hold most of the day to wait for more swell and a dropping tide. The late afternoon crowd was greeted by unseasonably warm weather and an unreasonable amount of bump on the face. Despite some inconsistent sets and one restart, the swell rose throughout the day and there were still waves and entertainment on offer. None more so than the marquee matchup, John John Florence vs Filipe Toledo. 

What did Filipe Toledo get for his birthday gift? A win over JJF. In their first meeting since John John’s W at Bells in 2019, the newly-minted 27-year-old Brazilian took the win this time. This was only Fil’s second time ever beating John in six total matchups. 

It was a day of close finishes. Callum Robson beat Miquel Pupo by .58 points, while Jack Robinson came up clutch to take down Italo Ferreira by .80 points. Let’s examine it all in more depth below. 

Come-ups

Peak performance: Filipe Toledo 16.40, Q1
Hit replay: John John Florence (14.76) vs. Filipe Toledo (16.40), Q1, Jack Robinson (14.00) vs. Italo Ferreira (13.8), Q4
Monster maneuver: Filipe’s triple threat @ 32:40 in Q2
One-liner: “It was a birthday present from God.” — Filipe Toledo after beating JJFin Q2

After a blistering start to John and Filipe’s heat, they then “marinated” on those numbers, as Ronnie put it, for a good while. That said, Filipe’s first wave did get the attention of everyone in attendance. He eviscerated it for a 9.63 with three haymakers. He nearly botched a bottom turn and still managed to post the second-highest single-wave score of the event thus far. Crazy shit. 

John John answered the bell hard because, well, he’s John John. With the way he’s been surfing, the 8.43 he belted to start felt like a throwaway. But it turned out not to be the case. Even John, a man renowned for finding sync with mother nature at her most unruly, couldn’t get in a proper rhythm on the swinging and crumbling sets rumbling onto the reef.

No, it was Filipe who worked the inside and snagged a 6.77. Probably could have got harder on it, but he needed a legit backup score. John botched his last wave going to the air, and out he went. 

Pray for Margaret River. John John is in route. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/WSL)

Jack (expert meditator) and Italo (expert matador) had a close heat all the way through. Italo’s backhand had no problem on crumbling lips and jutting ribs, and Jack’s down-carves were, well, very down-carvy. What the two lacked in sheer power like John and Filipe, they made up for it at the end of the ride, as both of them crushed the end section better than anyone else today. 

Italo used his priority to fend off Jack in the waning minutes looking to better a 6.40. He got a 6.70, but it was nullified by Jack’s next screamer at the horn. Robbo’s buzzer-beater end section hammer earned him pocket sevens and sent Italo packing for West Oz. 

A lot of surf fans have claimed that Italo got robbed here. We don’t know about that. But he certainly got Robbo-ed

Jack Robinson thought long and hard about this heat beforehand so when he was in it, he could naturally react to walls like this. (Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL)

Let-downs

In the gutter: Owen Right Q1 11.17pts.
Blind mice: Gotta feel for Miguel and his 5.4 in the waning seconds needing a 5.95 to get past Callum. Close call.
Say what?: “That fluffy little marshmallow section was just too fluffy.” — Richie Lovett

Owen had a bit of a shocker, and it didn’t help he ran into an in-form Ethan, who only needed three rides to dispatch his older countryman. Bells was Owen’s first time past the third round this year. The quarter results will help Owen, but he’s still well below the cutline and will need to take names at Margaret River. 

Gotta give the next two guys credit. No disrespect, but who else predicted Callum Robson and Miguel Pupo making it to the quarters at rippable Bells. Callum just bested Mick and Miguel took out Kolohe. After a heat restart with neither surfer getting a wave for 15 minutes (there were waves, just not good ones) Callum looked solid but not great. Miguel had trouble hanging onto his snaps. To be fair, it looked super tricky for all the goofies today. With a set approaching and a slim lead over Miguel, the rookie let the veteran take off on a gem under priority. It’s a gamble you’d hope would pay off with a scoring wave, except the set landed on Callum’s head while Miggy hopped toward shore. 

Miguel needed a 5.95 to take the lead over his competitor now floundering in the whitewash. It was a good wave, well surfed, you knew it was going to be close. For a heat decided by such slim margins, the judges gave a rather large spread for Miguel’s last wave, one going as low as 5 while another went as high as a 6.5.  In the end, the judges handed Miggy a 5.4, and Callum took the win by .54 points. Helluva run by the Brazilian, who believe it or not is running his tenth year on tour. 

A mid-heat board swap didn’t help Italo get past Jack. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/WSL)

Miscellanea

Shades of 2018 from Italo, but not in the ways you’d expect. First off, the camera cut to him exiting the porta-potty moments before the judges deemed he came up short against Robbo. He then proceeded to thrash his fins against a poster of Mick (of all people!) in the locker room. No flying kicks like the one from Narrabeen, but wow the emotion was palpable. He let the judges in the booth know it, too. 

Speaking of Mick, he was a welcome addition in the booth for the first two heats today. Should have stayed for the last two. Mick had plenty to say on Ethan’s surfing, which looked about as clean and precise as the mop on his head. Seriously, his hair has officially reached Lego piece status, unflappable no matter what speed or angle he takes.

Jack vs Callum will be interesting. Talk about two opposite paths. One is the most hyped grom ever who struggled his first year on the CT, the other was considering a builders apprenticeship before going on a helluva run on the QS, CS, and now, making the MYC on the CT. 

Oh, and Filipe gets another crack at Ethan, a forehand rematch from Sunset Beach. Yeah, I guess we should tune into that one. 

Callum Robson, ending the goofies’ run at the Bells Bowl. (Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL)

Gamble Ramble 

Mikey C’s Day 6 picks on Betonline.ag:

– Ethan Ewing over Owen Wright at -145 (I bet $25 to win $17.24) WIN +17.25
– John Florence over Filipe Toledo at -185 (I bet $25 to win $13.51) LOSS -$25
– Miguel Pupo over Callum Robson at -130 (I bet $25 to win $19.23) LOSS -$25
– Jack Robinson over Italo Ferreira at +105 (I bet $10 to win $10.50) WIN +10.50

He also still has the following surfers in the running for the overall event win:

– Ethan Ewing at +1000 (I bet $25 to win $250)
– Filipe Toledo at +700 (I bet $40 to win $280)

Day 6 earnings: -$22.25
Overall event earnings: $117.25 

Results

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Quarterfinal Results:

HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 16.33 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 11.17

HEAT 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.40 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 14.76

HEAT 3: Callum Robson (AUS) 13.54 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.00

HEAT 4: Jack Robinson (AUS) 14.00 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.80

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Semifinal Matchups: 

HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)

HEAT 2: Callum Robson (AUS) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Semifinal Matchups: 

HEAT 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)

HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)

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