Taj retires, Kelly’s form slump continues but was Dusty Payne robbed against Ace Buchan?
Have you been plugged in to the third event of the Australian leg of the WSL tour? No? Well in case you missed it here are the highlights from Round 2 of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro!
Taj retires, surfing celebrates a legend
The rumours has been floating around for a while. Many though that the 2016 season would be TB’s last. After the birth of his child his fate was all but sealed. This morning Burrow officially announced that the Fiji Pro would be his last event in his CT career. He will be missed and remembered for more than just his 11 CT wins. Burrow has been a Top 10 finisher 15 years, was WSL Runner-Up in 1999 and 2007 and who else remembers watching VHS classics Sabotaj, Montaj as their pre-surf psych up?
"The sport has given me so much,” said Burrow on the announcement. “Years of incredible waves, experiences and friendships that I’ll never forget. The WSL officials and competitors have not only pushed me to be a better surfer but have also become family to me."
John John Florence destroys
The most dominate surfer of today was easily John John Florence. No one delieved a combination of scores higher and had an 8.83 for spare change. His rotations were even more impressive given the blustery offshore conditions. He combined his innovation with searing rail carves that sent spray to The Box. In years gone by Florence would often be found hunting the wave haven of West Oz for the most optimum conditions. This year he’s sticking to Mainbreak and the single-minded focus is paying off.
“I’ve been surfing out here a lot this time around, where in the past couple of years I would come here on freesurf trips before the event and surf everywhere but here,” said John John after booking a spot in round three. “This year I have really focused on just surfing here. I have been here a bunch of times and surfed this wave quite a bit. I like this wave a lot.”
Was Dusty Payne robbed against Ace Buchan?
The Hawaiian will be haunted by this loss for a while. It seems like Dusty’s competitive career is just one false start, close call or injury after the another. Personally I thought he surfed way more radical than Ace when they matched up today. Dusty looked raw, aggressive and surfed hungry for a win. Ace went vertical but it was hard to get excited for flurry after flurry of backhand snaps. Despite the Hawaiian earning the highest single wave score of the heat, a 9.20, he fell 0.07 points short of keeping his dream of requalification in West Oz alive.
Kelly’s form slump continues
Kelly looked ragged and out of sorts against little known rookie, Italian, Leo Fioravanti. To Leo’s credit he surfed out of his skin. He got off to a quick start with a 7.93 and followed suite with an 8.67. The total left the 11x world champ combo’d chasing a 10-point ride. With his goose all but cooked the King swung at everything displaying desperation like never before. Post heat loss he simply seemed lost for words and looked plain sad.
Wiggolly is the best goofy-footer at this event
If his form against teen-phenom Jack Robinson was anything to go by Wiggles will take home a result at Margs. His razor blade backhand hooks carved up the West Australian. Granted, Jack surfs The Box and North Point more often than Mains but the heavy-footed Brazilian bruiser schooled him at home. He might charge Chopes, Pipe and his local reefs but young Jack will want to get his competitive fire burning if he wants to graduate to the main stage. Wiggolly’s 9.63 was the second highest ride of the day. He showed risk, power and hit the lip hard with his stubborn vertical attack.
In other results, Jordy Smith disposed of local wildcard Jacob Willcox in round two. While Jeremy Flores squeaked past last year’s wrecking ball, Jay Davies by 0.20. Australians Adam Melling and Matt Banting both progressed to round three avoiding another last place finish in their Australian leg campaigns.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Remaining Round 1 Results: Heat 10:
Heat 10:Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.70, Kelly Slater (USA) 12.16, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.10
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.93, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.50, Jay Davis (AUS) 9.50
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) 18.87, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.27, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.20
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 2 Results: Heat 1:
Heat 1:Jeremy Flores (13.00) 14.80 def. Jay Davies (AUS) 14.60
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.94 def. Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.73
Heat 3: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 16.60 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.43
Heat 4: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 18.06 def. Jack Robinson (AUS) 14.37
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.00 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 17.93
Heat 6: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.84 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 12.63
Heat 7: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.74 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 12.83
Heat 8: Alejo Muniz (BRA)12.23 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.57
Heat 9: Matt Banting (AUS) 14.90 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 13.30
Heat 10: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 14.23 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.64
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.50 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.33
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.40 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.00
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Round 3 Match-Ups: Heat 1:
Heat 1:Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 5: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 8: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 12: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)