Quarterfinalists Decided At Margaret River

All Photos: Corey Wilson

Go ahead, call our bluff
We nearly went all in. Although The Box is a stone’s throw (as long as that stone is being thrown by Peyton Manning) away from the main peak at Margaret River, the notion of the Drug Aware Pro actually running there seemed farfetched. Sure, there was a tent or two set up on the beach there — but it didn’t look like anything that could accommodate much more than the NSSA Regional Championships. But after another red-hot super fantastic Round 4 at mushy Margaret River, the call was made to run Round 5 to The Box — thank ASP Commissioner Kieren Perrow for that. And so the judges gathered their visors, whistles, zinc oxide, pens, pads and all other judge stuff and scurried on over to scaffolding numero dos. But that was only after…

Queen of spades
Because cutbacks aren’t officially a card suit. Like we said: red-hot, super fantastic, any unenthusiastically glowing collection of adjectives you could plug in to describe Margaret River’s lazy morning waves. Still, the gentlemen made the most out of the oatmeal in the no-losers round, specifically…

Bede Durbridge: Bede looked sharp! He flaunted that big, swooping Bede Durbridge carve that we’ve all come to either love or feel lulled by. They didn’t make him surf the heat twice, which was nice.
Gabriel Medina: Just another day filled with chocolate milk and curb-stomping from Gabe. Is he ever going to lose again?
Kelly Slater: Kelly surfed well, but he hasn’t really had one of those holy shit heats in this event. That’s probably a good thing. Doesn’t this guy always talk about peaking in the final?
Nat Young: 2014 Nat Young is a force to be reckoned with, and his surfing once again legitimized that claim — just ask Parko or Adriano de Souza.

Pocket aces
Not to be confused with pocket rides — these guys were getting drained. Round 5 commenced with 35-minute heats at The Box and, suddenly, we were no longer watching cutbacks. Instead, we saw…

Jordy Smith: Jordy starred in the first heat of Round 5 against Miguel Pupo. Neither guy had ever surfed The Box before. While both seemed to have trouble with positioning at first — and Miguel experiencing some issues with falling out of the sky — Jordy seemed to have the wave wired by the end and got a few good scores. Fast learner, no?
Josh Kerr: Kerrzy loves The Box and that reads really, really weird. Kerrzy loves surfing The Box, as does Yadin Nicol. The two blokes squared up at the square peak and Kerrzy backdoored…Forget it. Josh Kerr won the heat, OK?
Joel Parkinson: Happy birthday, dear Joel. Parko was unhappy about surfing Margaret River in Round 4 while The Box was firing, but he got a piece of the pie — or, cake — in Round 5 against Filipe Toledo. Filipe put up a good fight, then Parko got the day’s highest heat total with 16.60 points. The birthday cake was said to have been delicious.
Michel Bourez: Michel beat Adriano de Souza and looked Spartan-smooth in the process. His Polynesian pairs nicely with a good slab.

So, tomorrow…
Will probably be a lay day. Here are the matchups for Sunday, when the competition is most likely going to finish:

Bede Durbidge vs. Jordy Smith
Gabriel Medina vs. Josh Kerr
Kelly Slater vs. Joel Parkinson
Nat Young vs. Michel Bourez

—Brendan Buckley vs. a bottle of red wine