After a long delay due to unfavorable conditions, Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro finally got back under way with swell building to chest-high by the end of the day.
As conditions improved, competition intensified. In Heat 7, Kolohe Andino (USA) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) went blow for blow, each surfer upping the ante with each takeoff. Andino eventually broke away, earning an 8.73 for a dramatic layback, a risky move considering he was not wearing a leash. From there he used priority to keep Flores off the next scoring opportunity. In the end, less than a point separated their scorelines in favor of Andino.
"I was planning on surfing my own heat and not worrying about him (Flores) but then I had to because he was surfing so good," said Andino. "Even if I didn't win that heat I would have felt like I surfed my best. I haven't been using a leash in about a week so I was a bit nervous to throw one on so I chose not to today."
Two rookies, Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), advanced into Round 3. Ferreira had Adrian 'Ace' Buchan (AUS) up against the ropes early on in Heat 9. Ferreira maximized the potential of the small, crumbling sets with an aggressive backhand attack and built up a decent heat total with two midrange scores. Ace was chasing a solid backup as time ran out.
"Last year was the best year of my life because of my qualification to the tour," said Ferreira. This is my dream and I'm so stoked to make my first heat and I'm feeling confident. Gabriel is an amazing surfer and is my inspiration in the water. Today the conditions were hard but it was fun."
Dantas found himself in a combination situation late in his heat. But the Brazilian maintained composure, climbing out of the combo and locking in a few vertical snaps for the go-ahead score over Tour vet Kai Otton (AUS).
"I just relaxed and I'm so confident because I've been surfing the last ten days in these waves," said Wiggolly. "I was feeling good and I just wanted to get out there."
Glenn Hall (IRL) upset Tahitian Michel Bourez earlier in the day. Slightly behind for the majority of the heat, Hall strung together multiple maneuvers on a smaller wave, forcing a late lead change. Bourez faltered on a finishing move and was still searching for a midrange score as the final horn sounded.
"I think these lay day are really testing when they're on hold for so long, so I've made a real effort to get down here every morning and have a surf," Hall said. "I've been down here with Wilko (Matt Wilkinson) every day and not been worrying about the call, which has helped. It was a bit of a mistake by Michel to let that wave go, especially because there were so few in the heat. I knew I had to make the most of any wave that I got."
Another standout surfer was Brazilian Filipe Toledo, who unleashed his air game in conditions prime for progressive surfing. Toledo was electric, dominating the lineup and taking to the air multiple times. The Brazilian improved his position in the heat with a last minute 8.20 and secured the win.
"I feel really excited," said Toledo. "I had a couple of mistakes in my first round so this time I tried to relax, breathe and calm down. After I got that first 8 it was all good. I hope to be in the top 5 this year and surfing against Gabriel, Kelly or Mick for the title. It's going to be a good year."