After eight lay-days, the Fiji Pro is back! Kelly stomps Jordy!
A warrior Wednesday morning sun pierces the pall of eight Fiji Pro lay days. Laughter shrills the morning air. It’s on, as they say.
A new swell. A little close together. A little hard to pick. Do you sit up on the ledge and find a roll-in, or on the inside?
Round three begins,
Gabriel Medina versus Quicksilver’s number one team rider Matt Banting. Gabriel’s hazel eyes open like a little kid at the four-to-six-foot waves, and he reflexively swoops onto the sets like a ravenous baby on a nipple. Fourteen points to four.
Michel Bourez and Kanoa Igarashi promenade up and down the lineup, doing very little except exercising their arms, the highest wave of the heat, Michel’s 4.17
Dusty Payne and Filipe Toledo occupy a similar role. Dusty wins, his high a 4.50. The heat is enlivened when the commentator Ron Blakey tries to goad Ross Williams into criticism of Filipe.
“Filipe’s always under the microscope,” says Ron. “Definitely not on the attack here, like Snapper, Trestles, Brazil, Portugal.”
Ross bites. “He has the fluid speed but with all the girth and size you want…power.”
The predictable shock of disappointment gives way to Kelly Slater’s flamenco stomp of Jordy Smith.
“Kelly has Jordy in a headlock,” says Ross, even as Kelly occasionally struggles to control the ultra-senstivity of the Webber banana, ridden as a quad.
After the heat, Kelly is philosophical.
“When you’re the guy struggling you get the moral support,” he says, adding, “I don’t think we ever get to a place where we want to be.”
Examine the first heats here!
And see Conner Coffin interfere with Wiggoly Dantas!