Stab Magazine | Wilko, Mick, Medina Survive Round Two At Cloudbreak

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Wilko, Mick, Medina Survive Round Two At Cloudbreak

And Taj keeps the dream alive for a strong farewell.

news // Jun 6, 2016
Words by Photos
Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you value intense thrill, a touch of anxiety and 10 feet of fury breaking on nearly dry reef, over scrappiness and small to mid reef pass, then you were likely watching the Cape Fear event instead of the Fiji Pro today. Which is merely to say that The Cape was raw power; not to take away from Fiji, because any time the world’s best high performance surfers compete it is good viewing on some level.

Matt Wilkinson, who’s currently still world number one thanks to winning the first two events of the season, kept his Cloudbreak dreams alive by knocking out Brazilian rookie, Alex Ribeiro. “It was a super slow heat,” said Wiko. “I went out and thought that it was time for a set, but there was not anything for about fifteen minutes. Alex started with a few mid-range scores, which should not be too scary out there, but I was starting to think that it was never going to break. I started to get worried and went on a few silly waves. The waves then turned on and I think we were out of rhythm because of the slow start, but I put two average scores up and made it through.”

Taj Burrow, for whom Fiji is his last ever event as a World Tour surfer, dispatched Caio Ibelli with a 15.30 combined score and kept the dream alive for a strong farewell. “I’m feeling pretty good, but I have to admit that I was super nervous,” said Taj. “Going out at this event is a fairytale ending for me regardless of the result, but I was really scared to get last. My nerves are getting to me a bit because I feel extra eyes on me to see how it unfolds. It is a dream result regardless of the actual contest result because I am on my favourite island with my extended family and friends. I could not be happier. It is a great way to go out no matter how the finish is.”

Mick Fanning (who awesomely caddied for TB), sent Kai Otton out the side door in round two. “It’s hard surfing against one of your good friends,” said Mick afterwards. “Kai and I have been staying in the same room together and that is our third heat in a row here that we’ve had together. You want to go out there and respect each other and let the surfing do the talking, which is how it went in the end. It is hard to lose a mate. It is definitely a different feeling taking time off. At the moment I am feeling pretty light and carefree when it comes to putting on the jersey. As time goes on I’ll find out what is next. I still have some more trips to do and places to go, and hopefully I will come up with a decision soon.”

Gabriel Medina, who won the 2014 Fiji event, burned through round two with one of the day’s highest scores (15.94) over rookie Ryan Callinan. “That was a tough heat against Ryan,” said Gabriel. “Ryan has been surfing really well and I knew it would be challenging one. Luckily I got that 8.17 and I am stoked to make it through. Hopefully I can get more waves in Round 3.”

Fiji Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.67 def. Tevita Gukilau (FJI) 3.50
Heat 2: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 13.10 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)11.10
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.94 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.10
Heat 4: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.00 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.17
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.10 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.40
Heat 6: Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.50 def. Nat Young (USA) 14.67
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.30 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.03
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 13.17 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.53
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) 15.00 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.74
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.50 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8.83
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.84 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.16
Heat 12: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.17 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 10.16

Fiji Pro Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 5: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

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