Stab Magazine | John John, Adriano and Mick Out! Day Three in Tahiti
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John John, Adriano and Mick Out! Day Three in Tahiti

Clean conditions, three to five foot surf and wildcards prevailed for the third day of the Billabong Tahiti Pro. As the tide rose, inconsistency ensued and the event was called after a completion of eight heats in round three. John John and Gabs’ heat unfolded with an exchanging of nines in round three heat four. […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Clean conditions, three to five foot surf and wildcards prevailed for the third day of the Billabong Tahiti Pro. As the tide rose, inconsistency ensued and the event was called after a completion of eight heats in round three.

John John and Gabs’ heat unfolded with an exchanging of nines in round three heat four. Mr Florence started out slow. Gabs vibed with the crystal blue Tahitian tunnels early, earning himself a 9.07 on his fourth wave. John eventually took the lead with his late slip, backside barrel which he complemented with a cool whip to take the lead with a 9.57. Then followed it up with another, text book JJF tunnel, that mimics the likes of Mr Slater. Gabs answered back on his frontside and knifed into a deep one for a nearly perfect 9.73 to eliminate John in the final minutes. The heat totals were Gabs 19, John 18.84. “I was really excited before the heat and kind of scared too,” said Gabs. “John John’s one of the best out here and he’s my favourite surfer. That was a good battle and we both got a few nines. I’m stoked to get barreled. The waves were amazing and it’s great to make one more heat. I knew it would be a tough heat and my dad told me not to worry about high scores. It’s good to be making heats again after a lot of loss at the beginning of the year. I love this wave and I’m looking for a good result here.”

“It was a really fun back-to-back battle,” said John. “I keep getting these heats where I’m getting the highest scores but then don’t get it at the end, especially in Tahiti. I’m still feeling confident because I did everything I could. I’m sure it will go my way soon and I’m excited for when that happens.”

ARITZ USE

Photo: WSL/Stephen Robinson

Aritz Aranburu had the sea on his side in round three heat seven vs Mick Fanning. He posted a two-wave total of 15.17 in the early minutes. Mick could only muster up a 6.67, and was starved for waves as the tide continued to rise and inconsistency prevailed. “I was lucky enough that I got that good one at the beginning,” Aritz said. “Everything went my way because I got those two waves and there wasn’t much other scoring potential. Having Mick in my heat I knew that any mistake would cost me so I was just trying to play smart and it went well so I’m happy. This contest is a blessing and I’m just trying to make heats and enjoy it as much as I can.”

Owen Wright continued his dominance in the left hand tropical, hallow fare. Taking off late with heavy pumps behind the curtain and topping off his first nine with a roundhouse cutty for good measure. Dusty Payne answered back with strong total heat score of 15.70, but couldn’t outdo the Avatar’s 18.23. “The heats I’ve had against Dusty have all been tough,” Owen said. “I feel for him but I’m stoked to get through the early rounds. Last year in that size I was probably a bit manic and I noticed that Kelly and John John were picking the eyes out of it, which I think comes with experience so I wanted to spend more time here. I’ve definitely learned a lot. I’ve put one competition together this year and I’d love to do that again. I’m working on my consistency and hopefully that takes me where I want to go, to the top!”

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.97 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.50
Heat 2: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.13 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.23 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 15.70
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (HAW) 19.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 18.84
Heat 6: Bruno Santos (BRA) 16.20 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.70
Heat 7: Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 15.17 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 6.67
Heat 8: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.83 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.66

Upcoming Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 10: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)

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