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Kolohe Loses Heat He Won And Women’s Title Race Heads To Maui

There was a bottle of champagne on ice this morning in France.

Which is nothing new. It’s not unusual to have a glass with breakfast. Drinking is part of the culture here — kind of like on the Gold Coast except instead of trying to strike one another in the head with broken glass bottles they just kind of hang out and maybe smoke a cigarette instead. What made this morning remarkable was that there was one particular bottle of champagne that had Steph Gilmore’s name on it.

World Title fever swept through the land as today could have been the day Steph claimed her seventh crown. The first step for her was to get either first or second in her Round 3 heat. The waves were clunky and breaking in the opposite direction of Snapper Rocks — not exactly Steph’s forte. She was in third place all heat. Then, in the dying minutes, a wave. She ripped it all the way to the beach. Destiny, perhaps.

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Honestly we're not THAT upset Steph will win in Maui rather than France. Honolua is dreamy. Photo: WSL

Most people thought she deserved the score. Not enough of them were judges. She got an 8.27 when she needed an 8.33, leaving the presumably French door wide open for Lakey Petereson to gain some ground on Steph.

Lakey surfed the next heat and lost, meaning that the race is heading to Honolua Bay. Damn. No more fever. After the letdown, they decided to finish off Round 3 of the Quik Pro instead of continuing with women.

Michael Rodriguez and Zeke Lau surfed the first heat and did many airs. The judges liked Michael’s more than Zeke’s. After that, Mikey Wright beat Parko in a slow one — at this point, he has mathematically qualified for the CT next year. Be sure to get any of your remaining wildcard complaints out there as soon as possible, as this might be your last chance.

Then, something strange happened. Kolohe Andino won a heat and lost a heat at the same time.

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Patrick Gudauskas looked weirdly proud of himself after his technical win. Photo: WSL

As Heat 10 came to a close, Kolohe’s 13.00 point total was looking better than Pat Gudauskas’ 8.06 total. Especially considering the fact that Kolohe had priority.

Pat stood up with a wave with about a second left. Kolohe, thinking he was using his priority, took off in front of Pat but the horn sounded right as he was taking off. That meant the heat was technically over, which meant Kolohe no longer had priority, which meant that him taking off in front of Pat was an unfair impediment.

The penalty for such an offense? The lowest of your two scoring waves gets dropped from your tally. That left Kolohe with a 6.77. I didn’t see where he went after the heat, but at that point, you pretty much have to break something, right? 

In the last two heats, Seabass beat Griffin (mind games, perhaps) and Julian kept his Title hopes alive against Joan Duru. Clouds came in and it started raining. I sat on the beach and waited it out in an act of solidarity with all those who lost today.

Tomorrow is a new day. One with swell and sun and almost offshore wind. It could be firing. Or the wind could be a real dickhead.

Roxy Pro France Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Vahine Fierro (PYF)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)

Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Round 3 (H8-12) Matchups:
Heat 8: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 
Heat 9: Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 
Heat 11: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 
Heat 12: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA) 

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