Portugal Finally Looks Like A World Tour Event
And onto round five.
It was a fine day for the Portugal Pro. The waves weren’t perfect, and the good ones were few, but it’s easily the best surf we’ve seen in this event thus far.
It was hollow and John John was right at home. With his round four win he went straight through to the Quarterfinals–one step closer to that almost tangible World Title.
Then it was all eyes on Jordy Smith, still in with a shout. In those eight-foot pits, it was Stu Kennedy who opened up with a square backhand barrel to get it started. Jordy started slow and opened with a decent score of 5.83 for three backhand hooks.
As the tide drained and time counted down, Jordy only had the one score on the board while Connor Coffin and Stu Kennedy both had a couple of decent scores to play with.
With less than five minutes left, Jordy hooked into a bomb. A long swooping bottom turn into a vicious gouge, and followed it by another large turn and larger spray. He claimed it and advanced directly to the Quarterfinals, keeping his world title dreams still very much alive.
“I was the first one out this morning, and I got the first wave,” said Jordy of his pre-contest ritual. “I only got the one, and only got two waves in my heat, so that’s three waves for two surfs.”
The conditions changed while Jordy’s heat was in the water. “As the tide drained, there was just brown water and it was just like a six-foot rip bowl with bigger sets,” said Jordy of the conditions. “I made a mistake out there by paddling for a wave that I couldn’t catch and I lost priority, but I scratched into that last one without priority, and it was a good one.”
Commissioner Logie continued to push through, and it was straight into round five in the dredging left-handers. Despite the closeout sets and strong rip, the surfers had jet ski assist throughout, with even Pete Mel doing jet ski duties, so there was a route back into the lineup.
Still, for the first heat in the elimination round five, the waves were difficult to find. The previously mentioned brown-water rip was churning through, Parko got caught inside more times than was necessary, and Adriano advanced to the quarters as Logie called it on hold for a late evening higher tide check.
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