Following the humiliating loss Toledo has subsequently withdrawn from the event citing an unspecified "illness".
The world of professional surfing has gone into meltdown this afternoon after another embarrassing fail by the reigning, and two-time, world champion Filipe Toledo.
Surfing in the opening round of the Lexus Pipe Pro against Shion Crawford and Samuel Pupo, Filipe Toledo looked uncomfortable in the clean four-to-six-foot waves, scoring a 1.77 total (0.5 and 1.27).
His opponents, meanwhile, jackknifed waves hither and yon. Shion rode one wave for eight points, Pupo found an almost-eight and an almost-six.
Filipe Toledo, who’ll turn twenty-nine, in April is considered unbeatable in waves three feet and under, the Finals Day location of Lower Trestles a gift for the small-wave wizard.
Following his humiliating loss and relegation to the elimination round, Filipe Toledo subsequently withdrew from the event citing an unspecified “illness”.
Surf fans on the WSL’s own live broadcast were unsparing.
“Why is Toledo always sick when the waves have any type of size?”
“World champ? No mushy surf no win.”
“Toledo conveniently unwell. LOL.”
Memes were quickly assembled.
And so on.
More worryingly, in a little under a year, Brazil is going to field Filipe Toledo as part of its two-man team to the Olympics, the surf event being held at Teahupoo.
No Gabriel, no Italo.
Filipe Toledo, as surf fans are often reminded of, is the only surfer to score a zero-point heat there. A moment in 2015 that was subsequently dubbed “A brave act of cowardice.”