Stab Magazine | John Florence Inches Closer To The World Title

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John Florence Inches Closer To The World Title

Unless Jordy Smith or Kolohe Andino have something to do about it. 

news // Oct 25, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The first six minutes of the opening heat of the day justified Commissioner Logie’s call to run. It was a difficult decision to make, with not all surfers totally into it. The waves were solid – six to eight-foot – and shutting down, with thick water exploding over the Supertubos sand. The paddle out looked hard enough. When a surfer nicknamed The Spartan gets swatted mercilessly on the paddle out, it’s obvious that there is little mercy out there. 

That surfer, Michel Bourez, dropped into the first wave of the heat, landed himself in a backhand barrel and rode it until the close out to get a back-up score of 4.33, and the conditions instantly improved. Then Julian Wilson stood tall in a big right-hand bombing barrel for a solid 8.5. While paddling back out he snuck into a left for a 5.83 for his second score, and it was on.

Not willing to waste his momentum, Julian then hooked into a thick and dark double barrel, for a solid 7.83 and a combo situation, and the heat ended in that order with Julian in front.

Next up, Conner Coffin beat world title spoiler Jeremy Flores in a low scoring heat. Jeremy had a great event, taking out Matt Wilkinson and Gabriel Medina while displaying newfound vigour, but he was beaten in this heat by Connor. It was a difficult heat, and no disgrace to Jeremy, who has already requalified via the Qualifying Series.

“I’m just so stoked to make that heat,” said a smiling Conner afterwards. “It’s really tough out there. When I didn’t have priority I just tried to stay busy. You’ve got to be so focused on the ocean and so in-tune out there, otherwise you could miss something by two feet, and then miss a high score.”

In deteriorating conditions, Sebastian Zietz and Stu Kennedy also could not find the big scores. But there heat was primarily a few quick barrels, close-outs and a whole bunch of sets on the head. Stu opened up with a nice little wall, but it wasn’t to be, and Seabass headed on thru to the quarterfinals.

Before the quarterfinals kicked off, Travis put the whole party on a 90-minute hold to assess conditions. A couple of hours later the boys were back out there.

In quarterfinal one, Kolohe opened up well, with two good scores including one ultra critical backhand barrel, while Adriano floundered. The Brazilian did eventually catch up but it was a walkover, with Kolohe heading for the first semifinal.

John John and Julian were both charging in Quarterfinal number two, and Supertubos delivered her best for the two surfers for about twenty minutes. No hesitation, no nerves, as the two pulled into throaty stand-up tubes. Despite getting barreled off his pip, Julian still needed a 10-point ride at the end, and John John advanced, heading towards that world title.


Jordy 2

“Sooner or later the door was going to open,” – Jordy Smith


The next quarterfinal match-up started off as the Seabass Show, and it ended up with Jordy Smith in the limelight. From a deep combination position, Jordy stroked into the wave of the whole event, a thick right-hand close-out brown tunnel. Jordy was so deep he was gone, but he pumped and he drove, using his best New Pier skills, to come screaming out of an impossible barrel for five immediate ten-point rides and a heavy-handed claim. “That’s the fastest ten-point ride I’ve ever seen,” said Potts. There was no turning back for the big fellow, and he flew into the semis.

“You know, I had one massive right with no exit, and that left barrel when I went too deep and couldn’t get out, and I was like, sooner or later the door was going to open” said Jordy. “I haven’t had a barrel like that in so long, and what a feeling to get it in a contest!”

The dream is still alive. The title chase is still on. Jordy Smith is the dangerman. Kolohe hasn’t left the party. It’s not over yet.

Round five results:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza 9.90 def. Joel Parkinson 7.57
Heat 2: Julian Wilson 16.33 def. Michel Bourez 6.06
Heat 3: Conner Coffin 7.26 def. Jeremy Flores 6.17
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz 8.80 def. Stuart Kennedy 8.43 

Quarterfinal results:
QF 1: Kolohe Andino 17.34 def. Adriano de Souza  8.10
QF 2: John John Florence 16.90 def. Julian Wilson 13.57
QF 3: Conner Coffin 12.66 def. Miguel Pupo 5.94
QF 4: Jordy Smith 17.40 def. Sebastian Zietz 13.56

Semifinal Match-ups:
SF 1: Kolohe Andino vs. John John Florence 
SF 2: Conner Coffin vs. Jordy Smith 


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