Date: Sunday, April 6, 2014
Schedule: Round 3 (Heats 1-12) of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
Conditions: Four-to-Six foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Main Break.
View the Official's Assessment
Round 3 Highlight: Big airs and a bit of controversy
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.00 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.70
Following Women's Semifinals competition, local hero Taj Burrow would fece off against fellow Australian Bed Durbidge.
Durbidge would strike first, notching a midrange score, with Burrow quickly answering back. Both Durbidge and Burrow would struggle to find a rhythm, as the choppy onshore conditions would buck both athletes off of potentially high scoring set waves.
While Durbidge would have to change equipment due to a fin break, his scores of 7.50 and 6.50 would prove enough to upset the Western Australian, dashing Burrow's chances of a local win while securing Durbidge's first Round 4 berth of the season.
NOTE: This heat would be re-surfed due to an incident where Burrow's hand would snag Durbidge's leash while paddling for a wave with priority, causing Burrow to go over the falls on a crucial set wave that could have potentially changed the outcome of the heat.
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.23 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 6.23
Heat 2 would see a regular vs. goofy battle, with flyboy Josh Kerr against technical wizard Ace Buchan.
Kerr would strike first with a series of carves on his forehand, while Buchan would answer with a backhand attack. Both surfers would garner only low scores to open their campaigns, but Kerr's next ride would consist of a committed air reverse on the outside followed by an array of frontside turns, leaving Buchan in search of scores through the remainder of the heat.
Kerr would advance to Round 4.
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) def. Adam Melling (AUS)
Jordy Smith and Adam Melling would hold through a sluggish start to their Round 3 heat, in a battle that would eventually come down to two crucial exchanges.
Smith would get the best of Melling on both accounts, with the South African powerhouse detonating a 7.83 for a seering two-turn combination while Melling would drop a 7.50 for three solid turns and a complete ride. Smith's backup would notch a 5 point backup, while Melling's final wave offered minimal scoring potential.
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.34 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 9.67
Heat 4 would see a scrappy battle between goofy-footers Miguel Pupo and C.J. Hobgood. Both the American and the Brazilian would struggle to find substantial scores throughout the affair, with neither competitor able to log higher than a 4 throughout the majority of the affair.
With just two minutes remaining in the heat, Pupo would get the best of a crucial exchange, earning a 6.67 to Hobgood's 5.67, securing a heat win and a spot in Round 4.
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.44 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.00
Following Carissa Moore's win over Tyler Wright, a next-generation battle would unfold, with current ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina up against prodigious Hawaiian John John Florence on the rights at Main Break.
Medina would strike first with a series of backhand blast for a 7.67 and quickly finding a 5-point backup ride to solidify an early lead. Florence would answer back, decimating a Margaret River canvas of his own with a series of turns and big forehand air for an 8.50.
Medina would further his lead, however, belting a backhand snap to air-reverse combo for an 8.77, securing a victory over Florence and a Round 4 berth.
Heat 6 : Yadin Nicol (AUS) 16.94 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 9.83
Following the fireworks of the Medina, Florence battle, Yadin Nicol would deliver a mind-blowing performance, upsetting reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning.
Fanning would strike first with a low 4.33, but Nicol would unload a blitzkreig on the Main Break rights, posting the day's high scores. The Western Australian would launch a massive, full rotation aerial on his first maneuver followed by a series of frontside bashes for a 9.77. The score would add on to his previous 7-point ride, leaving Fanning in search of a combinations of scores throughout the second half of the affair.
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.56 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.47
Heat 7 would see a relatively low-scoring affair between 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater and Jadson Andre.
Slater would strike first with his venomous forehand attack, locking a 5 and 6 in to his scoreline. Andre would answer back with a five of his own and would find a wave in the dying seconds in need of a 7, but would fall shy of the score. Slater's efforts would secure a Round 4 berth.
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.87 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 9.70
Powerful Tahitian Michel Bourez would take on veteran goofy-footer Kai Otton next with south winds continuing to flow at Main Break. Bourez would set the pace first and lead the bout from start to finish.
Bourez would stick to his rail game, notching a pair of sixes out of the gate, but Otton was unable to answer Bourez's scores in the challenging conditions.
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.00
Heat 9 would host a battle between progressive regular footers Filipe Toledo and Julian Wilson in a heat that would see one standout wave from each competitor combined with a series of small backups.
Wilson would strike first, delivering a series of precise forehand blows, establishing a lead via a 7.17. The young Brazilian would answer back, however, unloading a massive forehand gouge followed by a full rotation air for a 8.00, overtaking Wilson for the heat win.
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 12.26 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.03
ASP Dream Tour Sophomores Nat Young and Sebastian Zietz would face off in Round 3, with Young's explosive backhand against Zietz's forehand attack.
Young would strike first, notching a 5.93 and 6.33 to set out to an early lead. Zietz would answer, logging a 5.50 and 5.53, but was unable to overtake Young.
Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 11.40
Heat 11 would see a contrast in styles, with lanky Australian goofy-footer Owen Wright against compact Brazilian regular-footer Adriano de Souza. De Souza would waste little time in his attack, catching waves throughout the opening minutes of the heat to put a few midrange scores on the board.
Wright would utilize incredible patience, waiting for more than half the heat to establish his strike in an attempt to overtake De Souza. The Australian would need nearly an 8 point ride with just seconds remaining in the heat, but fell just shy of the score needed. De Souza's passionate opening attack would prove enough for a Round 4 berth.
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.50 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.23
Australian veteran Joel Parkinson would take on American up-and-comer Kolohe Andino in Heat 12 and the veteran would immediately assert his dominance, lodging a 6.00 and 8.50 on his first to rides to lodge a healthy lead between himself and Andino.
Parkinson's opening two rides would maintain in his scoreline throughout the heat's entirety, while Andino failed to find a rhythm in the 30 minute affair.
Heat 1 Re-Surf: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.20 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.90
Following an unfortunate incident where Taj Burrow would become entangled in Bede Durbidge's leash while paddling for a potentially heat-changing wave, event officials organized a re-surf to Heat 1 Round 3 competition following Heat 12.
Burrow would come out of the gates firing in an attempt to secure his place in Round 4, detonating a 7.33 and 7.60 with his signature forehand flare. While Durbidge had a 6.60 in his scoreline, he was in need of an excellent score in the final minutes of the affair. Durbidge would deliver, detonating an incredible 8.60 for a series of powerful forehang gouges, surpassing Burrow for the lead in a place in Round 4.