Matty Wilko’s Out Of Portugal And The Title Race
Filipe Toledo had a baby last night but the dad bod hasn’t kicked in.
Deputy Commissioner Travis Logie does not like that low tide at Supertubos. It’s fair enough, as the dropping water makes the waves close out repetitively and abruptly. It becomes more of a luck factor than anything else out there, and hard enough to get a wave that allows for any sort of combos or variations
So it was straight out into competition for the boys, in the early morning high tide conditions and average light. There were a few wobbly waves, a couple of good ones, but it was nothing to write home about.
The first three heats of the day were the big ones–all three of them contained a world title contender in the sudden death format of the second round. So although half the town and the world was still asleep, waiting for the heat analyser, those awake were glued to the webcast.
Wildcard Miguel Blanco had nothing to lose in the first heat of the day against the yellow jersey of John John Florence. Everyone expected fireworks, but no matter how frothing, calculated, wild and destructive your heart, if you don’t get waves you’re nothing. It was a low scoring heat to be sure, but John John’s low scores were just a little higher than Miguel’s, and he advanced into the next level of the world title hunt.
There were quite a few people cheering on Ryan Callinan in his round two heat against Gabriel. Not so much as an anti-Gabby brigade, but more of encouragement for the dude that has been plagued by poor luck and close calls for most of the year. He showed flashes of brilliance in France last week, but those flashes were now in the pan.
There was nothing in it really, with both goofy-footers trying their hardest. Gab’s backhand air reverse looked very forced, lacked finesse and needed his trademark clean finish to make it look great. Ryan didn’t need much at the end, but he didn’t get the required score and walked away defeated.
Wilko’s dark cloud persisted. In conditions that were variable all morning, with no real tubes, and fast difficult closeout sections, his opponent Jeremy Flores paddled into a clean right-hand tube, taking it almost to the sand for a nine-point ride. After a punchy little left-hand runner, J-Flo prioritised another set wave off Wilko for a long and clean backhand tube with a doggy door exit for eight points, shutting the door on one of our favourite surfers from the event as well as from the World Title Race.
“Chin up,” said Martin Potter to Wilko on his untimely exit. “You’ve had a great year and one you should be proud of.”
Wilko was quite positive about his loss, despite the fact that he must have been quietly seething.
“That heat was really disappointing but I’ve had a great year and it’s been a lot of fun,” said Wilko on reflection on the 2016 season thus far.
“I’m just going to enjoy Europe and get ready for Pipe. I’d love to do well at Pipe,” said Wilko. “I’ve never really done well there.”
Filipe Toledo became a dad last night, and it was time to celebrate, so this is how he did it. He paddled out into his heat with Adam Melling and totally smashed him to the point of embarrassment, leaving the Lennox Head surfer with a heat total of less than five.
“There were a lot of emotions paddling out today,” said Filipe. “To have a baby last night, and then come to the water this morning and get two really, really good waves. Now I’m more relaxed and happy and can’t wait for the next round. There’s lots of strong energy coming from my corner.”
With Hurricane Nicole starting to lose energy and transform into a post-tropical cyclone. We can expect less than strong energy for the next few days, but eventually there will be a winner…regardless of wave quality.
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 10.54 def. Miguel Blanco (PRT) 8.60
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.84 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 9.43
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.00 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.00
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.33 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 6.73
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.17 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 4.90
Upcoming Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 7: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 10: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 11: Nat Young (USA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 12: Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
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