The storm finally arrived at the J-Bay Open and, in pouring rain, Round 4 saw some of the heaviest heats of the year so far.
After exchanging midrange scores to start, Slater, with 11 Titles, took the lead. But Medina controlled the back half of the heat, stringing a number of progressive maneuvers together on his backhand to earn the win and a direct trip to the Quarterfinals for just the second time this season.
"I knew that was going to be a tough one," he said afterward. "We haven't had a lot of heats together before. I thought the waves were going to be better, but it's pretty tricky out there. It's hard to find the good ones, but luckily I got through.
"I'm stoked to surf against those guys. I've been watching them since I was a little grom and to be competing against them is a dream come true. Last year was amazing to be fighting for the Title against them but it's always good to surf against them."
Three of the four Quarterfinalists decided during Round 4 are Brazilian, capped off by an outstanding performance from injury replacement Alejo Muniz. The former Championship Tour (CT) surfer upset Tour rookie Keanu Asing (HAW) and Michel Bourez (PYF), earning an excellent-range 8.17 in the early stages of the 35-minute heat.
The surfers who finished in second and third places in Round 4 will go on to surf in the sudden-death Round 5.
YELLOW JERSEY WATCH: Even with current Jeep rankings leader Adriano de Souza (BRA) solidifying a spot in the Quarterfinals, the yellow jersey is still up for grabs. Fanning, the defending event champion, and Julian Wilson (AUS) still remain in contention. With Filipe Toledo (BRA) out of competition, if De Souza makes it to the Semis and wins there, he'll hang on to the No. 1 spot heading into the Billabong Pro Tahiti.