Upsets, The Storm subsides and Mick Fanning & John John Florence fire.
Mick Fanning and John John Florence Find Diamonds
There might have been some high scores on day two of the Oi Rio Pro (Mick Fanning 9.80, John John Florence 8.67, Ricardo Christie 9.17) but it sure was a challenge to find them. Big, hollow and rough as guts are how you could describe conditions. Some waves had a corner, but many simply closed out across the bank, leaving no scoring potential whatsoever. On the whole it was ugly to watch, interspersed with moments of pure glory. Many of the haters, and there are plenty of them, were calling bullshit on the call. Still, one of the things we like to see is the best surfers in the world getting seriously challenged. As Joey Turpel said to Martin Potter, “If the best surfers are having so much difficulty out there, imagine if we were out there.”
The Storm Subsides
The Brazilian Storm might be subsiding, slightly. They lost a bit of depth today. In four heats, four Brazilians were sent home with David do Carmo lost to Mick Fanning, Alex Ribeiro went down to John John Florence, Alejo Muniz bowed out to Taj Burrow and Miguel Pupo was send packing by Adam Melling. There has been so much media attention on the Brazilians in Rio it'll be interesting to see how they cope as we make our way into the business end of the event.
No Strategy Is Good Strategy
Despite Taj having to mix up his strategy in his heat against Alejo Muniz by catching a couple of smaller left-hand corners and banging them all the way to the beach for a pair of 5’s Josh Kerr approach was a little different. Exercising no strategy whatsoever Kerrzy beat CJ Hobgood with relative ease in a scrappy low-scoring heat. It was a do-everything kid of heat,” said Kerrzy. “I just tried to do everything out there. You can go for airs, do little turns, and be ready for whatever comes to you. You can’t strategise on a day like this. You might get a double overhead barrel or a waist high wave that you can do a few turns on.” Ross Williams concurred, “It’s like a game of chess out there.”
Jordy Heads Home To Lick His Wounds
Coming up against New Zealand rookie Ricardo Christie, Jordy was looking relaxed despite nursing an injured knee. When a big right hand corner arrived out of nowhere it was always going to test the South African. Ricardo, too deep, allowed Jordy to air drop a long way down, landing it dodgy knee and all. He had a split-second to turn the nose of his board a few centimeters to his right before he was standing tall in a thick spitting barrel. That moment of guts and bravado saw him score a solid 8.40 with Ricardo barely on the scorecard. Then the Kiwi paddled into a big, walled-up right-hander that looked like Backdoor and into a tube he barely snuck out of dropping a 9.17. Jordy was left hunting a 4.88 that never materialised and the former event champion was sent back to his San Clemente physio.
The Jet Ski Non-Assist
It was hard work being a jet-ski rider on a day like this, and there were moments when they just couldn’t find a way out. Jordy was stuck on the inside for valuable minutes in his heat, fighting grinding closeouts. Joel Parkinson went one bigger and better, and was on the back of a ski when the rider hit a wave and Joel went flying through the air with his board for what was probably the biggest unintentional wipe-outs of the day. Despite the fright and loss to Hawaiian rookie, Keanu Asingin by 0.10, Parko came out of the experience with a smile on his face. “There’s diamonds in the rough out there,’ said Keanu of the conditions after his huge upset win. Julian Wilson, who lost to Dusty Payne, was more outspoken about the jet-ski riders after his loss. “It’s pretty chaotic out there, and I don’t think they’re very experienced.”
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: M. Fanning (AUS) 16.63, def D. do Carmo (BRA) 7.94
Heat 2: J. Florence 14.84 (HAW), def A. Ribeiro (BRA) 10.83
Heat 3: T. Burrow (AUS) 10.74, def A. Muniz (BRA) 10.20
Heat 4: J. Kerr 9.27 (AUS), def C. Hobgood (USA) 5.40
Heat 5: R. Christie 13.27 (NZL), def J. Smith (ZAF) 12.03
Heat 6: N. Young 11.77 (USA) , def B. Simpson (USA) 7.84
Heat 7: D. Payne (HAW) 9.23, def J. Wilson (AUS) 8.00
Heat 8: K. Asing (HAW) 9.60, def J. Parkinson (AUS) 9.50
Heat 9: O. Wright (AUS) 14.77, def G. Hall (AUS) 5.90
Heat 10: A. Melling (AUS) 14.10, def M. Pupo (BRA) 11.67
Heat 11: K. Otton (AUS) 12.60, def K. Andino (USA) 11.10
Heat 12: A. Buchan (AUS) 11.03, def F. Patacchia Jr. (HAW) 9.33
Watch Heat Analyser to catch up on all the action.