"A Hollywood movie writer couldn't have scripted it. I can't wait for Pipe!"
Jake Paterson is currently in Maresias, Brazil coaching the next wave of Quiksilver stars for the O'Neill SP Prime event. Maersias is also home to current world number one Gabriel Medina who will be competing at his local and is currently being mobbed by the Brazilian media in the lead up to the world title showdown in Hawaii. Tracks tracked down the former Pipe Master to get his perspective on the world title race.
Tracks: Kelly's kinda famous for his mind games, news broke today that he injured his foot at Cloudbreak. Do you think he's up to his old tricks and do you think it would even bother Mick and Gabriel?
Jake Paterson: No way Kelly would be trying to pull any tricks this late in the game. Pipe is a fair way off so I will be surprised if he still has a sore foot when it starts.
Tracks: You're in Brazil, how's the vibe over there, is everyone behind Medina?
JP: You wouldn't believe me if I told you!! This event is at Gabs home beach and he is the new Kelly here. Crazy, crazy crowds follow him around when he goes for his heats. Just like they do for Kelly here in Brazil. The kid had better get used to it I think! It's only going to get worse if he pulls off the Title.
Tracks: So, going into Portugal, what were you thinking, Medina would wrap it up or Kelly would rain on his parade?
JP: Going into the Europe leg I thought Gab would have it all but won!! A 5th in France is a bad result for him after the last couple of starts there. Portugal!! Are you kidding me!! Brett Simpson couldn’t buy a heat win all year then to go beat the front-runner!!! Then for Kelly to lose the very next heat! And Mick to win!! A Hollywood movie writer couldn't have scripted it. I can't wait for Pipe!!!
Tracks: Did Mick even factor into it?
JP: After Mick pulled off the crazy win last year I can't see it happening again! Never ever count king Kelly out broken foot and all!! [Laughs] wild cards are going to be a huge factor.
Tracks: MR made mention (click here for his answers) of the judging criteria through the European leg having a bit impact on each surfer's approach to heats, he also said best three waves would be a better way, your thoughts?
JP: It’s all personal opinion. My two cents worth is the judges started scoring huge for big turns on the face, which is great but almost started low-balling some airs, which I disagree with! Just because some guys make airs look easy is no reason to score the down. I think they should never go back to best three waves. Best two waves creates exciting surfing. Best three and surfers will start surfing safe and no one wants to see that.
Tracks: So, hypothetically, Pipe's pumping and all things being even...who's going to win the 2014 World Title and why?
JP: In my eyes the only way Gab is going to lose if there is most Backdoor waves then Pipe waves. He is a freak and think we are going to see the first Brazilian world champ.
Tracks: You've got a Pipe Master's title to your name...is it the best trophy in the cabinet and why?
JP: 100%. It's the craziest testing ground of all! I'm going to die a happy man no worries. [Laughs]
Tracks: And finally, should Kelly win, what do you think he'll do, ride off into the sunset or come back for more?
JP: No chance. What else would he do? Just have a quick flash back to the crazy shit he has done this year! If he wins this year he will be back and if he doesn't win this year I think he will win next year.