Stab Magazine | Round Five Slow Dance Sets Up Quarterfinal Draw At Drug Aware Pro
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Round Five Slow Dance Sets Up Quarterfinal Draw At Drug Aware Pro

Will rumours of The Box ever turn into anything tangible?

news // Apr 2, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Another day at Margaret River, another plethora of cutbacks. Talk of The Box has officially run dry after two straight days of rumours have only resulted in Main Break action. And round five was no different, aside from promising much smaller surf compared to yesterday’s hysteria.

Now, let’s see who threw their spray the furthest!

In the first heart of the day, a steaming Jack Freestone refused to falter in wake of a post-Kelly beatdown hangover from round three, coasting to victory over Conner Coffin. Jack started off hot, carving up an 8.50 and a 5.83 on his first two rides. Conner was only able to scratch together a 4.77 and 2.93 for a total of 7.70, which sent him packing.

“Conner and I were sitting little wide trying to pick anything,” Jack remarked about the smaller conditions afterwards. “Nothing really happened until I noticed the better ones were coming from a little deeper, and I got one that came through and linked up perfectly. I tried to skate in another one to put two waves under the belt, but it just flattened out.”

Screen Shot 2017 04 02 at 3.10.34 PM

Jack will go head to head with Owen Wright in the quarterfinals, a rematch of his round four heat, sans Julian Wilson.

The following heat was a matchup of high-expectations between 2014 event champion, Michel Bourez and last year’s runner-up, Julian Wilson. It was the Tahitian whose snowboarding impersonation best dazzled the judges, though, despite him only nabbing three waves total. Sacrificing quantity for quality was a sound tactic, as his combined 15.44, derived from a 7.17 and 8.27, gave him a comfortable advantage over Julian’s 14.20.

“Yeah, I had the priority for the last seven minutes but I was leading so I just kind of sat on it,” said Michel. “Julian is like a brother to me, we always have a good time together and he’s one of those guys you never want to surf against because he’s so good in the water. But, obviously I’m happy about the result, I just want to do well.”

Screen Shot 2017 04 02 at 3.14.33 PM

Michel will go on to combat John John in heat two of the quarterfinals.

Filipe Toledo and Sebastian Zietz traded off wind-slowed four footers afterwards, and it was Filipe’s staccato rhythm that would go on to outplay Seabass’ smooth jazz. Although being uncharacteristically devoid of any airtime, Filipe picked up two comparatively respectable scores with an 8.50 and 6.93, outweighing Seabass’ 6.33 and 8.00.

“The waves definitely dropped from yesterday, but still plenty of good stuff,” Filipe reflected out of the water. “We had a quick chat about running at The Box this morning, but I wanted to stay here and surf some rippable waves. Seabass is a hard surfer to beat out here but I stayed with my game and it worked out.”

Screen Shot 2017 04 02 at 3.15.29 PM

Filipe had no problem (uncharacteristically) sticking to his rails.

The final heat of round five was between Jordy Smith and Jeremy Flores; which started with, that’s right, a big cutback! Eventually, it was Jordy’s tall guy cutbacks that beat out Jeremy’s short guy cutbacks. The lengthy South African walked away with a total 16.83 over the Reunion Islander’s 13.66 and will face Kolohe Andino in the quarterfinals.

Thoughts heading into quarters: Will we ever see another air again? Or will we have to wait until #ItsOn in Rio? Will rumours surrounding The Box turn into anything tangible? Time will tell.

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