Stab Magazine | Michel Bourez wins the 2014 Billabong Pro, Rio De Janeiro

Michel Bourez wins the 2014 Billabong Pro, Rio De Janeiro

Story by Craig Jarvis | Photos ASP/Smorigo The final day of the Billabong Rio Pro started off even bigger than yesterday (if you can’t remember, yesterday started with Gabby falling into a standup 8.5 tube): Kelly Slater dropped into a big, throaty below-sea-level backhand tube that he drove through and found a doggy door for a […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Story by Craig Jarvis | Photos ASP/Smorigo

The final day of the Billabong Rio Pro started off even bigger than yesterday (if you can’t remember, yesterday started with Gabby falling into a standup 8.5 tube): Kelly Slater dropped into a big, throaty below-sea-level backhand tube that he drove through and found a doggy door for a straight 10 points. It was totally unbelievable, and coupled with the fact that Adriano came in after the heat with a 3.73 on the scoreboard for a wave he caught coming in. Adriano, in Brazil, without a score. Hard to fathom I know, but he paddled around and around and never found a wave to take off on.

“I couldn’t believe I came out,” said Kelly of the tube. “That’s why I claimed it. I’ve had so many closeouts this week.”

Kelly was buoyant though, stoked that things felt good. “I thought about this heat a lot last night, and I felt good this morning. It was a really important heat, y’know, quarterfinals…”

Quarterfinal two continued the trend of bizarreness. Trav Logie was surfing against Kolohe Andino, and with very few waves coming through Kolohe took off on one of Trav’s waves, and they collided, giving Kolohe the interference penalty. Travis had two low scores however, and all Kolohe needed was a 6.5 ride to win. The wave that he caught at the end was a solid set wave, and he hung on after a late drop and while not getting super deep, it was deemed enough by the judges to clock a 6.83.

When Kelly won his quarter against Nat Young, he said that one phrase that strikes fear into any competitor: “I’m feeling in sync with the ocean today.”

Kelly was also looking good on his quad-fin. “I really like them in barrels, and in lefts,” he said. “I also like them in the air. Joel said after his heat that maybe he should have had a quad out there.” (Parko lost to Michel Bourez in the third heat of round five on a thruster.)

The first semi saw Kolohe in his best contest result ever, up against Kelly Slater. It was a good battle that went back and forth a few times. Kelly got a wonderful score for a clean lefthander that he knocked a few times, and Kolohe needed a 7.5 and flew into the wind to do a massive full-rote air reverse into the flats for a 7.6 and the lead, which he held until the end. There was another flurry of waves in the last minute, but the results stayed the same. Kolohe through to the final, Kelly through to the couch in the surfer’s area.

“I couldn’t hear what the scores were,” said Kolohe. “I heard Kelly got a good score, so I went for that air. I always find I’m a rhythm surfer. If I find my rhythm I’m going to do ok.”

“Kolohe’s been struggling for two years now to get a good result,” said Kelly after the semi. “He came in with a lot of hype and expectation, and he does travel with a pretty big crew. It can be a lot of pressure y’know, but this time it seems to be working.”

Taj Burrow came in strong against Michel in the beginning of the second semi, with a few lightning fast lefthanders. He was looking strong, until Michel pulled into a clean backhand barrel, exited and hit the lip like only a Spartan can. Johnny Gannon was anguished. So close for Taj, so close.

Let’s quickly cut away to the girl’s final between Carissa Moore and Sally Fitzgibbons. Sally has had a good run in Rio over the last few years, but Carissa Moore is a very powerful and polished surfer, with all the moves and tuberiding skills in her bag. Sally fought hard, smashed a few good lefts on her backhand and held onto the lead until the end. A very popular winner, on a Firewire.

For the final it was back to the Rio we have grown accustomed to: shit. Gone were those barrels that we’d seen Gabs, Travis and Kelly in. The thick offshore peaks were gone, the northerly wind was ripping through it and it was average conditions at best. BUT, and it is a big but, onshore is the new offshore and a bit of northerly into a righthander is just superb for a tail-waft air move. Kolohe is notorious for such moves. Michel strode into the lead however with big left power turns, and Mike Parsons, Dino Andino and Shane Beschen rubbed their chins energetically, willing a righthander to their student.  Kolohe managed one more air reverse into the wind, but he was left wanting at the end, as Michel took his second win of the year, making serious bank, and also on a Firewire. No disgrace to Kolohe, as he managed the biggest win of his career in second place.

“Fuck yeah,” said Michel as he was chaired up the beach.

“Fuck yeah, Bourez,” someone shouted straight back at him.


Get your heats on demand fix, here.

Billabong Rio Pro Final Result:
Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.84 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.43

Rio Women’s Pro Final Result:
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.27 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.27

Billabong Rio Pro Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.73 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.17
Semifinal 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.30 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.33

Rio Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.97 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 6.00
Semifinal 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.17 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.80

Billabong Rio Pro Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.37
Quarterfinal 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.44 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 7.40
Quarterfinal 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 16.83 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.67
Quarterfinal 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.66 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.20

Rio Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.47 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.26
Quarterfinal 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.50 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 7.00
Quarterfinal 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.37 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.43
Quarterfinal 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.77 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 12.90

Billabong Rio Pro Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.50 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 3.37
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.83 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 8.17
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.60 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.10
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.76 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 8.17


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