Meet Your 2014 Fiji Pro Semifinalists

posted by / ASP, Photos / June 5, 2014

Bula from the tower crew! Let's get the day started.

Bula from the tower crew! Let's get the day started.

Parko, parking it while GoPro guy anthony Walsh trys to sneek one more before the comp starts.

Parko, parking it while GoPro guy anthony Walsh trys to sneek one more before the comp starts.

Glen Hall gave it hell.

Glen Hall gave it hell.

Johnathan setting up a tube.

Johnathan setting up a tube.

Another narrow loss for Freddy P but this wave was a nugget.

Another narrow loss for Freddy P but this wave was a nugget.

The rivalry between Tavarua and Namotu has been pretty quiet until this heat sparked some friction between photog boats. Gabriel Medina at the end of today was the last man standing on that little Namotu.

The rivalry between Tavarua and Namotu has been pretty quiet until this heat sparked some friction between photog boats. Gabriel Medina at the end of today was the last man standing on that little Namotu.

Nat Young throwing a shout out to Bure 14.

Nat Young throwing a shout out to Bure 14.

Kelly brought his daughter to Fiji for her 18th birthday. Oh and that's Jon Roseman driving the ski. He's a boss.

Kelly brought his daughter to Fiji for her 18th birthday. Oh and that's Jon Roseman driving the ski. He's a boss.

Most used manuever of the event has got to be the floater. Filipe Toledo, fitting in.

Most used manuever of the event has got to be the floater. Filipe Toledo, fitting in.

Can you do airs at Cloudbreak? Gabriel Medina says yes during the lightest window of wind so far.

Can you do airs at Cloudbreak? Gabriel Medina says yes during the lightest window of wind so far.

Johnathan with signature pose numero dos.

Johnathan with signature pose numero dos.

The only guy rocking short-john spring suits since the 90's. Owen Wright.

The only guy rocking short-john spring suits since the 90's. Owen Wright.

Mick throws a fan.

Mick throws a fan.

We didn't have any good surf photos of Taj but here he is about to drop in on a pretty looking wave.

We didn't have any good surf photos of Taj but here he is about to drop in on a pretty looking wave.

Floater again? Yes! And probably the longest of the event so far from Joel Parko.

Floater again? Yes! And probably the longest of the event so far from Joel Parko.

Nat Young is tucked in, but he ins’t so cozy — Nat’s up against good friend and current world title candidate Michel Bourez in the Semifinals.

Nat Young is tucked in, but he ins’t so cozy — Nat’s up against good friend and current world title candidate Michel Bourez in the Semifinals.

Something seemed off for Cloudbreak Jesus in his quarter final matchup with Michel Bourez. Had he stuck this turn, things may be different.

Something seemed off for Cloudbreak Jesus in his quarter final matchup with Michel Bourez. Had he stuck this turn, things may be different.

When you're on fire, you're on fire. Michel Bourez is on fire.

When you're on fire, you're on fire. Michel Bourez is on fire.

That feeling when you beat Kelly Slater, priceless.

That feeling when you beat Kelly Slater, priceless.

Seriously? Yep.

Seriously? Yep.

Competitors pushed each other up the point to what we started calling "Montana Reef" and let these insiders drain off for the mind-surfers.

Competitors pushed each other up the point to what we started calling "Montana Reef" and let these insiders drain off for the mind-surfers.

Note: Kolohe Andino is in the fucking zone.

Note: Kolohe Andino is in the fucking zone.

The Johnny Manziel zone that is. Show this kid the money!

The Johnny Manziel zone that is. Show this kid the money!

Adriano needing a 9.8 and had he made it a few more yards, he might've had it.

Adriano needing a 9.8 and had he made it a few more yards, he might've had it.

#teamtavarua enjoying the best place on earth.

#teamtavarua enjoying the best place on earth.


All Photos: Jimmicane

Here today, gone…today
Two days ago, there were 36 surfers thirsting for champagne at the 2014 Fiji Pro. And after today, there are only 4. It was a marathon day at Cloudbreak. 18 heats ran and 14 hopefuls booked early, unhappy flights home. It all buzzed by at a blurring speed — we’d almost forgotten about Joel Parkinson’s Round 3 win over Glenn Hall in the first heat of the morning by the time Kolohe Andino was roasting Adriano de Souza in the afternoon’s last Quarter. It was the kind of pace that would make Usain Bolt blush. Usain wasn’t there today, though. Word is he’ll show up for the finals. Because if one thing’s for sure, it’s that there will be quite a few empty bures on Tavarua and Namotu.

The biggest losers
Like we said, 18 heats sent 14 people home. It was a mass exodus, a big day to be a boardbag. Some guys deserved the door. Others didn’t. The others include…

Freddy Patacchia: Freddy P. almost out-goofyfooted Gabriel Medina in Round 3. But instead, he lost 15.63 to 15.10 heat that could have went either way. Fred’s still got the flame and it’ll be interesting to see what he sets on fire at J-Bay.
Kelly Slater: 2014 is many things, but it is not the year of Kelly Slater. Things just seem off for Kelly this year. After losing to Michel Bourez in the Quarters, the king now holds a pair of 3rds and a trio of 5ths in this 2014 season — nothing too royal about that. Although, colorless consistency did win a title for Mick last year…
Adriano de Souza: If you don’t like Adriano, stop. Just stop. The guy plays with more heart than anyone on tour and always keeps things interesting. He kept everyone glued in the heat of the day against Kolohe Andino, losing with a 17.07 score that would have won any other Quarterfinal heat. You keep on trucking, ADS.
John John Florence: John John vs Gabriel heats are the cat’s pajamas. They bring out the best in each other, like the perfect couple. Today, John John stuck airs (remember, we’re at Cloudbreak) in an attempt to beat Gabe. Only problem was that Gabriel tried airs too, and landed them, and has a greater desire to win. He often feeds into that desire…

No country for old men
At 28-years-old, Michel Bourez is the oldest 2014 Fiji Pro’s oldest semifinalist. How good does that feel? Between Michel, Nat Young, Kolohe Andino and Gabriel Medina, the semifinal’s average age clocks in at a lean 22.5. No Kelly, no Parko, no Mick, no Joel, no Ian Cairns — just a breeze of fresh air. Now let’s talk about who’s blowing in the wind…

Nat Young: Nat Young didn’t beat defending world champion Mick Fanning once today. He beat him twice. First in Round 4, then in the Quarters. Nat couldn’t look more comfortable on tour right now. He looks like he’s always expecting to win. Like any loss would be some sort of tragic mishap. And that’s what we call the mindset of a champion.
Michel Bourez: The Spartan was the best surfer in the event yesterday. Today, he didn’t reproduce that nothing-can-go-wrong heat, but he still looked sharp. Sharp enough to beat Filipe Toledo. Sharp enough to beat Kelly Slater. Sharp enough to set up a Semifinal clash with Nat Young, which shouldn’t be too big a deal. After all, it’s only a heat against once of your closest friends with the weight of world title contention bearing down on your shoulders for the first time in your career. Let’s see how Mich handles that, shall we?
Gabriel Medina: Remember after the first event of the year, when everyone was all horny about a possible Gabriel Medina world title? Well, he’s whispering in our ears again and is one event win away from lighting a few candles and blasting Barry White’s greatest hits. He beat John John twice today, convincingly so. But before you take your pants off, remember that he first needs to beat…
Kolohe Andino: Yesterday, we said that Kolohe Andino had an opportunity to make a statement against Julian Wilson in Round 3. And he did. Then he made a statement against Adriano de Souza and Taj Burrow in Round 4. Then he made another statement against Adriano in the Quarters, with the event’s best heat score of 18.36 points. So what else does the Rio Pro runner-up have to say? We’re all ears.

They say that tomorrow…\
They’ll try to run the 3 remaining heats before island fever settles in. But with an iffy swell forecast, it’s the ocean’s decision and not the ASP’s.

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  • Ben

    Nice to see a shake up… but you’re fooling yourself if you don’t think that Kelly is in the driver’s seat. The only guy on tour who could easily win every remaining event, especially if there’s swell. He’s getting fifths from braille alone.

  • matt obrien

    not to mention he has zero throw-aways. a 5th is a keeper. bring on J-Bay!!! go nat go kolohe. then go kolohe!