Stab Magazine | Jake Paterson On Seven Men With An Opportunity

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Jake Paterson On Seven Men With An Opportunity

“I really hope the judges get it right, last year I think they had a full shocker.”

news // Aug 17, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

You could really tell in the opening rounds who knew the lineup and which waves had potential for a score. Frederico Morais, Filipe Toledo and Ethan Ewing all looked like they needed to spend a hell of a lot more time out at Chopes. Some of the guys that impressed early were Joan Duru, who looked right at home, and second generation pro surfer, Ian Gouveia, who also seemed to thrive in a punchy left hander. Luck of the Irish was with the yellow jersey holder, Wilko, winning his opening round with a total of 7.33.

The second day we got to see some real Chopes, albeit small with a handful of surprise results. Connor O’leary over Jeremy Flores and Gabby pulling a rabbit out of the hat against Bede. How Jordy Smith went about his business was interesting. He made the semi and beat John Florence in the quarter final by, in his own words; “putting my balls on the line and waiting for the very best waves.” It’s not rocket science I guess, but I don’t think many people would have had Jordy beating John John out there – I was one of them. Julian looked solid in every heat all the way to the final. He made some crazy waves and I loved his commitment to the dry reef closeout on most waves – you could see he wanted the win more then most. 

The final. Gabby and Jules. This was the fourth time these two have met in a final. Every time there seems to be a crazy intense rivalry, kinda like Kelly and Andy. None of them want to give each other an inch. The three other finals, France, Portugal, Pipe all went down to the wire and all decided after the final hooter had sounded. This final has the same battle, a full cat and mouse start with paddle battles, knocking arms and hands in the air for the first ten minutes. It went down in two halves, Gabby owned the first, having Jules in combo, then with 12 minutes to go the tide turned and Jules took the reins and never looked back.

Now we have seven different winners from seven events. The new ratings see Jordy go to the top, wearing yellow at Trestles – where he has won twice before. John John stays in second, Wilko into third, Owen in fourth and Julian moves into fifth place. Interesting Adriano hasn’t made it through round three since winning in Brazil, now he’s sixth. Gabriel moves to seventh and is on a roll so will be one to watch at Trestles. Though Gabby’s the last guy that can win the title at this point.

So, Trestles next. It’s the most high performance wave on tour. I really hope the judges get it right, last year I think they had a full shocker. 

Of the seven title contenders, I think the natural footers have a slight advantage going by past results. For me the wild card for the title guys is Filipe. Who will draw this guy in the quarter finals and who will dodge the bullet? This kid will be the one to watch out there in my eyes. I think Jordy will hold on to the yellow jersey coming out of Trestles going off previous results and the way he can mix up his power game with his air attack. He seems to be super relaxed about his competitive act right now. Weather he can hold it going all the way into Pipe is the question. 

Only four event to go. What is going to be super interesting the Portugal event, where the title contenders start to drop their worst results.

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