Gabriel Medina And Owen Wright’s Loss
Plus, disbelief: Leo Fioravanti finally moves past round two in Fiji.
Wanna know something weird about Fiji? Many Fijians raise their eyebrows as a non-verbal way to say “yes.” Seriously. It confuses foreigners all the time. Want to hear something weirder? Unless you’re a chief, wearing a hat and sunglasses in a Fijian village is a big no-no. So it’s best to leave the wraparounds at home.
Another interesting statistic: Both Leonardo Fioravanti and Ethan Ewing haven’t won a single CT heat in 2017. What does that have to do with Fiji? Well, one of those two individuals switched their bad luck around today at Cloudbreak.
The first rounds of elimination surfing went down in smaller, albeit cleaner, conditions today at the Outerknown Fiji Pro. There were high scoring heats, a few upsets, a noteworthy amount of Matt Wilkinson hair flips, and more. Let’s dive in.
Heats two through six of round two started the day off, here’s who’s no longer allowed to surf at Cloudbreak and why:
Yago Dora was sent packing by Joel Parkinson because he couldn’t follow up a 6.50 with anything higher than a 3.50 when he needed a 3.83 to beat Joel’s 10.66 score total. Bino Lopes won’t make an appearance in round three (or any other round at the Fiji Pro, for that matter) because Sebastian Zietz dropped two nine-plus point rides (see: The video above) that, according to Seabass, “Were pretty much unlike anything I’ve seen all morning.” Adrian Buchan won’t be back on the webcast anytime soon because Leonardo Fioravanti was leading by .39 points and had priority with five minutes left, which didn’t really make much of a difference because no waves came through during that time anyways.
Ethan Ewing was eliminated by Kelly Slater shortly afterwards because Kelly was in much better form than he was yesterday. Also, because Ethan was only able to get a 2.27 and 6.73 while Kelly grabbed a 7.73 and a 7.80. Conner Coffin won’t wear another jersey until J-Bay because Joan Duru grabbed 10 different waves (while Conner only grabbed five) and found a 5.43 and 7.17 on two of them, also he, as he told Barton afterwards, “Was on his frontside, so it goes a little easier.”
Heats seven through 12 of round two followed, here’s who surfed and why they weren’t eliminated:
Wiggolly Dantas will stick around because he decided to jam his entire arm into the face of a pumping set (see: Video above), which let him stall long enough to be awarded an 8.17 and subsequently beat Jadson Andre. Jeremy Flores will surf again and Nat Young won’t because an in-tune Jeremy at clean Cloudbreak is a force to be reckoned with (cases in point: Here, and here). You’ll see Stu Kennedy’s face again because he finished ahead of Ezekiel Lau courtesy of a four-second coverup which Zeke retaliated against by catching a bunch of closeouts.
Ian Gouveia took down Kanoa Igarashi in heat 10 because he picked up a 7.93 and 7.17 while Kanoa couldn’t find anything north of a 4.33. Miguel Pupo then took out Jack Freestone in such a low-scoring affair that it wasn’t even given any video highlights. Bede Durbidge then finished up round two by knocking off Josh Kerr, who caught seven waves but couldn’t find a score higher than a 5.17 (Bede got a 6.83 and a 6.27) on a single one of them.
The first four heats of round three followed, here’s who had to reface an elimination scenario and wasn’t able to pull through the second time:
Owen Wright was so close to not getting sent home by Ian Gouveia, and wouldn’t have had he not fallen at the end of his two scoring rides; and had the Brazilian not stalled into an 8.33 and a 7.33. Frederico Morais will have to watch the rest of the event either from the channel or an electronic device because of the harsh reality that is that rookie momentum doesn’t always overpower veteran poise. Miguel Pupo will join Mr Morais because he was only able to pick up a 3.50 and a 2.17 while his opponent, Matt Wilkinson, saw himself to an 8.07 and an 8.77 despite having to constantly push his hair out of his eyes while in the barrel. To finish things off, Gabriel Medina was upset by Italo Ferreira in an incredibly exciting round three, heat four, matchup because he could only pick up a 7.37 on a buzzer-beater wave when he needed a 7.73.
Here are the official numbers from today, with a look ahead to the remainder of round three:
Heat one: Kolohe Andino 13.50, Tevita Gukilau 4.16.
Heat two: Joel Parkinson 10.66, Yago Dora 10.33.
Heat three: Sebastian Zietz 18.43, Bino Lopes 9.53.
Heat four: Leonardo Fioravanti 12.26, Adrian Buchan 11.87.
Heat five: Kelly Slater 15.53, Ethan Ewing 9.00.
Heat six: Joan Duru 13.00, Conner Coffin 10.30.
Heat seven: Wiggolly Dantas 14.77, Jadson Andre 12.27.
Heat eight: Jeremy Flores 17.57, Nat Young 11.10.
Heat nine: Sebastian Zietz 10.74, Ezekiel Lau 9.10.
Heat 10: Ian Gouveia 15.10, Kanoa Igarashi 7.13.
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo 12.00, Jack Freestone 9.23.
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge 13.10, Josh Kerr 9.90.
Heat one: Ian Gouveia 15.66, Owen Wright 15.26.
Heat two: Julian Wilson 15.04, Frederico Morais 10.20.
Heat three: Matt Wilkinson 16.84, Miguel Pupo 5.67.
Heat four: Italo Ferreira 15.83, Gabriel Medina 15.47.
Heat five: Mick Fanning, Michel Bourez.
Heat six: John Florence, Leonardo Fioravanti.
Heat seven: Jordy Smith, Joan Duru.
Heat eight: Kelly Slater, Connor O’Leary.
Heat nine: Joel Parkinson, Jeremy Flores.
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino, Bede Durbidge.
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz, Wiggolly Dantas.
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza, Stu Kennedy.
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