Stab Magazine | Quarterfinalists Decided Via Oiled, Brilliant Cloudbreak
278 Views

Quarterfinalists Decided Via Oiled, Brilliant Cloudbreak

The best day of WSL competition all year was really good viewing.

news // Jun 16, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Cloudbreak was back on today and it was the best day of waves we’ve seen this year in an event. The dream tour finally lived up to its name and we can stop talking about the QS1000s at Keramas and Lance’s Right. It’s refreshing to see the world’s best compete in world class waves, which ideally should always be the case…

Update: The event was called after round five. Judging by the forecast, we’ll be in for another bout of excellent surf for final’s day. We’ll see how it pans out, but one thing’s for certain: Fiji’s been the most compelling event thus far.

Round Five, Heat Four: John John Florence (17.00), Jadson Andre (10.00): Well, this was only ever gonna go one way, and it did: John John puts up two flat 8.50s with perfect drag-to-accelerate technique. As Taj Burrow said after their heat yesterday, John really is the best tuberider in the world. Jadson is determined but can’t touch John’s wave selection, positioning, or overall approach.

467364729e5d7d3c6148eb07008e319b

John turned it on when he most needed to today: In round five. WSL/Kelly Cestari

Round Five, Heat Three: Ace Buchan (15.67), Josh Kerr (10.66): That Taj Burrow haircut has Mr Buchan’s tunnel nav looking wildly aerodynamic. Ace is a high-class barrel rider and it showed in his heat against Kerrzy. Ace employs the claim-for-more-points on his second scoring wave, which in truth is the best wave to break within a heat and a half, and earns 8.17 to progress.

Round Five, Heat Two: Wiggs Dantas (14.27), Michel Bourez (3.77): Mr Bourez’s chances are halted with an interference call, but that’s irrelevant. Wiggs found proper tubes which he flowed into hard carves. Mr Dantas and open throat barrels go together like the praying hands emoji. The Brazilian will be continuing his run tomorrow vs Mr Slater. 

Round Five, Heat One: ADS (11.34), Dusty Payne (10.37): The wave quality’s faltered a bit, it’s still of Dream Tour calibre, however it was cleaner, earlier. The opportunities for excellent scores are still there but ADS and Dusty couldn’t find anything exceeding a six. So far this was the least exciting heat of the day.

f44ef1f3aeea91e17eec9f882bb8873c

Wilko keeps himself in the yellow jersey with a quarters berth. Photo: WSL/Kelly Cestari

Round Four, Heat Four: Matt Wilko (16.56) , John Florence (16.43), Ace Buchan (15.16): It’s good and JJF’s claiming it. Did you see that? Is that the first claim he’s made since the oop at Keramas? He navigated a clean, no-hand tunnel. His board shivered, he kept his back foot planted and outstretched his hands upon exit. When Mr Florence is showing any kind of post-wave emotion you know he’s feeling it. The waves are proper and the perfect score bar’s been raised – it’s becoming nearly impossible to put up a 10. Wilko vs John was the battle… and for the betting men, bookie’s have the Jeep Leader nowhere near the favourite – if you put money on the current world number one, the odds are in your wallet’s favour. Wilko made the the quarters and secured the yellow jersey heading into Jeffreys. Matt’s never made it past the third round at Fiji and his title hopes roll on with aplomb. “I wanted to stop people from questioning if I could go left or not,” Wilko told Rosy Hodge in his post-heat interview. John will face Jadson Andre in round five. 

Between scenes, the webcast fills time with Mick in a J-Bay jersey with one hand in the air. “We were always coming back,” his voice echoes over the moody South African fog – it’s powerful… And other than Mr Medina (who voted not to return), every other surfer on tour agrees – Jeffrey’s is quintessentially Dream Tour.

1fe69d3fea5a442d3bcee98ca3b355e0

Today the best surfers looked like the best surfers. Or to be more specific: the more rounded surfers dominated. Mick obviously ticked that box. Photo: WSL

Round Four, Heat Three: Mick Fanning (18.07), Josh Kerr (15.07), Jadson Andre (13.43): Well, it’s firing. As the heat scores loft into the excellent range the familiar faces continue to dominate – Mick’s making outrageous hip-hop-hands claims after his near perfect score and capped it off with an eight. To win a heat today you’re gonna have to find a couple of double barrels and they’ve gotta be deep. Jaddy and Kerrzy had their moments. The surf’s just silly right now, the judges have had to tone down the scale. At last, the CT’s suppling waves rivalling the QS 1000’s! According to Strider in the channel, “the boys can’t wipe a smile off their face.”

Kelly Slater Fiji 10 Miller

An almost perfect score at perfect Cloudbreak. You wouldn’t expect anything else, right? And, how good did that banana board look before it broke! Photo: Ryan Miller 

Round Four, Heat Two: Kelly Slater (19.77), Wiggolly Dantas (13.34), Adriano de Souza (11.60): 

Kelly Slater finally looks like the 11x World Champ we know. He’s geared up and his head’s in the event. Why? Because the waves are pumping. Kelly has an insatiable thirst for quality surf and it’s apparent Cloudbreak has got him lusting. That highly scrutinised Slater Designs Banana looked sprightly beneath the King’s feet. He came out firing, pulled into a boxy one, navigated two foam balls, came out clean, grabbed his rail and pulled up the face beneath the next section for a perfect 10. He backed it up with another Cloudbreak screamer for a 9.77 – that may have been scored a 10 if he hadn’t already set the bar. Mr Slater couldn’t contain himself as the heat progressed. He was turning and going on just about everything that came through. When the widest tunnel of the heat was passed up, Kelly was on the inside. He scrapped in late and elevator-dropped down the face, breaking his board. “I had to go,” he told Strider in the channel, post-heat. “I misjudged it and broke my good board but I’m going to put that behind me.” ADS put up a 7.77 with a deep tunnel to drawn-out carve to quick cover-up. Wigs surfed well but no one was going to beat Kelly in heat two.

Gabs 10 Miller

Gabs is the most consistent surfer in the world. In the tube, in the air. See that four-point-something he milked? Pretty fucken cool. Here’s a 10 though. Photo: Ryan Miller

Round Four, Heat One: Gabs Medina (14.60), Dusty Payne (11.16), Michel Bourez (10.23): Gabs is gearing up for another title race. He just surfed one of the smartest heats we’ve seen this event. He stayed busy, pulled into a caving double barrel in the early minutes for a 10. Then taught a class on how to build something out of nothing. Dusty Payne was in solid form. Early he pulled into a deep tunnel to power carve for an 8.33… Gabs – post perfect ride – needed a score just shy of a two to take the lead. He snagged a wave that looked useless. Where nearly anyone would pull out and reset, Gabs worked it all the way to the inside, found a ramp and pumped an alley-oop to a whippy reverse for a 4.6. Michel Bourez had trouble finding anything over a six and will join Mr Payne in round five elimination.

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More

A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.

Jan 31, 2023

20:37

“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”

Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…

Jan 30, 2023

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023

38:24

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: Creed McTaggart, Albee Layer, Laura Enever, Dane Guduaskas, and Selema Masekela

Day 8: "65 years young and charging just as hard as ever at Pipe, Backdoor,…

Jan 25, 2023

“I’m Not A Big Wave Guy”

How Kai Paula accidentally made his mark at Jaws three weeks after surfing it for…

Jan 24, 2023

Everyone Went.

A toes in the sand, phone in the lagoon account of the 10th Eddie Aikau…

Jan 24, 2023

Breaking: Another CT Rookie Injured Before First Event

Sophie McCulloch pulls out of Pipeline due to Snapper Rocks snafu.

Jan 23, 2023

23:26

Watch: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers

Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film. 

Jan 23, 2023

On-Duty North Shore Lifeguard Luke Shepardson Wins The Eddie Aikau

Local man prevails over 39 big-wave heavyweights at 29ft @ 19 seconds Waimea.

Jan 23, 2023
Advertisement