While Brazilian rookie, Caio Ibelli knocks out John John Florence on day three.
- No one expected so many big names to fall in round three of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Taj, Kerrsy, Adriano, Jeremy and John John Florence all have some soul searching to do. It’s hard to put it simply down to a changing of the guard; these are all top ten surfers and one future world champ.
Taj Burrow bid sayonara to the Margaret River faithful after bowing out to Nat Young. The Santa Cruz goofy-footer outshone the tour vet with his grunty backside hooks. After yesterday’s announcement that he would be retiring mid-way through the season the West Australian took the loss in his stride. “I’m feeling good, I’m feeling happy,” said TB. “I would have liked to have gone a bit further here at home in front of the home crowd. Now I’ve got one event left which will be Fiji which is really exciting for me.”
The loss of Taj from the draw wasn’t the only big scalp in the draw. World Champion Adriano de Souza fell to event wildcard Leo Fioravanti by 0.10 in heat six. The Italian wrecking ball knocked down the defending champ with a pair of sevens, his second coming with three minutes to go. The 18-year-old surfed well but it was all very steady, textbook surfing. As he moves into the pointy end of the draw he will have to call upon more progressive moves to outshine the big names baying for his blood.
Wiggolly Dantas was the next Brazlian to go out. After an electric display of surfing in round two Dantas was supremely outclassed by Kolohe Andino. San Clemente’s biggest thing since Spanish architecture launched into the biggest manoeuvre of the day. The wind assisted alley oop netting him a 9.83 and a huge round of applause. More telling however was Andino’s post heat interview with Rosie Hodge. See, Andino no longer travels with his Dad Dino who has previously been a fixture at every moment of Brother’s career. Rumours have been circling that the relationship became “too intense” and now Kolohe’s lone corner man is coach Mike Parsons. When Rosie asked if he was “enjoying the separation” in communication it appeared that Andino was taken aback.
“That’s a difficult question,” said Andino, laughing nervously. “I love my Dad and he still gives me lots of advice I just…having Snips [Mike Parsons] around I think he’s a little more realistic on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “My Dad wants me to win the world title every single day which is impossible. I love my Dad and he loves watching this thing and watching me. He’ll come to some events this year but I’m trying a different theory and I miss him too.”
However the major talking point of day three was the upset loss of John John Florence. The Hawaiian eliminated by Brazilian rookie Caio Ibelli for the second consecutive event. Florence locked in a 7.57 with two searing carves, finishing by smashing a fluffy lip. His 7.97 had a little more spice. He launched into a helicopter reverse, set up one big roundhouse wrap before blowing the fins in front of Ibelli. It looked like it would do it. But the rookie wasn’t done. Needing a 7.87 and under John John’s priority the former Junior World Champ scratched in to a bowling right and sprung into a huge frontside air reverse, iced the cake with two quick turns, leaving it in the hands of the judges with less than a minute to go. The score came in at an 8.50 and Florence was out.
In other results Jordy Smith was burning like a blue flame demolishing Kanoa Igarashi in heat nine. The South African delivered an 18.54 heat total with two of the most impressive rides of the event. It was a performance that certainly heralds the second coming of Jordy Smith. After coming agonisingly close to popping the champagne at Bells, he looks more and more likely to make amends at Margs. The big walled up rights look custom made for his heavy-footed blasts. If he can rally himself through the more nerve-racking rounds he’ll make some ground towards that famed yellow jersey.
Julian surfed well too. Very clinical and razor sharp.
Joel’s 9.00 oozed style and he seems more than comfortable in West Oz.
Seabass continues to surprise. He’s the dark horse left in the draw.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Results: Heat 1:
Heat 1:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.00 def. Matt Banting (AUS) 9.27
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.40 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.60
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.90 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.80
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 18.10 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.77
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.50 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.90
Heat 6: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 15.60 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.10
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.67 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 13.10
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.10 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.20
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 18.54 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.16
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 17.73 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.20
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 16.27 def. John John Florence (HAW) 15.54
Heat 12: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.43 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 8.23
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 4 Match Ups: Heat 1:
Heat 1:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) vs Adrian Buchan (AUS) Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs Kolohe Andino (USA) vs Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs Italo Ferreira (BRA