Stab Magazine | Should Gabriel Medina Have Won His Round Three Heat?

Should Gabriel Medina Have Won His Round Three Heat?

Splitting hairs on the cobblestone. 

news // Sep 11, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The top three are out. They didn’t push past the third round, and the judge’s motives are being questioned. Script this? Can you? Well, it was the hot subject of convo after round three on the beach and in the scaffolding today. 

But first, what a beautiful day it was down on the Orange County/San Diego border! It’s September in Southern California, which means the kids have gone back to school, the tourists have left the coast, and the local crowd got their beaches back. However, at Lowers today, it felt like mid-July. The beach was packed with people from all over, Californians, Brazilians, Portuguese, Aussies, and a few notable Arizonians. Surfing’s global, and it shows through its spectators. There was barely room to stand above the cobblestone today, and as the tide rose, it washed iPhones, coolers, speakers and children down the beach; the crowd was forced into compressed Slinky formation. Around noon the sun split the marine layer, and blue skies, lighter (than yesterday’s) northwest winds and 80-degree weather kept anyone outside of an umbrella pink and crispy.

In round three the remaining two title contenders dropped to the wildcards. Brett Simpson’s in form. And although John Florence did two of the most aggressive (and stylish) turns of the heat, he wasn’t able to complete either wave. He tallied up two four-point rides, each with one turn; all the world number one had to do was finish the two waves with a few additional maneuvers. Hell, a foam climb probably would’ve raised both rides to sixes. In a slow heat, John looked out of sync, Simpo found the best waves and had Mr Florence combo’d by the final eight minutes.

With John out, it was Gabs chance to close the point gap. The next heat was local wildcard, and after his performance today, the man to beat, Tanner Gudang vs Gabby. They went head to head, wave for wave. The two goofy foots gripped the Lowers’ walls and threw water to the heavens. Tanner caught four waves, and they were all scored in the mid-eights. His vert approach pleased the judges, but the case could be made that Gabs was robbed.

Here are the two waves in question, side by side.

Midway through the heat Gabriel was trailing. He needed an 8.5 for the lead. He found a soft right and tore the bag out of it with seven turns, the only problem was, only one could be noted as critical. Gabs thought he had it, he kicked out, claimed it and looked towards the judges, arms outspread saying, what do you make of that. It seemed to be enough to take the lead over Tanner. The scores came in, and an 8.3 was all that was made of that. Gabby turned towards the scaffolding and slapped in palms together sarcastically. He smiled in disbelief, shook Tanner’s hand and accepted his round three exit.

In round four, Jordy Smith, Kelly Slater (the only remaining competitors in the top ten) and Michel Bourez hit the pedal of a power driven heat. Jordy was untouchable; he put up two nines and Michel and Kelly will head into round five elimination. A winning or semi-final result from Jordy or Kelly will be enough to join Wilko, John and Gabriel in the title race.

Filipe Toledo also threw up two nines in round four. Kolohe Andino surfed the way we’ve expected him to at home, but his seven and eight point rides wouldn’t be enough to overtake the Filipe at his adopted home break.

Tanner, after a questionable win over Gabs, solidified his spot in the quarters by going to the lefts and sent Stu Kennedy and Joel Parko into round five.

And, Alex Ribeiro! After a sad two total heat wins this season, the young Brazilian’s been on a tear at the famed cobblestone point and looks like he deserves to be on tour. He will see his first quarterfinal come Monday.

Due to State Park rules, the event will be off tomorrow. Although the surf will be about the same quality as today, tomorrow; contests are not permitted for the duration of the weekend.

Round Three Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith 10.27 def. Kai Otton 9.83
Heat 2: Michel Bourez 12.83 def. Miguel Pupo 11.17
Heat 3: Kelly Slater 16.27 def. Jack Freestone 9.34
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino 15.70 vs. Conner Coffin 10.50
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo 18.10 def. Caio Ibelli 10.40
Heat 6: Brett Simpson 15.16 def. John John Florence 8.74
Heat 7: Tanner Gudauskas 17.34 def. Gabriel Medina 17.13
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson 16.23 def. Wiggolly Dantas 13.00
Heat 9: Stuart Kennedy 16.37 def. Mick Fanning 13.94
Heat 10: Jadson Andre 13.84 def. Italo Ferreira 13.66
Heat 11: Josh Kerr 15.67 def. Kanoa Igarashi 9.67
Heat 12: Alex Ribeiro 15.47 def. Adrian Buchan 14.70

Round Four Results: 
Heat 1: Jordy Smith 18.50, Michel Bourez 14.50, Kelly Slater 13.16

Heat 2: Filipe Toledo 18.97, Kolohe Andino 15.60, Brett Simpson 14.14

Heat 3: Tanner Gudauskas 14.84, Stu Kennedy 13.67, Joel Parkinson 10.90

Heat 4: Alex Ribeiro 14.56, Jadson Andre 12.80, Josh Kerr 11.26

Round Five Match-ups:
Heat 1: Michel Bourez vs. Brett Simpson

Heat 2: Kolohe Andino vs. Kelly Slater
Heat 3: Stuart Kennedy vs. Josh Kerr
Heat 4: Jadson Andre vs. Joel Parkinson 


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

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up


Most Recent

What Will Airs Look Like In 10 Years?

The final installment of our editorial exploration into the nuances of airborne surfing.

Dec 1, 2022


Can A South African Cavern Queen With No Pipeline Experience Do Well At The Vans Pipe Masters?

Sophie Bell will have a steep learning curve in Hawaii.

Nov 30, 2022

After Years Of Tragic Shark Attacks, Surf Competition Returns To Reunion Island — And A CT Event Could Follow

"We compete at J-Bay and Margarets where there's the same problem." -Johanne Defay

Nov 30, 2022


Sharing Tubes And Hummus In The Middle East’s Surfing Jewel: Israel

No Contest does Tel Aviv!

Nov 29, 2022


Joao Chianca Wants A Pipeline Rematch With JJF

And ain't afraid to ride more foam to do it in the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 29, 2022

An Unorthodox Marriage Of Science And Surf

Cliff Kapono and The Mega Lab are changing stereotypes on all fronts.

Nov 28, 2022


Harry Bryant Dumps Crutches, Visualizes Pipeline Pits After Snapping Leg

“For once in my life, I’m taking something a bit more serious."

Nov 27, 2022

What If You Bought This Sumatran Surf Camp For $690k?

Making a blue print out of surfing's most recurring day dream.

Nov 27, 2022

Sierra Kerr On Greasing Full Rotes, Making Dad Cry & Her Concussion @ VSHPBME 

'I haven’t got my license yet, but I'm thinking of buying a little truck.'

Nov 27, 2022


“There Definitely Needs To Be More Girls That Try Airs”

Caity Simmers' thoughts on her Vans Pipe Masters debut.

Nov 26, 2022

Preview: Who’s John John Florence Flushing Down The Haleiwa Toilet Bowl?

The final event of the CS schedule is almost upon us. Let's dissect.

Nov 25, 2022


Dane Reynolds Said These Clips Weren’t Good Enough

Could'a fooled us.

Nov 25, 2022

Watch Now: Kael Walsh, Rolo Montes, And Al Cleland Jr In ‘Saturn’

Quik’s new 20-minute surf film is so good you’ll want to burn a DVD of…

Nov 24, 2022


How A Magic Island Birthed One Of The Most Radical Surf And Skate Scenes In The World

Mateus Herdy, Pedro Barros and friends in Red Bull x Stab's No Contest, Brazil.

Nov 23, 2022

The Uber Driver Turned Crypto Millionaire Who Denounced His US Citizenship And Whips Into XXL Nazare

"I do what I want, I don't have a boss." -Toby Trouble

Nov 23, 2022


‘I Thought He Was Gonna Grab A Machete… Then He Picked Up A Rock’

2x SSOTY Jai Glindeman’s drama (& left-tube) filled Sumbawa trip.

Nov 23, 2022


“The Inside Of Pipeline Sounds Like The Center Of The Universe”

Tosh Tudor seeks solitude at the Vans Pipe Masters.

Nov 22, 2022

Is Rasta Rob Really Going To Ride His Beloved Stock Dims Rad Ripper At The Vans Pipe Masters?

An interview with the most rapidly ascended surfer in recent memory.

Nov 22, 2022