Jack Robinson Fells Two Brazilian Greats (On The Buzzer!) To Take The G-Land Tiger Trophy - Stab Mag
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A confidence that can't be captured in words. Photo: WSL

Jack Robinson Fells Two Brazilian Greats (On The Buzzer!) To Take The G-Land Tiger Trophy

Johanne Defay uses Reunion Island-upbringing to defeat World #1, claims her first victory of the year.

news // Jun 4, 2022
Words by Matt George
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Finals day arrived along with some playful swell and tradewinds (finally).

It wasn’t the event they (the WSL) and we (the consuming public) were hoping for, but it’s the one we got. And there were some beautiful moments. 

Here’s what happened. 

TLDR 

  • Jack Robinson takes the Tiger trophy with two back to back buzzer beaters in perfect Moneytrees conditions.
  • Johanne Defay wins the Roxy Pro Women’s title with a steady performance.
  • Carissa Moore back in rightful Yellow Jersey.
  • Quiksilver G-Land Pro Tiger trophies become as coveted as Bells Beach bells. 
Talk about a shelf-topper. (Photo by Ed Sloane/World Surf League)

Armchair critic

A (women’) heat to replay: Semifinal 2. Watch Aussie battler and wildcard Bronte Macaulay almost upset the whole apple cart.
A (men’s) heat to replay  Semifinal 1. Watch Jack Robinson steal fire from the sky and oust Gabriel Medina with 2 seconds remaining.
Best quotes:

  • Stephanie Gilmore to Strider on why she waited so long for a wave: “You only need two, Strider”. 
  • Jack Robinson: “I knew Medina and I were going to have a collision from the very beginning…yeah…it was interesting how that heat went, hey?”
  • Overall Commentary Rating: 6.5 (The jungle seemed to have exhausted everybody). 
  • The Vibe: With a smart call to run finals day came a collective sigh of relief from the survivors still living out on the point. G-Land is not a place you leave, it’s a place you defect. And there had been plenty of that as heat losers skedaddled for more comfortable climes after a week on the Nasi Goreng and Gado Gado diet. G-Land is also not the kind of place you stick around unless you are married to one of the competitors still in the contest. The “Week of Jungle Heat” seemed to have sapped the energy of even the heartiest warriors. But as the end of the campaign was in sight, those still involved rallied for a very satisfying day of competition that honored all the legacy elements of G-Land. Since the beginning, no one has ever said G-Land is easy and for our mollycoddled touring pro’s, Father jungle taught a well deserved lesson: You are not in charge this time, I am. 
Get me off this island. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Heat Breakdowns

Women’s Quarter  1: Carissa Moore vs Sally Fitgibbons
Here was a reminder that Sally Fitzgibbons surfs way better backside than she does frontside. But after a cracker of a start, Carissa eventually made Sally look dainty as she arm wrestled the Aussie to the mat. “I had to,” said a smiling Carissa in anticipation of taking over the overall lead in the rankings, “Yellow is my favorite color”. 

Sally fought bravely (let us not forget that this is the woman who duct taped her head shut after blowing out her eardrums out at Tavarua and still won the contest). But today, such bravery was not remembered. Back on shore, Sally, ever the social media maven, made a masterful, just tearful enough exit. Meanwhile Carissa’s smiley-faced pos- heat interview made the whole women’s event seem like one big pajama party. 

Women’s Quarter  2: Tatiana Weston-Webb vs Lakey Peterson
Tati, with what seemed like a new, calmer approach, traded punches, and the lead, with Lakey Peterson for the entire heat. And for real connoisseurs of surfing, if you look close enough, Lakey had one deep bottom turn that was the best maneuver of the hard fought heat. But despite her muscular, hulking approach, Lakey eventually was worn down by Tati’s Brazilian storm momentum as she channeled Medina (but without all the tats).

The best female goofy foot on earth. (Photo by Ed Sloane/World Surf League)

Women’s Quarter 3: Brisa Hennessy vs Bronte Macaulay 
(Then) World number one Brisa was shocked at the audacity of wildcard Bronte’s opening 7.83. 

Brisa, nervous from that point on, seemed to feel the weight of the moment. A loss here and her yellow jersey would transfer to Carissa Moore. 

Brisa rallied, though she looked a little drunk getting to her feet for some reason. Bronte, with absolutely nothing to lose, prevailed and Brisa was forced to hand her yellow jersey over to Riss. “Maybe I had a few screws loose”, said Bronte on her winning performance, “that last re-entry was the sketchiest re-entry on the planet”. 

Women’s quarter 4: Stephanie Gilmore vs Johanne Defay
Is Steph even interested in this anymore? Or is it just her Eric Clapton “Slow hand” approach that makes her seem vaguely indifferent? Still, if style mattered anymore, (and Godamm, wouldn’t that be neat?) Steph would have taken the entire contest. Who the hell ever said Steph can’t surf backside?  She had some beautiful, if somnambulistic, moments. Still, Johanne’s Isla-le-Reunion-trained onslaught just looked more exciting…I guess. 

Shades of Saint Leu. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Men’s Quarter 1: Jadson Andre vs Gabriel Medina
Not even Jaddy’s suicidal trampoline act could stop Godzilla. And in another post-heat interview, Medina looked like he just sidled up to a bar to flirt with the foxy bartender. When asked about his annihilation of his fellow Brazilian, Medina said simply “No worries, I feel at peace.” 

Men’s Quarter 2: Jack Robinson vs Kanoa Igarashi
I missed this heat. Even though I watched the whole thing. Seventeen waves ridden and I can’t recall one. Not much inspiration. At least a precise Kanoa looked like he was one of the only surfers in the contest with a G-Land board of appropriate size. I hear there was an 8.50 in there somewhere, but the whole affair looked like a warm-up exercise to me. Just how warm, I was to learn by the end of the day. 

Men’s Quarter 3: Filipe Toledo vs Griffin Colapinto
The moment Filipe changed mid-heat to his beloved dark arts four fin, it was all over for Griff. We all know goofy Griff surfs at a world title level, and is intimidated by no one or no wave. But he cannot afford to fall off in clutch moments. But man, oh man, does he charge, never playing it safe. He already has a spot at Trestles, if you ask me.  

Coiled like a viper. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Men’s Quarter 4: Matthew McGillivray vs Connor O’Leary
On a social level, what’s not to love about these two best buddies? But it’s gonna take a lot more than just popularity to get these guys past the pedestrian crosswalk. What a snoozer.

Women’s Semi 1: Carissa vs Tatiana Weston-Webb
When it comes to Riss in the best waves of the day, you might as well stop the tide. Obviously, a tremendous Tati had peaked too soon. Especially when she belly-flopped on a wave that, with her barrel riding skills, would have been the only ten point ride in the contest. Still, the way Tati is surfing these days? A title is on the way. Guaranteed. 

Women’s Semi 2: Bronte Macaulay vs Johanne Defay
For the second time in a row, wildcard Bronte opens with a 7.83, startling her far more experienced opponent. This kicked off a spate of tucking into close-outs until Bronte, punch drunk, just plain ran out of time.

Gone for half a year, still the man to beat. (Photo by Ed Sloane/World Surf League)

Men’s Semi 1: Jack Robinson vs Gabriel Medina
It was so refreshing to see the monster finally take an opponent seriously. Jack waited for bombs. Medina, master strategist, worked the inside, scoring wave after wave under priority. Jack waited. And waited. And it was all Medina after 10 waves ridden. Medina was paddling over to rap with Strider on the ski when Jack, with 2 seconds left, found the wave he was looking for and took the heat by .57.

Medina, sitting on the sled behind the ski, could be seen looking out at the horizon, as if he could paddle back out and catch one more. Then his shoulders slumped and the cheers could be heard all the way to Perth. Godzilla could destroy no more. 

Men’s Semi 2: Filipe Toledo vs Connor O’Leary
In what by now were absolutely perfect conditions, Connor O’Leary, finally realizing just what he had achieved, hightailed it across that crosswalk I mentioned earlier and started surfing at his full potential. Hitting one re-entry so hard that his magic board snapped between his legs. 

I swear, had that not happened, Connor would have taken this heat. 

His forced board switch, to a completely different design from a completely different shaper, put the kibosh on what would have been a dream heat for Connor (or should I say Owari, considering the patch that Connor wears on his left shoulder). 

Meanwhile Filipe, our light-footed super welterweight, stayed consistent and shut the door by his first and third waves. A deserving win, it was all but decided that the final, in these perfect, smallish conditions, was Filipe’s for the asking. 

Condog done good. (Photo by Ed Sloane/World Surf League)

Women’s final 1: Carissa Moore vs Johanne Defay
It really is hard to believe just how good these women are surfing. Especially in dreamy, made-to-order G-Land conditions. Sure, things had slowed down, way down, and the sunset was hypnotizing everyone, but these women started surfing well enough to have won a number of the early men’s rounds. 

And like a lot of our tournaments, the finals may not be as exciting as the semis, but with Carissa’s last second 8.50, even though it wasn’t enough to take the tiger, it was enough to showcase just how far women’s surfing has come. Astonishing surfing, when you think about it. Astonishing bravery and character and achievement, when you think about it. And you should. 

Six events in, and World #1 Carissa still doesn’t have a win. She’s gotta be due, right? (Photo by Ed Sloane/World Surf League)

Men’s Final: Jack Robinson vs Filipe Toledo
A strange quiet fell over Grajagan. After a long week, under a golden sky turning to garnet, the final men’s heat was pretty simple stuff. We had seen it all before from both competitors, as is common when you get to this point in a meet. And everybody seemed satisfied with it. 

After only three waves, it was in the bag for Filipe, and everyone was cool with it. The Brazilians deserved it. Medina and Filipe had terrorized the rest of the field all week long. And the support for their fellow countrymen was unequaled as we watched them watching the monitors back on shore and ripping their t-shirts off like soccer players every time one of them scored a goal. 

And there were plenty of Brazilians goals in this contest. Big ones. Spectacular ones. Especially when Gabriel “The Monster” Medina paddled out. 

But in this last, almost hushed final heat, something extraordinary happened…again. With 2 seconds left, Jack Robinson took off and made memorable history at the Quiksilver Pro. 

“I touched the tiger on my way out for this heat” Jack said, speaking of the wooden carved Javan tiger trophy that will undoubtedly become as coveted as a Bell’s beach bell, “Just trying to connect with this place. That might have done it”. 

And indeed it had. As the sun surrendered its blazing fever and the primordial jungle of Grajagan, not ten yards from where Jack was standing, went about its business as it has for a million years. 

The man’s on a different plane of confidence right now. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Gamble Ramble

A rough day on Betonline.ag for Mikey C. He went more or less even on the individual heat picks, but Jack Robinson’s buzzer-beater cost him a $250 payout on the overall event winner. Still came up in the event though. 

Mikey’s QF picks

  • $20 on Johanne Defay at -110 to win $18 WON
  • $5 on Bronte Macaulay at +160 to win $8 WON
  • $10 on Matt McGillivray at +100 to win $10 LOST
  • $15 on Kanoa Igarashi at +100 to win $15 LOST

QF earnings: $-1

Event winner picks:

  • $25 on Tatiana Weston Webb at +1000 to win $250 LOST
  • $25 on Filipe Toledo at +800 to win $200  LOST
  • $10 on Sally Fitzgibbons at +1400 to win $140 LOST

Day 3 earnings: $-61
Total event earnings: $101
2022 season earnings: $1,039

Special shoutout to Stacey G who called BOTH winners in our pre-event episode of the Stab CUSP. Anyone who took his tips won big.

So long, Grajagan. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Results

ROXY Pro G-Land Final Results:
1 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.00 
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.33

Quiksilver Pro G-Land Final Results: 
1 – Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.50 
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.16

ROXY Pro G-Land Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.83 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 7.50
HEAT 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.66 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 13.33

Quiksilver Pro G-Land Semifinal Results: 
HEAT 1: Jack Robinson (AUS) 13.90 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.33
HEAT 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.00 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 10.47

ROXY Pro G-Land Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.87 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.14
HEAT 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.36 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.03
HEAT 3: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.43 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 9.83
HEAT 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.90 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.60

Quiksilver Pro G-Land Quarterfinal Results: 
HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.27 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.66
HEAT 2: Jack Robinson (AUS) 14.17 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.47
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.60 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 8.84
HEAT 4: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.77 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 7.07

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