Stab Magazine | John Florence Is Running Away With The World Title In Europe

LIVE NOW: FINALS DAY OF STAB HIGH PRESENTED BY MONSTER ENERGY

10 Views

John Florence Is Running Away With The World Title In Europe

Kerrzy sends Jordy Packing, World Title contenders drop like flies as Supertubos fires

news // Oct 23, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.

Yesterday’s flexing groundswell made for difficult viewing, but with a dropping period and stiff offshores, the AM low tide draining out quickly, the last heats of Round 2 enjoyed overhead, pristine pits along the narrow Supertubos rip bank.

With caravans and tiny clown cars stacked for miles along the Supertubos strip, fans from up and down the Portuguese coast flooded Peniche today. It was the largest crowd the event has seen, and the people certainly got their money’s worth, as several World Title hopefuls watched their chances of victory slip away. Last night we saw Owen Wright’s giant killing at the hands of Portuguese wild card, Vasco Ribeiro. Today more blood was shed.

With Owen out, Day 2 began with some quick calculations, the title race down to John, Jordy, Gabby, Wilko, ADS, Jules and Filipe. But by day’s end, the season’s closing narrative was already outlined, with “red lines being drawn through World Title hopefuls all day,” to steal Ronnie Blakey’s line: Filipe’s out, and so is Wilko—Leo dusting him in one of the day’s lowest scoring heats—while Adriano fell in Round 3, tripped up by his pal Miggy Pupo. It was a bittersweet day for the incredible amount of Brazilian fans assembled in the dunes of Peniche.

With Round 3 wins, Jules and Gabby still have a statistical shot, and though the morning’s highlights made for terrific live surfing (See: Conner vs Bede; Kolohe vs Italo; O’Leary vs Ace; Frederico vs Michel), the attention today was firmly on Round 3’s double-header matchups: John John Florence and Vasco Ribeiro, followed by Jordy Smith and Josh Kerr.

Vasco’s a bruiser, built like a scrappy Lisbon streetfighter, and heading into their Round 3 matchup, the assembled crowd made their allegiance clear, a deafening roar swallowing Vasco whole as he trotted through the enormous local pack.

Portugal AlanvanGysen 0139

John’s spin in the wind. Photo by Alan Van Gysen

John started the heat with a warning shot across Vasco’s bow, sliding into a solid, albeit shallow left-hand pit, before punting a massive backside full rote, the stiff breeze holding him up and sending him into the flats, buckling him at the knees.

After watching John lock in a back up score, Vasco returned volley with a 7.8, threading a tricky forehand pit, the wind turning slightly sideshore and challenging chandeliers falling on the rights. Slipping through a narrow exit, Vasco closed down the wave with a slick little hack, the crowd going absolutely mad, only to watch John quickly pick off the wave of the heat. It really is remarkable to see John read a shifty, foreign lineup. When read over the loudspeaker, Vasco’s backup 5.9 drew a collective boooooo from the local crowd (and probably deserved another half-point or so), but there was no doubt when the horn blew who had surfed a better heat. While Vasco can be damn proud of his efforts, to watch John shuck and jive through the swirling rips, I’m hard pressed to think of a more brilliant beachbreak mind.

Still wet from the win, John got to dry off while a newly liberated Josh Kerr did some of the season’s last heavy lifting for him.

Portugal AlanvanGysen 0143

Kerrzy never meant to hurt Jordy. He never meant to make him cry. Photo by Alan Van Gysen

After announcing he was most likely walking way from The Singlet Life at the end of the year, Kerrzy paddled out against Jordy—two very good friends, one with nothing to lose, the other with everything on the line. As Josh was holding a low-7 and a 1.5 through the last ten minutes of the heat, it was Jordy’s heat (and Title) to lose. As the clock ran down into the heat’s dying minutes, needing only a 4.5, Jordy couldn’t find an opening and left the water fully aware that, short a fourth-round miracle and some very, very unlikely occurrences in Hawaii, the Title ain’t coming back to Durban this year.

As the sun sets and the cold wind clears out the contest scene, tomorrow’s call is probably 50/50. But one thing is for certain: if John wins this event, the Title’s his. With Gabby on the opposite side of the draw and looking absolutely fired up, it’s likely we could see a Gabby/John final. We’ve also heard Pat O’, Ross, and John’s whole posse are flying in; it’s going to be an interesting last few days in Europe. 

 

Portugal AlanvanGysen 0136

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Come Meet The Kids Who Are Sending Stab High Into The Future!

Snowboarders, corelords and curators of the culture.

Jun 23, 2024

Live Now: Finals Day At Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

The freshwater feud for Pro, Ladybird, and Bottle Rocket champion starts now.

Jun 22, 2024

Albee Layer Reluctantly Escapes Sudden-Death Round On Final Wave Of The Day, Advances to Day 2 of Stab High Japan 

“I just want to do my fucking wave, and then go home”

Jun 22, 2024

“Relax, It’s A Surf Contest In A Swimming Pool”

Our attempt at an unbiased comp wrap from afar, on Day One of Stab High…

Jun 22, 2024

Rasta Robb Gutter Stomps Backside Full-Rote, Scores a 3/50

Why wasn’t the reigning champ rewarded in heat 1 of Stab High Japan?

Jun 22, 2024

Full Replay: Day 1 of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Click to watch (or rewatch) today's Qualifier and Sudden Death rounds.

Jun 21, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About The Most ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ Wave in the Mentawais

Tips from longtime HTs devotee, Liam Turner.

Jun 21, 2024

“You’re An Elite Freesurfer, I’m Just A Vlogger, Surely You Can Take Me Out”

King of Waco calls out Aussie freesurfers on Stab High live stream.

Jun 21, 2024

Please Don’t Do A Superman At Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy 

Breaking down the best and worst airs, according to the stats. 

Jun 20, 2024

355 Days Later, We Still Don’t Know What Elo Did In Brazil

But here's your 2024 Rio Pro preview.

Jun 20, 2024

JJF + Medina To Continue Rampages In Brazil?

12x CT event winner and previous SITD pilot Taj Burrow says 'yes'.

Jun 19, 2024

Allow Us To Introduce The YETI Ladybirds And Bottle Rockets Of Stab High Japan Presented By Monster Energy

Here's our schoolyard pick for teams; who will win the most cred at the lunch…

Jun 17, 2024

Prediction: Moving The WSL Finals To Fiji Will Kill Off Two More Surfing Superstars

Is this JJF's time to collect his titles? We checked the stats.

Jun 17, 2024

Confirmed: Fiji To Host 2025 WSL Finals

Cloudbreak will remain on tour until 2026.

Jun 17, 2024

What’s The Secret To Powersurfing?

Taylor Knox, Kyuss King, and Jessi Miley-Dyer tackle a trio of questions in our third…

Jun 16, 2024

How To Win Stab High Japan, Presented By Monster Energy

A statistical analysis of the 493 airs attempted in previous chlorinated editions.

Jun 16, 2024

Watch: An Intimate Portrait Of The Wave, Village, And People At The End Of The Road

Oxbow’s ‘Children of Teahupo’o’ is playing exclusively on Stab Premium for the next two weeks. 

Jun 15, 2024

Fuck It, Run The Entire CT In Indo

A historic beginning to the Indonesian dry season.

Jun 14, 2024
Advertisement
JUNE 22 & 23
-2 Days
18 Hours
27 Minutes
57 Seconds
Join Stab Premium