Filipe Toledo entered the Oi Rio Pro as one of the favorites to pull a win, but those plans were foiled Saturday by a little too much froth on his part. The Brazilian got tangled up in a paddle battle with Kanoa Igarashi in the very early stages of their Round Three match, and he was called for an interference.
When heats start, neither surfer has priority, so old-school paddle battle rules apply, in which the surfer with inside position has the right-of-way. Kanoa and Filipe were both interested in the same wave at the start of the heat, and they both raced to their feet to establish priority,. But Kanoa got down the face faster, forcing Filipe to hang back. But not before Filipe was called for a paddling interference, a penalty that halved his second-highest scoring ride from a 5.67 to a 2.84.
The call took Toledo, who was obviously frustrated, off his game and he struggled in the aftermath. Meanwhile, Igarashi put together enough to get past Toledo, interference or not.