Two Q’s: Can John Florence Beat Mikey Wright On The Goldie/Can Anyone Beat Italo Ferreira In A Flyoff?
After an event featuring a renegade vehicle and a pack of broken cables, the Quik Pro ran, here’s what happened.
The WSL’s rebranding is 2019’s new order.
Their Instagram hype clips either bob the new age Hip Hop heads of GenX-through-Z or molest the eardrums of those who prefer guitar riff or post-modern psychedelia. It’s raw, it excites like an NBA halftime show, and for some with pious musical taste, it’s cringe. But most importantly, it’s divisive.
What doesn’t please everyone, gets the people talking. And, if people are talking, something in the WSL’s favor is happening. You know, that whole any publicity is good publicity chestnut.
The WSL’s also got a new logo – it’s black on white, minimal, and inoffensive.
They’ve got new sponsors, one being the leather jacket, white tee with protruding chest hair, handlebar mustache, Hell’s Angels loving Harley-Davidson. An American Classic!
Also, they’ve added a new face and accompanying voice to the commentary booth. A nod to the new President of Content, Media and WSL Studio, Eri-with-a-K Logan, is the hiring of Luke Egan. A necessary addition to fill the void of Ross Williams on the intricacies of competitive surfing, and to add color, and technical specifics of Martin Potter, the beacon psyche, and ’89 World Champ knowledge. Luke served time on the World Stage for 11 years.
Mr Egan cracked the top five a few times, and in 2000 he finished second behind Sunny Garcia. He coached Joel Parkinson and spent some time as the contest director for all Billabong Sponsored World Tour events. So yeah, the man knows his interference from priority. Those reverent of surf films from VHS’ past, will recall Luke from Jack McCoy’s Bunyip Dreaming and Green Iguana.
Let’s get to yesterday’s surfing, the annotated version at least.
Reports from the morning told us the waves were proper pumping at sunrise. Unfortunately, someone hooked up a car to the cable box that transmits the broadcast worldwide and, well, drove off with it. A stop sign was killed in this vandalistic wake – a candlelit vigil will be held in its honor tomorrow night.
And thus, the event started a few hours later than planned.
D-Bah presented windy, crumbly with the occasional wall and or ramp conditions. The beachbreak savvy and quick-footed wonderkids shined. A 47-year, 11x World Champ named Kelly surfed well, but versus Yago Dora and Italo Ferreira, his rail heavy approach against the youthful, Brazilian progression looked like two different sports. Still, in Slater’s last year, he’s sharp. Prediction: he’ll win an event this year.
In heat one of the first round, Griff Colapinto found his San Clemente pier groove, using the extra power provided by the Southern Hemisphere to his advantage – beating out Soli Bailey and Owen Wright.
The following men who sent their opponents into round two are (mostly) of no surprise:
Hurricane Oma VIP, new dad and budding surf vlog hero, Jack Freestone
Brazilian flyboy and frog toes extraordinaire, Yago Dora
The Hawaiian Pipe and Rocky Rights rookie specialist, Seth Moniz
2x World Champ, Gabs Medina
Ace “did you forget Ace is still on tour” Buchan
Tahitian tree trunk, Michel Bourez
Brazilian tail flinger, Michael Rodrigues
Huntington Beach Glad Boy, Kanoa Igarashi
San Clemente’s perennial World Title hope, Kolohe Andino
Mikey Wright, who revealed to Stab that he qualified while fighting a crippling injury in 2018 found himself once again in round one at the Quik Pro versus the also recently injured John John Florence.
A battle of the once crippled, and now 80/90 percent healthy ensued. Mikey beat dear John, but due to the new format, John finished second and will also join Mikey in Round 3.
The first Red Bull Airborne event took place yesterday. Italo, who during round one of the Quik Pro finished second in his heat behind Yago Dora, showed up and dare we say, blew up in the air show.
In the first three rounds, many competitors didn’t score, like at all – over a third of the men who competed yesterday didn’t stick an air. The list of no-makes includes such esteemed flyboys as Harry Bryant, Matt Meola, Noa Deane, Kael Walsh, and Quik Pro trails winner Reef Heazlewood.
In the event with scores that sat at an average three points, if any; Italo came out and punted three completed airs. Two being the highest of the three rounds surfed at 7.76 and a 5.17.
The runner up, as far as single wave scores go, were unsurprisingly Chippa Wilson with a 5 and Filipe Toledo with a 4.50.
Which continues to raise the question, will the two Brazilian title contenders put a dagger in the all-hailed video part?
One World Tour gent, when we were interviewing the top surfers for our Stab Surfer of the Year told us when we referenced a few video guys, “No I’m talking about real surfers, not guys who do 1000 airs over six months and land enough to make a three-minute edit…”
Our Michael Ciaramella traveled through the night and will be picking up coverage from ground zero for the remainder of the event.
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.26 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 9.83, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.23
Heat 2: Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.67 DEF. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.47, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 5.03
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.33 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.93, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.70
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.10 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.53, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.60
Heat 5: Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.17 DEF. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 9.50, Julian Wilson (AUS) 8.36
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.84 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.57, Mateus Herdy (BRA) 7.23
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.13 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.00, Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.40
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.27 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.90, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 7.57
Heat 9: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13.07, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.67
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.73 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 12.00, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.03
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.00 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.90, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.40
Heat 12: Mikey Wright (AUS) 12.10 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 10.93, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 8.36
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast Leaderboard:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA)
2 – Chippa Wilson (AUS)
3 – Kalani David (HAW)
4 – Mateus Herdy (BRA)
5 – Coby Perkovich (AUS)
6 – Yago Dora (BRA)
7 – Filipe Toledo (BRA)
8 – Eithan Osborne (USA)
9 – Mitch Parkinson (AUS)
10 – Jack Freestone (AUS)
11 – Matt Meola (HAW)
11 – Kael Walsh (AUS)
11 – Harry Bryant (AUS)
11 – Finn McGill (HAW)
11 – Aaron Kelly (AUS)
11 – Noa Deane (AUS)
11 – Thomas Woods (AUS)
11 – Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
Billy Kemper, Mikey Wright, and Eli Olson Walk Into A Bar…
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