The world title could have been decided today. If Kelly Slater had lost, Mick Fanning would be giggle-drunk off champagne right about now. But he is Kelly Slater, and so he did not lose. He shooed Mitch Crews in Round 3 and won his no-losers heat against Miguel Pupo and Sebastian Zietz. He still needs to win the contest in order to win the title, but the dream stays alive for the old King. On the other side of town, Mick defeated Kaimana Jaquias in Round 3 but lost to John John Florence in the all-winners round. The title will still be all Mick’s if his warpath takes him to the Semis. In order to do that, Mick would have to beat CJ Hobgood in Round 5 and Yadin Nicol in the Quarters — certainly no chumps. It is alleged that the waves will be massive on Saturday, so now you have something to look forward to. You’re welcome.
Bede Durbridge dropped a 9.40 in his Round 3 heat with Nat Young. Then, with just under ten minutes left, he ruptured his eardrum on a Backdoor doggy-door gone awry. Nat was left out the back, searching for a score with nobody to contest him for it. He found it — what a closer.
John John Florence and Gabriel Medina surfed against each other. Two faces of the future, together, at Pipe. Gabe built a house called momentum and put JJF on the ropes. A loss to a rival on his home court? Nah. With a few minutes left, and a big score necessary, John negotiated a Backdoor runner for a 9.83 points. Maybe Rio, Gabe.
Miguel Pupo is officially re-qualified for the 2014 WCT. Cue the Will Smith song.
Yadin Nicol got a 10. After a steep drop at Pipe, Yadin nearly got bucked off twice by zits on the face, but he held it together and got spat out. It was the second perfect score of the event, but we’ve got a hunch there’ll be more come Saturday.