Stab Magazine | Matt Wilkinson Is Barely Holding Onto The Yellow Jersey

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Matt Wilkinson Is Barely Holding Onto The Yellow Jersey

John Florence needs a quarterfinal finish to steal it. He’ll have to win tomorrow in round five. 

news // Aug 24, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s not often events run straight through, but tomorrow’s forecasted to be the best day of the surf, and according to Kieren Perrow, we’re doing just that. Round five will kick off first thing in the morning.

Side note: The promotion for Kelly’s Wave Pool golden ticket raffle hosted by Omaze is at an all-time high. Whenever the King hits the screen, discussion about Willy Wonka ensues. But, every time we see Kelly hold up the two tickets and claim, “Willy Wonka is my favourite movie,” we can’t help but chuckle.

The biggest take away from round three is Matt Wilkinson’s elimination at the hands of 2008 Tahiti Pro champion, Brazilian Bruno Santos. And the heat wasn’t even a competition; Matty was only able to muster a 6.83 heat total while Bruno glided through with two decent-to-good scores for a heat total of 12.33. If John wins round five, he’ll be our new Jeep Leader, unless Gabs wins the event. 

Keanu Asing took out Italo Ferreira in the first heat of the day. It was a tightly fought heat; Mr Asing was able to sneak an 8.40 with a deep tunnel in the dying minutes and claimed it with a double bicep flex. It was well, pretty lame. 

Mr Andino has been on this event; he put up two seven-point rides vs Adam Melling. Adam found one wave for a 5.67. Kolohe could’ve put Mello to sleep with one of his throwaways.

After having a mediocre season, Julian Wilson, who (talent-wise) should be a top five surfer every year, found his rhythm vs last year’s champ, Jeremy Flores. With a well celebrated nine-point ride, he placed himself against Joel Parko and Gabby Medina in round four.

The event carried into round four. And halfway through the first heat, the wind flipped offshore, and it went from quick, tight-tuck tubes and carves into the barrel fest we expect out of Chopes. But unlike the consequential spectacles of years’ past, the average good-to-do surfer is still watching from home with utmost jealousy. But, it’s Teahupoo; it’s still not “user-friendly”, it just looks like a good time.

In round four, Kolohe continued his form with a 9.53 for a heat total of 15.3. Jordy and Keanu will be sitting iffy in round five elimination.

When the second heat hit, conditions were idyllic (relative to the quality of waves thus far). Kelly Slater, Bruno Santos and Adrian Buchan have all won at Chopes, but the heat was a battle between Kelly and Mr Santos. The Brazilian and 11-time world champ went wave for wave. Kelly started with a solid 8.17 to which Bruno answered back with a nine-point ride from behind the peak. It was the type of wave you dream of as a surfer, smooth roll in, the wave opened and grew as he slid in deep and exited easily. Kelly, then sat back, stalled, navigated two foam balls and pumped his way out of the best barrel of the day for a perfect ten. But, Bruno wasn’t finished. Just a few minutes after the King’s perfection, Bruno threw up a 9.30. He pumped his way over the foam ball and capped it off with a wrap and a quick slash at the closing section. “I’m super stoked to be in the Quarters and to beat two of my favourite surfers out here,” said Bruno after his heat.

John Florence surfed a decent round three heat. He beat Alex Ribeiro, but if he were to lose to Alex in anything but two-foot slop, it’d be a travesty. Round four came around, and for John to steal the yellow singlet from Matty Wilko he needed a win. 

In round four, heat three, conditions slowed. It came down to small barrels and turns. Jadson Andre even threw air-revo over the dry reef. Kerrzy, who’s looked spot on, took the win, and Mr Florence was only able to put together a sparse 2.96. “The best wave of the heat was John’s,” said Kerrzy post heat. “Unfortunately, there was a bunch seaweed drifting through the barrel, and it stopped him in his tracks.” If John gets a round five win, he’ll be our new Jeep Leader.

After the mediocre waves of heat three, the wind flipped back offshore and heat four, featuring Julian Wilson, Joel Parko and Gabs kicked off; reminding of the funny and fickle nature of the wind and swell. The first two waves of the round Julian grabbed a 9.70, beautiful long and technical almond barrel and Joel responded with another deep tube for a 9.37. Gabs halfway through the heat found a nine point ride but couldn’t find a backup score. Jules was the only gent who found a backup ride in the excellent range and is please to be in the quarters.


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