Nine Get Call Up For Olympics, Big Bouts Slated To Decide Final Spot At Trestles - Stab Mag
LOB, pit panache. Photo by WSL

Nine Get Call Up For Olympics, Big Bouts Slated To Decide Final Spot At Trestles

A wonky and consequential day in Tahiti.

news // Aug 16, 2023
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Victor Frankl, the Austrian psychologist and Holocaust survivor would often encourage his insomniac clients to engage in their most feared behavior — staying awake for as long as possible. Setting a ‘paradoxical intention’ he claimed, was far superior to the old counting sheep trick. Some evidence supports this. 

Focusing on the slow and wonky opening heats of the men’s ER had a similar snooze-inducing effect.

But then it got better!

Morning surf report: stay in bed. Matahi Drollet drew the short straw timing wise for his clash with Griffin Cola. Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League


  • 9/10 male CT Olympic qualifiers locked
  • Kauli Vaast knocks world #3 Griffin Cola and #4 Joao Chianca
  • Mihimana Braye beats World #1 Filipe Toledo
  • Medina vs Florence, Dora vs Robinson scraps set for QFs
  • 9 point club: Robbo, Florence, Mamiya

Men’s ER

Errrrr – Wobbly two second (max) tubes kicked off the morning. It cleaned up significantly throughout the day, then went white-cappy again. Sun showed her pretty face too — at least Callum Robson got his fix of Vitamin D while managing a heat total of 3.96 points. Kauli Vaast had current World #4 Chianca Joao’ning his tears, handing him a 17th and putting his WSL Finals and Olympics run in jeopardy.


One of the most powerful forces in the world is regression to the mean,” said NYU professor Scott Galloway referencing the rise and rise of Tesla stock before its Q1 bust. Kelly confirmed this principle applies to wave quotas, catching one million waves in his heat after clearly not-enough during his Skelly Bay mission. 

The GOAT found the highest heat total of the ER – 14.86 points. Good grazing.

Cheat code: To make commentary babble more amusing, turn on the automatic captions on the YT livestream. All sorts of bad-lip-reading nuggs. 

Mile high club woot woot.

Caio got LOB-bed after getting undercooked on his 3.17 for a small tube to carve.

Mens Rd 16

Wind swung offies for the Kauli-Griff clash. Griff’s two backside snaps were amazing, Richie Porta hated them — awarding him with an anaemic 3.2 points. It screamed ‘we wanna see tubes’, but even the chickens under the porch knew that.

Vaast got the memo. The steaming hot face of the 2021 ‘special sport’ GQ issue got a couple nice pits, finishing with some agro grab-rail hacks. World #3 out, but still in for Lowers. 

Kelly caught another million waves against Yago Dora. The 51-year-old was ripping, heat looked sealed with five minutes to go. Strider tells us he spent 24 hours in bed after arriving in his Tahitian homestay — probably quarreling over straws on IG.

With a minute left needing a 7.67, Yago pulled into an extended tube and gesticulated passionately towards the judges, nearly breaking his arm patting himself on the back. The World #5 received an 8 for his theatrics, wonderful news for his Finals Day campaign. 

Paris 2024 qualifier Jack Robbo canceled LOB with a naughty Houdini act over an angry pinchy foamball. Surfer-board appeared to be working in… Synergy (sorry, I’ve got one coming and quite horny about it). Between his 9.40 and 7, he notched the second highest heat total of the day. You do the math.

With a handful of deep tubes, John Florence convincingly rinsed Rio Waida — a rookie who has had his number in the past. John will match up with arch-nemesis Gabriel Medina (maybe tomorrow) to scrap for a WSL Finals appearance.


Speeding fine. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)


  • Peak performance: Jack Robinson 16.40 R16H4
  • Monster maneuver: Mihimana Braye’s 8.50 vs Fil Toledo, Baz Mamiya 9.17 vs Ian Gentil, John Florence 9.67 vs Rio Waida
  • One-liner: “A lot of waves ridden during that interview” – Turps

Volcom and Leandro Dora teammates Yago Dora and Jack Robbo match up tomorrow in the quarters to fight for the last spot in the WSL Finals. “Leandro knows that when the boys have to go and surf against each other, they have to go fight,” Jack told Stab last month. “We had the heat in Portugal this year, and it was a good battle but it was super respectful. So yeah, I think it can be separated. It’s not awkward. It just is what it is.” Juicy.


  • Caught behind: Callum Robson 3.96 heat total
  • Say what?: “He’s putting on a clinical” – Strider

Fil Toledo got beat by a wildcard today — I don’t think it was cos’ the waves were too big per se, just out classed by Mihimana Braye. Regardless, the question remains — will the 22’ World Champ ever be able to mix it up in heavy-water? 

The post-heat interviews have become so incredibly vanilla — no insight, no opinion just a bunch of banal platitudes i.e. “it was super fun, looking forward to the next heat.” Show some teeth!


Al Cleland (Mex) and Reo Inaba (JPN) have also qualified for the Olympics

Respect to the water broadcast lensman — dragging this thing through the water would be gnarly

Gamble Ramble

Mikey C is slowly gaining back ground after a dismal day one. But he’ll need some big hits on finals day to get in the black.

Men’s R2

$100 on Matahi Drollet at +150 to win $150 LOST
$50 on Kauli Vaast at -150 to win $33 WON
$200 on Barron Mamiya at -165 to win $121 WON
$100 on Matt McGillivray at -115 to win $87 LOST
$50 on LOB at +135 to win $68 WON
$50 on Seth Moniz at +100 to win $50 WON

Men’s R3

$50 on Yago Dora at -105 to win $48 WON
$20 on LOB at +300 to win $60 LOST
$50 on Mihimana Braye at -115 to win $43 WON
$20 on Seth Moniz at +375 to win $75 LOST

Day 2 earnings: $123
Event earnings: $-71

For final’s day:

Women’s QF
$100 on Tatiana WW -120 to win $83
$450 on Caroline Marks at -180 to win $250
$100 on Vahine Fierro at -115 to win $87
$100 on Caity Simmers at -115 to win $87

Men’s QF

$100 on Jack Robinson at -165 to win $61
$100 on Barron Mamiya at -105 to win $95
$100 on Gabriel Medina at -140 to win $71

Event winner

$100 on Gabriel Medina at +400 to in $400
$50 on Kauli Vaast at +800 to win $400
$10 on Leonardo Fioravanti at +6600 to win $600
$60 on Caroline Marks at +500 to win $300
$50 on Caity Simmers at +1000 to win $500
$30 on Johanne Defay at +1600 to win $480 LOST

A 3.17 for a baz-to-roundy? You fr rn? Photo by Beatriz Ryder/World Surf League)


SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro Presented by Outerknown Men’s Round of 16 Results: 
HEAT 1: Kauli Vaast (FRA) 10.84 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 5.93
HEAT 2: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.84 DEF. Jordy Smith (RSA) 6.83
HEAT 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.50 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.26
HEAT 4: Jack Robinson (AUS) 16.40 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 12.03
HEAT 5: Mihimana Braye (PYF) 15.50 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 5.73
HEAT 6: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 14.50 DEF. Ian Gentil (HAW) 12.37
HEAT 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.17 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 8.77
HEAT 8: John John Florence (HAW) 17.64 DEF. Rio Waida (INA) 10.43

SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro Presented by Outerknown Men’s Elimination Round Results: 
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.16 DEF. Matahi Drollet (PYF) 8.66
HEAT 2: Rio Waida (INA) 10.07 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 7.50
HEAT 3: Kauli Vaast (FRA) 13.00 DEF. Joao Chianca (BRA) 4.90
HEAT 4: Barron Mamiya (HAW) 9.83 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 3.96
HEAT 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.27 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.50
HEAT 6: Ian Gentil (HAW) 8.00 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (RSA) 3.17
HEAT 7: Seth Moniz (HAW) 12.23 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.66
HEAT 8: Liam O’Brien (AUS) 11.00 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.84

SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro Presented by Outerknown Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Kauli Vaast (FRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
HEAT 2: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)
HEAT 3: Mihimana Braye (PYF) vs. Barron Mamiya (HAW)
HEAT 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)

SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro Presented by Outerknown Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
HEAT 2: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Vahine Fierro (FRA)
HEAT 4: Molly Picklum (AUS) vs. Caitlin Simmers (USA)


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