John John Florence and Gabriel Medina own day two, Quicksilver Pro, France…
I caught the first few heats of yesterday’s action while supping on a lovely meal of lobster, baked mushrooms, and mashed potatoes. Very tasty. Not so healthy. The secret ingredient of all three dishes is butter!
The early heats looked frustrating. One of those kind of lumpy, current laden, days when you’re always in the wrong spot. Unridden barrels are reeling off up and down the beach, everyone keeps getting caught out position.
The first heat of the day, Jordy/Jadson/ Otton, was a case in point. The guys struggled a bit, only Otton ended with a double digit combined score. Great for my fantasy surfer team. Otton a low seed workhorse I love. When it’s a bit heavy you can count on Kai to spoil some heats.
Starting the day off with guys pointing it out ain’t great. But you could see the swell held potential. Hopefully it’d get better throughout the day. Give us a few magic moments.
Heat four of round two wasn’t much better. Pupo grabbed the ‘w’ with 8.57. Wilko followed close behind with 8.24. Leo Fio brought up the rear with 8.14.
During heat five things started getting hotter. D Payne opened up with a lovely lay back man hack I felt was slightly underscored. Judges could’ve thrown a few more tenths of a point his way, push it into the low sixes. But he wasn’t able to establish any momentum. Next wave was a gooey plopper that earned him slightly more than four an a half. He got last, headed into round two.
Callinan surfed well, but looked to be struggling with the conditions. Understandable. Barrels weren’t really staying open. Sections were a little too heavy to hit with easy. Lump on the face, off the bottom. Doing turns looked hard, barrel hunting the better option. If you could find them. Which he couldn’t.
Medina came out swinging. Went for a big backside floater early on, but came unstuck off them bottom. Charlie Medina needs to take a Valium, or something. Dude looks like he’s on the verge of a heart attack. More gray hair every time you see him. Not like he can control a heat. All that intensity is just a recipe for an ulcer. Which I guess are actually caused by bacteria, or something. But you know what I mean.
Gabby’s first keeper, highest scoring wave of the day so far, was a solid turn linking effort. Big backside lip smash to rail-in toe-side hack. Milked it a bit into the inside. Pottz felt that was a mistake.
“To me you’re probably better off just kicking out, saving that energy. Really you’ve gotta do something special on the inside if you want to add any points. As I said before, length of ride does not come into play. It’s not how many maneuvers you do, it’s about the quality of the ones that you do.”
I don’t know about that. We’ve been seeing a heavy emphasis on end section “finishing maneuver” bonks all year. And the judges gave Gabby a 7.27. Heat winner score on a day like this.
Medina paddled around like a maniac. Caught nine waves to Payne’s two and Callinan’s five.
The Brazzo won, no doubt about that. But I’m gonna take issue with his 6.23 back up score for a… grab rail reverse. Not a proper flippy-flip club sandwich. Start of the art for the late nineties, rather unimpressive today.
Doesn’t matter, his waves both before, and after, were enough for the win. But it’s just more confusing judging.
Up next was what we were waiting for. John John in heavy beachie! OHMYGODIMUNnnnngg!
Conner Coffin is struggling to live up to expectations on his rookie year. Too bad, I love how he surfs. But I also not-so-secretly hope that all my fave pros fall off tour and concentrate on clips. That’s the world I want to live in!
The wildcard, Joan Duru was a pleasant surprise. He surfs real good. Very pretty, very smooth. The surf was cleaning up a tad, which didn’t hurt.
But I’m at a loss to explain how Duru’s three-turn combo was a full two points better than Coffin’s frontside barrel. This is a tube riding contest, yeah?
Even if it ain’t, I don’t see how Duru’s three turn 8.17 was better than JJF’s frontside carve to rev to carve to milk turn. I know you Aussies can gamble on surfing, but I don’t know why you would. Might as well lay your dough on the roulette table. Just as much random chance.
With two and a half minutes left Duru had the win. Which I don’t really think he deserved. But I always find myself rooting for wildcards. Unless they’re Fanning.
But John John once again showed he’s got that magic Slater talent. Found a nice long tube, snuck out of the closeout section. Very nice, put him in first. Did demonstrate that Coffin got shafted. JJ’s was better, but not 2.56 better.
Heat seven saw Flores flounder. I really need to stop putting him on my team. Stu Kennedy surfed well, did one really neat looking bottom turn to frontside grab boost. But it wasn’t enough to take out Ace Buchan.
Buchan snagged the best barrel of the heat. Followed up a little later with two good turns, then fell on the end section reo.
Good surfing, but not a smoker of a heat.
Heat 8 was an all Brazilian affair. Their countrymen still whinging on the WSL instagram page. #corruptjudgeswsl Whatever…
I was hoping we’d get to see a Flores post-heat interview, but I think they’ve learned not to stick a mic in his face. Too much of a wildcard.
Anyway, heat eight was boring. Solid contest surfing. Nothing worth rewatching. Maybe Italo’s floater to eat shit into his board. That’s worth a web clip.
Italian Ferrari won. Uncle Wiggly and Alex Ribeiro will need to fight their way out of the losers’ bracket.
Wilson/Ibelli/Muniz saw a dropping swell. Tons of waves ridden. More than a few falls.
Alejo took third with quick whippy surfing that doesn’t have much power behind it.
Julian took third thanks to a fumble on his first scoring wave. Mistimed a backside foam climb, took a lip to the face. He milked the fuck out his last wave, all the way to the beach. Judges didn’t give two shits.
Caio Bella won it with two two turn combos. I’m calling bullshit. I think Wilson’s last wave deserved the half point bump he needed to win. No one was doing anything super critical. Contest surfing all around, in my mind the blonde baby deserved to skip round two.
Andino won the next one. Surfed well. Powerful, quick. One real pretty lay back slash.
Seabass couldn’t make much happen.
Freestone forgot how to surf for half an hour. Tossed out a cool air at the buzzer. Front foot came unstuck during a frontside roter. Should’ve kicked it out a bit. What do you call a that? Frontside 360 slob judo? That’s a mouthful!
In these conditions, head high punchy beach break, you’d expect the Flying Llama to storm the field. Didn’t happen. His 5.97, a wicked slash to flowing finner, looked good. But he couldn’t back it up. Flailed away the rest of the heat.
Kerrzy started off with a sick little tube ride. Type of thing that’d make my decade. But the judges weren’t impressed, and that was all he had. Rest of the heat looked awkward. All his weight on his front foot, out of rhythm. He can do better. Much better.
Davey Cathels took the win, which you really don’t expect when the guy is up against Kerr and Filipe. He was on point, surfed safe but well. Won it easily.
Last heat of the day was ADS/Bourez/Melling. It looked like it’d be easy to surf, but performances through the day kind’ve point to the otherwise. De Souza did what he always does. Dead ball low risk proficiency. Easy win for him.
Bourez and Melling struggled to make something happen. Both tried to surf like ADS. But no one does ADS like ADS. Another kind of boring heat in a swell that was petering out.
Fine way to end the day, not much worth sticking around for. You hope for better. But we all know it could’ve been a hell of a lot worse.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE REMAINING ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 3: Kai Otton (AUS) 11.84, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.83, Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.03
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.57, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.24, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 8.14
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.10, Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.4
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 16.10, Joan Duru (FRA) 15.34, Conner Coffin (USA) 10.74
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.26, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8.33, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.50
Heat 8: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.46, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 9.74, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 8.53
Heat 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.36, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.76, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.10
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.24, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.54, Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.80
Heat 11: Davey Cathels (AUS) 13.60, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.80, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.83
Heat 12: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.00, Adam Melling (AUS) 8.97, Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.90
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 10: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 11: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)