Kelly Slater, Joel Parkinson, Gabriel Medina eliminated from Quiksilver Pro
Words by Elliot Struck Yes, you should be watching the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast right now. Even if the waves are miniature. Why? Because at this size, we’re more likely to see some interesting, tactical chess matches, like the one that just went down between Micro Hall, one of the tour’s most savvy heat tacticians, […]
Words by Elliot Struck
Yes, you should be watching the Quiksilver Pro, Gold Coast right now. Even if the waves are miniature. Why? Because at this size, we’re more likely to see some interesting, tactical chess matches, like the one that just went down between Micro Hall, one of the tour’s most savvy heat tacticians, and Gabriel Medina, the current world champ. Micro was leading the heat with a 6.83 and 7.40. In the closing minutes, Micro had priority – Gabs was on the inside and paddled into the wave, pulling through the back as Micro went to stand up. It looked from the beach as though Gab’s board clipped Micro’s. An interference was called on Gabs, but not before he’d ridden a final wave, clocking 7.23 which, coupled with his first scoring ride (7.50), would’ve won him the heat. Instead, he lost with a 7.50 total.
“Obviously the end result’s a bit wild with the interference,” said Micro afterwards. “But there were a couple of little heckles there that I thought, y’know, with priority, maybe I could’ve had a little more room to make the takeoff a bit cleaner. The first one I thought I couldn’t paddle for the wave ‘cause he was right in front of me, and they didn’t call it which is all good, it’s their call. But then the second one, as I took off, he was trying to kinda cut out I suppose, but he was way too close for me to be able to get a clean takeoff. So unfortunately for him, they called an interference. That’s what priority’s there for, to get you in the position to takeoff where you want to takeoff from.”
And how about the words exchanged afterwards? “It wasn’t anything personal. I really like Gabriel, he’s a great dude and I was legitimately stoked for him last year. We had words, it was more just I was explaining what I was blowing up about and he was telling me to calm down (laughs). It’s all good, it’s nothing personal.”
That wasn’t the only surprising result so far this morning, either. Three Brazilian goofyfooters, two of whom are rookies, beat three regular-footed tour vets, two of whom are multiple world champs, in back to back heats. Italo Ferreira, surfing his third-ever heat as a World Tour competitor, beat Kelly Slater, which Kelly described as a “painful experience.” But more interestingly…
Kelly switched boards towards the end of the heat, from his usual Channel Islands to a Tomo shape. You’ll remember Kelly purchased Firewire a little while back, who Tomo shapes for, and the two have been working closely of late. In his post-heat interview, Kelly had nothing but not-so-subtle love for Tomo’s craft: “I actually wanted to ride it,” he said. “Yesterday I surfed on that board (outside the contest), and it’s tiny but it’s got a nice rail line and I could really actually get out on the shoulder on really mushy waves and hold a good long line. It has a wide tail and it’s really functional. I was bummed I didn’t get to catch a wave on it out here. I felt confident that if I got a little wave that hit the bank and had some wall, I could get the score no problem, cause the board is way faster than the other one I’m riding. But y’know, it’s an unconventional shape and not something that people are used to seeing. You wanna ride a board that fits the waves.”
A very significant, and very public, transition. Then, Miguel Pupo ejected Josh Kerr from the event. And after that, Wiggolly Dantas, also surfing his third ever World Tour heat, eliminated Joel Parkinson.
Later, Freddy Patacchia, with a 0.5 total (and a minute left), pumped an ankle high whitewash in towards the rocks. “Uh-oh,” said Ronnie Blakey. And then, Freddy – and we can’t stress the awesomeness of this man enough – dry-docked his board onto the rocks, stomping in severe (and understandable) frustration. He then bolted – literally bolted – straight to the door of his hotel room. This is just what happens when you wait for two weeks to surf a round three heat, and then lose in one foot waves.
Small waves, if nothing else, even the playing field. And even if not overly exciting, the end of this event sure is shaping up to be interesting. Plus, it’s still live surfing. Nobody likes a layday. And if the morning’s been anything to go by, you really don’t wanna miss this. Go torch your data here.
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