“Oh My God! Here Comes The Monster!” - Stab Mag
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"Gabriel exuded the total confidence of man who came to G-Land to pick up his trophy." Photo: WSL

“Oh My God! Here Comes The Monster!”

Gabriel Medina has come for his trophy, please.

news // Jun 3, 2022
Words by Matt George
Reading Time: 9 minutes

The new swell finally arrived in Java and it’s…still mediocre. By G-Land standards at least.

Nonetheless, they ran 16 heats today, some of which were interesting, setting the stage for finals day. Here’s what happened: 

TLDR

– With overlapping heats, the day started with men’s elimination round and finished round of 16.
– Heroes fall as a bored-looking Kelly and a kneebraced JJF are eliminated.
– Jake Marshall is obliterated by Jack Robinson.
– Medina continues terrifying dominance.
– O’Leary defeats Italo Ferreira in beer-worthy sunset performance.

In his rookie year, Connor O’Leary made a final at similar-sized Cloudbreak. Could he go one further this week? Photo: WSL

Armchair critic

A heat to replay: Heat 6, watch Griffin Colapinto and Miguel Pupo surf what looks like a final. 
Maneuver of the day: Griffin Colapinto’s  7.7 tail snaps
Caught behind: Jake Marshall. Help Mr. Wizard.
Worst call: None. Best judging of the tour so far this year.
Best quotes:
– Luke Egan: “I guess the best strategy out there is to just stay on your feet”.  
– Joe Turpel: “You can lose your marbles in the Jungle”.
– Strider Wasilewski on Medina “Oh my God! Here comes the monster!”
Overall Commentary Rating: 7.5   Luke Egan solid again. Ronnie Blakey in fine form. (Can someone please take the leash off this guy? He’s hilarious.)
The Vibe: Despite the morning sickness start in overcast, gray waves that you could have found at North Narrabeen, everyone crumpled up their party hats and got to work. It paid off. The waves cleaned up, the sun came out, and with all the men’s heats coming down to the wire, everyone was glued to the broadcast for results — even Medina, who had been flying out by helicopter on lay days for fun and games on Bali. In the jungle heat, this was a day to start chopping wood.  

There’s a lot of talent in that truck bed. Accelerate slowly, driver. (Photo by Ed Sloane/World Surf League)

Heat Breakdowns  

Elimination Heat 1: Filipe Toledo vs Yago Dora

Filipe is the best small wave surfer in the world. Yago Dora might be second-best, which is exactly where he finished today.

Elimination Heat 2: Matt McGillivray vs Caio Ibelli

Somehow, with journeyman surfing, Matt McGillivray scared an overzealous Caio into literally spinning out of control. 

Elimination Heat 3: Kanoa Igarashi vs Jacko Baker

If this pro surfing thing doesn’t work out, Kanoa Igarashi could always be a surgeon. He just opens people up and lets them bleed out. How precise is this guy these days? And being the most focused, undistracted surfer on the tour doesn’t mean your surfing is boring. This guy has fireworks. And smart? Well, it’s evident he knows a hell of a lot more about winning heats than just speaking the language of every country he visits. 

Kanoa will be going to Trestles. And his opponent? Good old Jack Baker? Everybody’s favorite? He not only looks, but surfs like a jolly Anzac drill sergeant. His world tour party continues on that pink board of his, the mascot of the cutline, he is so cheerful his opponents almost hate to beat him. But Kanoa did, without a care in the world. Kanoa wants his second Indonesian Championship. 

At 24 years old, Kanoa is as veteran as they come. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

 Elimination Heat 4: Jordy Smith vs Connor O’Leary

The battle of the giants. Their size makes the waves look smaller than they really are. Still, O’Leary, on a tear today, had an obvious frontside advantage, and it was good to see a real man out in the line-up. All muscle. 

And Jordy? Great to see him surf backside in normal waves. But today his superior height was no advantage. A masculine performance from Jordy, as usual, but still looking a little out of place at G-Land. With no win since 2017, he will have to wait for J-Bay to show the world what he is really made of. 

Elimination Heat 5: Barron mamiya vs Jadson Andre

It’s very brave for Barron to be so far from home without a coach. Taking it all on by himself. Someone Luke Egan calls, “The sponge, just soaking up all this pro tour stuff by himself”. Barron has a fantastic future ahead as soon as he stops surfing boards way too short. They might work at Pipe and Ehukai, but they are scrubbing off way to much speed and power in other oceans. Jadson took advantage of this, struck like a viper, and surfing like a speed junkie, wiped Barron out. 

You couldn’t wipe the smile off this guy’s face with a sheet of 24-grit sandpaper. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Elimination Heat 6: Slater vs Samuel Pupo

Congratulations are in order to Sammy Pupo. He eliminated the only surfer that would have kept this contest truly interesting. Dimity Stoyle summed it all up, “Kelly must’ve had sea legs from hanging out on his yacht all week.”  

Elimination Heat 7: Callum Robson vs Jake Marshall

This one looked like an NSSA heat at Huntington Beach. All that can be said was that Jake “advanced”. C’mon, guys, bring it or get out of the way.

Elimination Heat 8: Kolohe Andino vs Nat Young

Another NSSA Heat, but this time between two Californians BFFs. Kolohe “advanced” in a so-what sort of way. He is wayyyyyyyyy better than he’s surfing. Question is…why?

Round 16, Heat 1: John Florence vs Jadson Andre

It is almost sad watching a surfer like JJF bent over, all taped up and trying to adjust his knee brace just right before his heat. Does anyone remember Joe Namath? Broadway Joe? The best in the league? No matter. JJF surfed predictably well, but with little passion. Almost distracted. Perhaps dreaming of sailing off into a painless sunset with his Florence Marine X machine? Jadson, surfing horny and wild for a win, took it on the inside waves.

Round 16, Heat 2: Gabriel Medina vs Kolohe Andino

Who’s got the voodoo doll of John’s knees? (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Sure, Kolohe had no rest between heats, but aren’t these guys supposed to be able to surf hard for hours? I know for a goddamned fact that Kolohe can surf incredibly for eight hours at a time in the Mentawai in deadly surf. Still, with Medina and Jadson feeding off the Brazilian storm energy together in opposing heats, Kolohe was skewered by Medina, the man who Strider calls “The monster”. 

Round 16, Heat 3: Jack Robinson vs Jake Marshall

Forty-six minutes at medium quality G-Land and Jake Marshall posts a 1.50 and a .73?

This might be the worst result in the history of the sport. Of course you could see it coming before the heat when Jack and Jake hopped in the back of the truck for a ride to the water taxi. Jake sat down in the corner of the bed while Jack perched over him on the fender in an aggressive display of alpha male dominance. Also, rumor has it that Jack Robinson has been so dominant on the camp’s pool tables that he has to play by himself now. No one wants to be rattled by any kind of loss at this point. But poor Jake, cut down at the knees before he even paddled out. 

Round 16, Heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi vs Samuel Pupo

The most interesting thing during this heat took place on shore. 

Gabriel Medina, the only man who figured out how to lean casually up against the sponsors interview backdrop, looked like a Brazilian James Bond during his post heat interview. Not even looking out at the surf, he exuded the total confidence of man who came to G-Land to pick up his trophy. 

Oh yeah, um…Igarashi had Sammy Pupo on the operating table, at his mercy, and by the end of it, Pupo looked like he needed a blood transfusion. 

Filipe might be over G-Land, but we’re not ready for him to go. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Round 16, Heat 5: Filipe Toledo vs  Rio Waida

Is it just me or does it seem the commentary team was not allowed to mention that Rio Waida had defeated ielipe Toledo both times they last met? This “Heat of the day” had a predictable ending with Toledo’s win. Twice burnt, Filipe was never gonna let this happen again. Yet Rio, the pride of Indonesia, had a lot more riding on this heat than anyone in the contest. A certain “high placed Indonesian politician” is scheduled to show up on finals day to watch Rio win the contest. Rio’s loss is a bigger blow to Indonesian professional surfing than outsiders realize. More than any other country represented on the tour, Indonesia needs Rio Waida to win, win, win. Only then will there be a political cultural shift to true national financial support of pro surfing. (Even though surfing has already built the most powerful tourist economy in Indonesia. But try explaining the truth to any politician).  

Round 16, Heat 6: Miguel Pupo vs Griffin Colapinto

The best heat of the day. Real professional surfing. Watch it.

(Spoiler alert: Some guy from San Clemente wins)

Round 16, Heat 7: Ethan Ewing vs Matthew McGillivray

Every potential future World Champion has a heat like this sooner or later. And Ethan Ewing, our “Andy-esque” candidate, threw everything he had at Mr McGillivray. But nothing worked. He rode eleven waves to Matt’s five and still couldn’t manage it. Matt, who knew just who the hell he was up against, took the heat on Springbok grit alone and the highest score of the day with an 8.17. 

Round 16, Heat 8: Connor O’Leary vs Italo Ferreira

Connor O’Leary: “I won that heat by spending more time standing on my board than sitting on it”. Onya mate. The man who put a stop to this contest having the Brazilians take 1st , 2nd and 3rd.  

Por deus. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Gamble Ramble

Once again, Mikey C didn’t break .500 on the W/L sheet but still came up ahead thanks to a gutsy wager on the most underweighted surfer in the draw, Samuel Pupo. That said, he lost a few surfers who he had pinned to win the event, which cost him some dough. Still positive on the day with Betonline.ag. 

Mikey’s Men’s R2 picks:

  • $50 on Samuel Pupo at +215 to win $108 WON
  • $5 on Jake Marshall at +145 to win $7 WON
  • $10 on Jackson Baker at +200 to win $20 LOST
  • $10 on Yago Dora at +160 to win $16 LOST

R2 earnings: $95

Event winner picks:

  • $25 on Tatiana Weston Webb at +1000 to win $250 ADVANCED TO QF
  • $25 on Filipe Toledo at +800 to win $200  ADVANCED TO QF
  • $10 on Kolohe Andino at +3300 to win $330  ELIMINATED
  • $10 on Sally Fitzgibbons at +1400 to win $140 ADVANCED TO QF
  • $30 on Italo Ferreira at +600 to win $180 ELIMINATED
  • $20 on Rio Waida at +6600 to win $1,320 ELIMINATED

Day 3 earnings: $35
Event earnings: $162

Mikey’s QF picks

  • $20 on Johanne Defay at -110 to win $18
  • $5 on Bronte Macaulay at +160 to win $8
  • $10 on Matt McGillivray at +100 to win $10
  • $15 on Kanoa Igarashi at +100 to win $15

Make your own bets here.

Kelly’s year continues to trend downward after an electrifying start. At least there’s still Teahupo’o. (Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League)

Results

Quiksilver Pro G-Land Elimination Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.40 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.63
HEAT 2: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 11.84 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.10
HEAT 3: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.67 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 9.83
HEAT 4: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 12.00 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.30
HEAT 5: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.27 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 11.03
HEAT 6: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 8.90 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.34
HEAT 7: Jake Marshall (USA) 11.50 DEF. Callum Robson (AUS) 9.37
HEAT 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.10 DEF. Nat Young (USA) 10.73

Quiksilver Pro G-Land Round of 16 Results: 
HEAT 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.53 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 9.37
HEAT 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.67 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.67
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.17 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 2.23
HEAT 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.67 DEF. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 8.17
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.23 DEF. Rio Waida (IDN) 8.57
HEAT 6: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.17 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.67
HEAT 7: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 14.50 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 8.87
HEAT 8: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.93 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.90

Quiksilver Pro G-Land Quarterfinal Matchups: 
HEAT 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
HEAT 2: Jack Robinson (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 4: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)

ROXY Pro G-Land Quarterfinal Matchups:
HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
HEAT 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
HEAT 3: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

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