What a difference a day and an incoming tide make. After going on hold for the morning, the ocean looked entirely different when the surfers in Heat 8 paddled out: The size was up, the wind was up, and power, patience and wave selection were the name of the game.
Among the power-house standouts of the day was three-time Bells winner Joel Parkinson (AUS), who cut across the faces "like a hot knife through butter," as Martin Potter put it. Brazilian Miguel Pupo and Glenn "Micro" Hall (IRL) made big backhand pushes of their own, with Pupo coming the closest to taking down Parkinson. Pupo's most impressive wave was a last-ditch effort, in which he made it to the inside, switched to a lefthander and capped it off with a slick air-reverse. His big score was not big enough and it was Parko who earned the advance to Round 3.
The next heat was an all-Aussie showdown among Josh Kerr, Bede Durbidge and Adam Melling that featured a surprise cliffhanger. Going nearly wave-for-wave, Kerr took the lead with a solid 7.90 and a backup 5.17. But the last five minutes proved to be tense: Durbidge scored for a lead change, and Kerr went for a buzzer-beater to snag it back. When numbers came in on the beach, it was Kerr who squeaked by and advanced.
To cheers and whistles from the crowd, the man of the hour, Filipe Toledo (BRA), opened Heat 11 with strong, fluid turns. Coming off his energetic win at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast three weeks prior, he was active in the lineup. But triumph wouldn't come so easily: He had his work cut out for him with fellow Brazilian Jadson Andre and Aussie powerhouse Owen Wright in the mix. Wright, showing off his expert rail game and aggression in heavy waves, charged ahead of the pack with an 8.90, and the other two never caught up.
"I didn't know I had an 8.90 because I couldn't hear anything out there," Wright said afterward. "I was just looking for waves with scoring potential so I was lucky that I got that wave. I've got some new boards made for this event and I found one that feels amazing, I love it."
Not unlike Wright's heat, the men's final battle of the day largely came down to one score, when Julian Wilson (AUS) earned a 7.87 early on with a set of technical turns. Kolohe Andino (USA) came close to catching up, but lost his footing on his final wave and conceded. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) lagged behind them, breaking his board on a final wave that ended the heat.
Catch Round 2 when the action continues. Watch Dawn Patrol at 8:00 a.m. local on the WSL homepage or the WSL app for the next call and more surfing.