Today Was Peak CT Event - Stab Mag

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Fil was on fire today, narrowly edging out lead-footed mongrel, Mikey Wright. Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL

Today Was Peak CT Event

Day four of Bells sees the highest heat total of the year and a wildcard knock #1.

news // Apr 14, 2022
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Let’s get straight into it

  • Mens Round 3 ran today with 16 non-overlapping heats in 6-8 feet pumping Bells bowl.
  • Joao Chianca vs John Florence was the heat of the event so far (17.73 to 18.86) in R3H7.
  • 4x Bell-ringer event wildcard Mick Fanning knocked out current #1 Kanoa Igarashi R3H9.
  • There is talk of boycotting WA over frustrations with the proposed mid-year cut.
  • Current #2 Kelly Slater got knocked early by Imaikalani deVault in R3H13.
A very pleasant surprise this morning: Proper waves. Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL

A fine day to be a surf fan

Postcard Bells, crisp and consistent, brought us some of the better performances of this season. Highlights include: Jordy Smith vs Jackson Baker (interference or nah), Filipe Toledo vs Mikey Wright, and Kanoa Igarashi vs Mick Fanning. Of the 16 heats surfed today, 11 of them saw heat totals go north of 14 points. In short, it was a really good day of surfing.

Joao vs John in R3H7 was the heat of the event so far, with both surfers trading blows in double-overhead thumping Bells bowl. In the end, John’s 18.86 got the nod over Joao’s 17.73 but the Brazilian rookie’s performance made a loud and clear statement — he is world-class and viewers would be at a loss not having him surf in the back half of the season. His total would have won any other heat in the round.

Four-time Bell-ringer and event wildcard Mick Fanning beating current #1 Kanoa Igarashi was another major upset, debunking any myths that ‘unfit retired dads’ can’t still mix it up with the best of them. With Kanoa falling out of the draw, John and Filipe both have the chance to secure the yellow jersey by the end of this event. Mick will keep his shot at becoming the winningest male surfer at Bells of all time. 

The mid-year cut was very topical today, with murmurs of surfers boycotting the WA event. “There’s a lot of chatting in the surfer’s groups about what’s going on at the moment with the cut and everything, so I’ll just wait to see what comes of that,” said Jordy in his post-heat interview. We reached out to the WSL for comment where a senior staffer told us “there is zero chance” the tour will cave to pressure, citing surfers all signed contracts fully aware of the MYC stipulations at the beginning of the year. 

We covered that more extensively here and here.

We’ll be seeing more of Mikey Wright. Just maybe not in a jersey. Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL

Come-ups 

  • Peak performance: Joao Chianca vs John Florence (17.73 to 18.86) in R3H7
  • Hit replay: R3H3, R3H4, R3H5, R3H7, R3H9 
  • Monster maneuver: Kolohe Andino R3H10 – Alley-oop
  • One-liner: “I’m an island boy and I can’t wait to see my island boys.” – Kaipo watching Barron 

The stiff offshore wind dictated most of the surfing in the morning was done below the lip, where meat and potatoes rail work determined the winner. By early afternoon the wind swung onshore and Kolohe pulled a massive alleyoop on his last wave to squeak past Jadson Andre. 

Aussies had a stellar day with 8/10 surfers in Round 3 winning their heats. Goofyfooters also had a good run with a 75% strike rate in the four heats surfed against regular footers. 

5 bells, anyone? Mick, a step closer to making his house a massive wind chime. Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL

Let downs 

Not much to criticize today. JMD could have ran overlapping heats given the abundance of good waves going unridden, but whatevs. Judges got it right, commentary was on point, surf action 9/10, waves 8.5/10. The only downside was losing surfers on the wrong side of the MYC early who needed results here. Particularly Joao Chianca, who has put on two phenomenal performances at Bells and Pipe.

Joao currently sitting in #23 will take a 17th here, lessening the chance of him making the cut and getting a start at G-Land, J-Bay, and Tahiti — waves which suit him to a tee. “I really feel like I’m in the best phase of my life, my surfing, team and equipment. I try to leave everything in the water. John brings the best in me and when I get butterflies, I catch fire. I’m stoked to lose this way but it’s complicated because I see tour rookies having a whole year of competition and now I only have one event left.” 

Other surfers eliminated today below the MYC include: Lucca Mesinas, Frederico Morais, Leo Fioravanti, Jadson Andre, and Deivid Silva.

“He’s a top 5 surfer who’s not on tour, I treated him as I would any other competitor,” said Kanoa after his loss to White Lightning. Photo by Ed Sloane/WSL

Miscellanea

Jordy Smith was naughty today, trying to sucker Jacko into a priority interference. Jords pulled back on a set allowing Jackson to go, before making a last-second attempt to scratch into it. “My understanding of priority is that the person who doesn’t have it can’t be anywhere near you. Things didn’t go my way today,” said Jords, tongue in cheek. Jackson, who won the heat fair and square, was not penalized. Good call. 

Tom Curren made a brief video call in from a dark musty garage somewhere in SW France. It wasn’t entirely clear what he was talking about, which only reaffirmed his mystique as a magical man. Big love to TC and to Ron and Rabs for being team players and giving his long-winded anecdote an exit route. 

Finally, Miguel Pupo’s teeth looked great today.

We were waiting for this. Photo by Aaron Hughes/WSL

Gamble Ramble

Mikey C’s Round 3 picks on Betonline.ag.

  • Imaikalani deVault over Kelly Slater (I bet $10 to return $25) WIN 
  • Joao Chianca over John Florence (I bet $10 to return $25) LOSS 
  • Barron Mamiya over Morgan Cibilic (I bet $10 to return $25) LOSS
  • Callum Robson over Frederico Morais (I bet $30 to return $36) WIN 
  • Mick Fanning over Kanoa Igarashi (I bet $50 to return $80) WIN

Total day 4 winnings: $124.50
Total event winnings: $252

Next day picks:

Make your picks here.

Results

  • HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.67 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.34
  • HEAT 2: Nat Young (USA) 13.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.60
  • HEAT 3: Jackson Baker (AUS) 14.60 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.90
  • HEAT 4: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 15.73 DEF. Lucca Mesinas (PER) 9.90
  • HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.16 DEF. Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.67
  • HEAT 6: Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.46 DEF. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.26
  • HEAT 7: John John Florence (HAW) 18.86 DEF. Joao Chianca (BRA) 17.73
  • HEAT 8: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 14.93 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 13.50
  • HEAT 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.77 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.83
  • HEAT 10: Callum Robson (AUS) 15.27 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.43
  • HEAT 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.80 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 15.53
  • HEAT 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.10 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.06
  • HEAT 13: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) 13.84 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.77
  • HEAT 14: Jack Robinson (AUS) 16.17 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.90
  • HEAT 15: Samuel Pupo (BRA) 10.10 DEF. Jake Marshall (USA) 9.17
  • HEAT 16: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.00 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.00

Upcoming

  • Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round of 16 Matchups:
  • HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
  • HEAT 2: Jackson Baker (AUS) vs. Ethan Ewing (AUS)
  • HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
  • HEAT 4: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Morgan Cibilic (AUS)
  • HEAT 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Callum Robson (AUS)
  • HEAT 6: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
  • HEAT 7: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)
  • HEAT 8: Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
  • Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
  • HEAT 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
  • HEAT 2: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
  • HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
  • HEAT 4: Brisa Hennessy (CRI) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)

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