Defending world champion crashes fist into toothless campaign…
There are, if we’re to be realistic, three surfers who will win the Moche Rip Curl Pro. In order, they are Kolohe Andino (read about premonition, here), Filipe Toledo and Gabriel Medina.
Kolohe staggered his opponents Jadson Andre (who appeared blowsy and quarrelsome in their round two heat) and Bede Durbidge who couldn’t speak for choking in round three.
Of the two here still in the world title race, Gabriel is the only surfer who can put on the Pipe Masters jerkin and make a game of it and therefore win, and defend, his world title.
Filipe has the problem of involuntary tears in biggish reef lefts (read Filipe Toledo’s Brave Act of Cowardice here) although, in round three against Mason Ho, he looked very much like the best surfer in the world. The crack of his board hitting lips sounded like splintered glass. He flung straight and hard, contemptuous. Filipe wasn’t just going to slink past Mason. He saw what happened to Julian Wilson in round two and played it impatient and rough.
But, Gabriel. He has the mocking look of a conquerer. Occasionally a baby blubbering on the ground, his terrible first half of the year (three second-lasts and a last) has been redeemed by his last three events: three, two, one.
Let’s do a little maths.
If Gabriel wins in Portugal, he’ll drop a 25th (remember, in the confusing world title calculations only the best nine results of the 11 events are counted) and zoom into first place 250 points clear of Mick Fanning, 800 ahead of Adriano. Place second and he’s a fingernail behind Mick and Adriano in third place.
Filipe, of course, is throbbing and growing every second. Whatever happens he drops a 25th, too. If he wins he moves into second, only 200 points behind Mick.
You wanted a Pipe showdown? It’s coming.
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Results:
Heat 8: C.J Hobgood (USA) 12.43 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 6.17
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.00 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 7.70
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.90 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.43
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.43 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.47
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.17 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.83
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.70 def. Mason Ho (HAW) 2.76
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.06 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.43
Heat 3: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.54 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.06
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 16.67 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.17
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.60
Heat 6: Frederico Morais (PRT) 16.03 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40
Heat 7: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.36 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.80
Heat 8: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.43 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.16
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.26 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 12.47
Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.17 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.84
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.17 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.10
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.67 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.87
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.00, Kolohe Andino (USA) 18.00, Brett Simpson (USA) 17.57
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.96, Nat Young (USA) 14.50, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.43
Remaining Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Keanu Asing (HAW), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Gabriel Medina (BRA)