Parko had expressed his desire not to surf to the WSL powers that be, but it didn’t stop him posting the highest heat score of round five (17.23) against the grind-master, Adriano De Souza.

Likely confronted with similar conditions tomorrow, Joel Parkinson was very clear about his strategy for surfing onshore Snapper.  “I’m looking for a second wave of the set as far into the bank as it can break with a good wall on it so it gets rid of the bump.”

Asked if he still surfs onshore Snapper for fun, Parko didn’t miss a beat. “Oh, All the time. All the time!”

Joel obviously has the local knowledge and as Kelly Slater pointed out, the capacity to execute his rail game to great effect in any conditions. “He was able to lay it on rail and keep it on line, which none of the rest of us were really able to do,” suggested Kelly in relation to Parko’s performance. Parko’s precision will be matched against Wilko’s swing for the fences backside attack. If the wind doesn’t drop a little, Wilko will find it harder to get the pendulum swinging. Parko’s key asset will be a point of variation against a Wilko attack that, while a wonder of rhythm of timing, can look a little repetitive. Joel has also made it very clear what’s driving him. “I just don’t want to loose. That’s my motivation.”

Will Wilko win again? Photo: Swilly

After defeating Kolohe Andino, Italo Ferreira explained that he watched his perfect ten rotation about “100” times last night. “It was so crazy all the people on facebook and instagram,” he continued with a big smile through the Biker’s mo.” He wasn’t discounting pulling something like that in heavy onshore conditions tomorrow. Italo grew up surfing a right hand point in Brazil’s North East known as Baia Fermosa and would have spent plenty of hours refining his whippersnapper hook in the onshore crumble­ – and we now know he has the nuclear air in his arsenal.

Italo Ferreira doesn't need to do airs to win but we would love to see him reach for the sky. Photo: WSL.  

It will be interesting to see how recklessly John John approaches the quarter against Italo. One senses his inner freesurfer won’t be able to resist the onshore invitation to punt, but he’s certainly a more disciplined figure these days.

In the dream world we will see John John and Italo fly like two planes trying to knock one another out of the sky in a dogfight. It won’t start that way but don’t we hope it will come to it.

Owen back where the world wants to see him. Photo: Swilly

Owen Wright is unquestionably the sentimental favourite for the event, given his miraculous return from a major head injury. Technically, Owen’s key asset is his capacity to punctuate his backside turns. The wind up may be drawn out but the end result is always lip shattering. Emotionally his main weapon is the fact that from where he’s standing every moment is a major bonus. A year ago he wasn’t sure he’d even surf again, now he’s in the quarter-finals of the Quiksilver Pro. Watch Owen’s post-heat interviews and its clear he is walking around like a man who has been given his life back. That sort of positivity is hard to manufacture or match.  Connor O’Leary will have to block out the positive Owen sentiment and continue his tirade as the rookie wrecking ball. No surprises here. It will be a battle of the backside lip blasts. Whoever lucks into the best waves will win.            

It’s almost certain that a man and woman will be named the king and queen of the Violent Crumble tomorrow. It may not be pretty, but dam it should be fun to watch.