Blood on the tracks
In case you’ve never been, a certain trail down to Lowers leads you across railroad tracks. I crossed those tracks twice today (no I didn’t, police officers who give people tickets for it like twice a year) and watched groups of people neglect every vestige of both common sense and reason by posing for pictures on the tracks. Hell, I even saw one person conduct a full interview on ’em. You know how fast the Amtrak whips around that corner? Thank Cocoa Beach, none of them were struck. But while those people evaded death for what — let’s be honest — is a subpar Instagram post, blood was shed on the other side of the tracks. 12 surfers cleared their desks today. Now only 8 remain. Let’s talk about how that happened, shall we?
We’re still on Round 3?
Yeah. Totally. The day started with 8 heats of the aforementioned round. The swell was still pretty big and clumsy (think: that kid who hits puberty first) for Lowers, but we had our moments. Jordy, Gabriel, Kelly and John John all won and we’ll elaborate on that later. For now, let’s talk…
Adriano de Souza: What is it with the tying lately? ADS and Filipe Toledo found themselves truly knotted today — right down to the individual scores. They both had an 8.77 and 9.70 to their name. Adriano proved that he’s not afraid to do airs and Filipe proved that he never was. De Souza got the score not because he’s older, but because his third wave was a 7.00 compared to Filipe’s 6.83. And did we mention his 18.00 total in Round 5? Still, we’ll miss Toledo so.
Taj Burrow: Taj surfed thrice today. First, he beat Kai Otton in Round 3. Then he did the wildest turn of the event in Round 4, but the judges nodded in Parko’s direction instead. And finally, he made a priority mistake to send himself to France against Slater in Round 5. Shame, he was looking pointy.
Owen Wright: This guy is an animal. And not a shitty animal, like a meerkat or something, but like a fucking elk. Regal as could be. He teed off again and again today, but eventually lost to Adriano in Round 5. Name another 6’13” Australian who looks this good at both Trestles and Teahupo’o. You can’t.
Spare a quarter?
What can 25 cents even get you these days? Not much. But a quarter at a WCT event will get you 5200 points and enough money to buy a new car. So the quarterfinals were decided today. Here are our stars. Pay attention, cars salesmen…
Gabriel Medina: What more can you say about this kid? He has been the best competitive surfer of 2014 by 4 miles. And it ain’t all tactics — it’s all due to his surfing. He retained that consistency today by getting revenge on Carlos Munoz in Round 3, then flooring it past Miguel Pupo and Jordy Smith in Round 4. It’s really starting to smell like a world title year.
John John Florence: His Round 4 heat totally was vulgar. 9.23, 9.63, 9.80 and 9.93 all in half an hour. John’s surfing is the most perfect blend of power and progression we’ve ever seen. Next year’s judging criteria should just read, Do what John John did at Lowers in Round 4 at Lowers and we’ll give you really big scores. We promise. Hey ASP, why don’t you hire me already? Knuckleheads.
Kelly Slater: Kelly had such a Kelly moment today. Twenty second left in his Round 5 heat against Taj. If he loses, his world title hopes are pretty much fried. Taj has priority. Kelly needs a 7.23. Wave comes in. Taj doesn’t go. Kelly gets a 7.27 (rightfully). And of course, he got barreled on the wave before. Why wouldn’t he?
Ace Buchan: Is lovable and underground the most dangerous guy everywhere.
Jordy Smith: Watching him surf Lowers is like watching a brown bear, fresh out of hibernation and grumpy as could be, maul a raccoon just for looking at him the wrong way. Replace claw with cutback and tooth with tail throw and we’re there.
Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson: Anybody protesting the fact that I’m lumping these two into one? No? K good. Both guys surfed like themselves today, which is to say that they surfed like world champs. Just uhh, you know. Cutbacks.
They say that tomorrow
Lace up your Timberlands, kids. A champion shall be declared for both the men and women. And don’t forget sunscreen or hyperbole!
—X-treme Sports Enthusiast Brendan Buckley
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.67 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.44
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.30 def. Nat Young (USA) 15.60
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.60 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.83
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.93
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.17 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.93
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.30 def. Carlos Munoz (BRA) 8.77
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.17 def. Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 13.84
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 16.57 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.83
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.67 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.67
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.70 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.10 (AUS)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.37 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.43
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.03 def. Artiz Aranburu (ESP) 13.70
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.90, Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.70, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.14
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.46, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.00, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.03
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 19.73, Adriano De Souza (BRA) 17.84, Kelly Salter (USA) 11.83,
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.57, Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.44, Owen Wright (AUS) 13.90
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.74 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.07
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.50 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.27
Heat 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 18.00 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.34
Heat 4: Kelly Salter (USA) 15.87 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.83
Hurley Pro at Trestles Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adriano De Souza (BRA)
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
QF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
QF 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)