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Round Three At Sunset Beach

Everything’s beginning to feel just a little bit more substantial – the waves, the boards, and of course, the consequences. The Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach has the reputation to bring out the brute in competitors, and this year’s event has been no exception. Today’s Round 3 competition saw lumpy seas and large, stubborn surf – not the most appetizing dish that Sunset’s served up this waiting period. But what may have appeared as gloomy obstacles to some, offered glistening opportunities for others. The results reflected just the type of slot-machine outcomes that these conditions are known to produce – so let’s dive into a few.

Jack Robinson won his heat. But he didn’t just win his heat, he won his heat against two CT’ers and a 2016 hopeful. Wiggolly, Seabass, and Conner Coffin all fell victim to the maturity that’s come to Jack’s surfing as of late. There’s a spot on tour waiting for young Robbo in 2017, he just has to go and get it.

Although Conner lost to Jack, he squeaked through in second – one round closer to making the main stage in 2016.

Jack Freestone got a perfect 10. The first one of the event, and the first of the 2015 Triple Crown. Surprised? You shouldn’t be – Jack’s a big boy now. 2016 tour, don’t let this stallion catch you on your heels, he’s comin’ in hot.

Dane Reynolds beat Mick Fanning. Just say it in your head. Actually, say it out loud. Feels werid, huh? Maybe all of those days surfing chunky, wind-blown C-Street are finally paying off? Or maybe Dane’s just a naturally gifted surfer who, contrary to popular belief, enjoys a win every now and then. Yea, let’s go with that one.

Michel Bourez looks dangerous, again. Back to back wins at Sunset Beach is like getting struck by lightning twice, but the second time was while raising your arms in celebration after winning the lottery. I.e. it’s pretty f–kin hard to do. But if anyone can pull it off, it’s Michel – a man who couldn’t care less about statistical feats and just wants to perform.

The forecast looks promising over the next few days, with 6 ft. + surf Thursday and Friday, and a hefty swell (maybe too hefty) on tap for the weekend. The finish will be a wild one, buttered in all kinds of implications – so tune in tomorrow as there’s a strong possibility the event will be called on, and check back here for more updates. -Dayton Silva