Our man on the ground buzzed me early in the morning, to give me a heads up of the conditions at Keramas. It was not that exciting. We all know that the tide plays a massive part at Keramas, we’ve been told many, many times by the commentators, but there does need to be some sort of underlying swell, and right now there’s not too much energy in the ocean in Bali.

It was a long, long hold, before the elimination round was suddenly called on, late in the Balinese afternoon. A light onshore wind was fluttering around for the first heat, but that soon faded away to an afternoon of glass.

The first heat saw a rejuvenated Kanoa Igarashi performing a bit better than he did yesterday when he banked a heat total of 1.77 points. It was actually a battle for second place, and during the final moments there was a small exchange between Deivid Silva and Jacob Wilcox, with the Brazilian squeezing through thanks to a half-a-point advantage.

“These heats in this round mess with your head more than anything else in the sport of surfing,” said Luke Egan at the end of the second heat, as the powerful Hawaiian natural-footer Ezekial Lau took a dive. Willian Cardosa advanced along with heat winner Leo Fioravanti. “It was a bit slow for me, and I wasn't getting the high scores that I needed,” said Leo after the heat.

“It feels good to get a heat win,” he continued. “It always feels good to win a heat, and hopefully I’ll get some momentum, and get a bit of rhythm going my way.”

The third heat played host to the wave of the day, with Seth Moniz hooking into a nugget that hit the Keramas reef absolutely perfectly. Seth backdoored the main section, and got totally barrelled before exiting cleanly and going straight back into a second tube ride. Coming in at a 7.33, it did seem like the wave had been somewhat underscored, but a sneak peak on the judging criteria for the day that had somehow been smuggled to me showed that there was scant interest in tube rides today, and it was all about progression, sections, and combos. While the barrel was oh-so-sweet, it was small and cute, but nothing too serious. Seth advanced along with a rampant Ace, Soli Bailey left with nothing to do but head for some Bintangs around the pool.

“Thinking of getting rid of it,” said Ace of his knee-brace. “It’s there just for protection, and that was probably the first heat this year where I felt that I put on a solid performance. I feel good, I was really frustrated after the first round, and I just wanted to get out there and sink my teeth into it.”

For the final heat of the day the ocean did the opposite of expected, and went sluggish on the competitors as the tide washed in over the reef. Ryan Callinan and Jesse Mendes were pushing hard, going on whatever they could, while Sebastian Zietz was waiting for something that never seemed to happen. In the end Zietz was taking big chances, but it was Callinan’s calculated approach that saw him win, and send the Hawaiian home, with Mendes advancing in second.

Only four surfers eliminated at the end of play. That’s a hell of a lot of surfing thus far to only lose so few. Still, wouldn't want to be one of those surfers because, as Ronnie Blakey succinctly put it, “It must be a little bit embarrassing…”

 

Heat 1

Kanoa Igarashi 14.60

Deivid Silva 10.67

Jacob Willcox 10.10

Heat 2

Leonardo Fioravanti 10.90

Willian Cardoso 10.66

Ezekiel Lau 10.07

Heat 3

Adrian Buchan 14.00

Seth Moniz 12.50

Soli Bailey 11.40

Heat 4

Ryan Callinan 10.50

Jesse Mendes 8.42

Sebastian Zietz 8.40