John John Florence Is Three Heats Away From The World Title
And more highlights from the almost-final day in Portugal.
Long period swells have a tendency to show up whenever they please.
What was supposed to be the final day in Portugal got put on hold for an hour. Then another. Then another few, and one more for good measure, then finally, like a drunken father parking his car in a handicap spot and stepping out of a Honda Civic during the sixth inning of a Little League game, the swell arrived. And unlike the aforementioned figure, it didn’t fully disappoint.
Julian Wilson VS Sebastian Zietz VS Leonardo Fioravanti
Fun fact: Julian rode five different boards throughout the event when he won back in 2012. Some might say that’s a big carbon footprint just to make Gabriel Medina cry, but it goes to show you how tricky Supertubos can be. Today, he only needed one board to collect 11.67 points and win.
John John Florence VS Kolohe Andino VS Connor O’Leary
8.63 for a wave that even Morgan Williamson would’ve gotten barreled on? That seems a little juicy. But, seeing as that wave came with 80 seconds left on the clock, I can’t tell if the juice is coming from the judges or from some obscure deity. I say obscure because none of the religious figures I’ve seen have facial hair like that.
Kanoa Igarashi VS Josh Kerr VS Frederico Morais
The DJI Flight Of The Day Presented By DJI goes to Josh Kerr. He stomped a big alley-oop for 9.57 points, but it didn’t win him this heat — Kanoa dropped two 8s and bought himself a ticket to the Quarters. It’s easy to forget that the kid only just turned 20 because, you know, it’s already his second year on tour. It’s not easy to forget that DJI sponsors the WSL because, you know, they say it every thirty-nine seconds.
Gabriel Medina VS Mick Fanning VS Miguel Pupo
Gabriel looked like he’s calmly warming up for a date with John in the final and won. Real sneakily, though, Mick Fanning almost landed a 540. Mick Fanning! A 540! Illuminati confirmed? 9/11 was an inside job?
Sebastian Zietz, Miguel Pupo, Kolohe Andino and Mick Fanning won their Round 5 heats.
But only three waves were notable: Kolohe’s air, Mick’s tube and Miguel’s tube.
Ninety minutes of surfing separate John John Florence from his second World Title. Or, maybe just an hour. If John wins this event, he wins the World Title. Or, if he makes the final and loses to anybody other than Gabriel Medina, he wins the World Title. Every other scenario sends this thing to Pipe.
By sundown, that degenerate long period swell finally showed up. The wind is expected to be blowing into the rights tomorrow, which creates a very large potential for very large airs. It’s going to be one hell of a day.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson 11.67, Sebastian Zietz 8.10, Leonardo Fioravanti 7.77
Heat 2: John John Florence 17.00, Kolohe Andino 15.57, Connor O’Leary 13.50
Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi 16.83, Josh Kerr 15.44, Frederico Morais 13.60
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina 14.47, Mick Fanning 12.47, Miguel Pupo 5.27
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Sebastian Zietz 12.10 def. Connor O’Leary 12.07
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino 16.53 def. Leonardo Fioravanti 10.83
Heat 3: Miguel Pupo 15.50 def. Josh Kerr 10.67
Heat 4: Mick Fanning 11.87 def. Frederico Morais 10.00
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Julian Wilson vs. Sebastian Zietz
QF 2: John John Florence vs. Kolohe Andino
QF 3: Kanoa Igarashi vs. Miguel Pupo
QF 4: Gabriel Medina vs. Mick Fanning
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