Date: Sunday, May 11, 2014
Schedule: Men's Round 3 (Heats 1-12) and Round 4 (Heats 1-4)
Conditions: 4-6 foot (1-2 metre) chunky waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.00
Round 3 of the Billabong Rio Pro featured a barrel shootout between current ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina and veteran Travis Logie. Medina wasted little time in establishing a lead, earning an 8.50 for a deep forehand barrel in the opening minute of the heat.
Medina looked poised for victory when he found another forehand tube for a 6.50, but Logie's patience paid off. With 1:30 remaining on the clock, the South African drove through an incredible forehand barrel, posting a near-perfect 9.50 and a win over the Brazilian favorite.
Logie's 9.50 Barrel
"That was a nice little birthday present at the end," said Logie. "I managed to pull a serious rabbit out of the hat. I don't know how I did that."
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 12.03 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 7.33
With a best-of-the-barrels day starting to solidify, Nat Young took off early in Heat 2, earning midrange scores in the opening five minutes with back-to-back tube rides.
Another quick barrel with a clean cutback finish improved his bottom score to a 5.93 and forced the rookie Mitch Crews to hunt down an excellent score. The Aussie found a couple tight barrels late in the heat but they lacked the needed depth and polished exits.
"It's who's in the right spot at the right time out there," said Young, who advanced to Round 4.
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.97 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 7.63
De Souza struck first, finding a crucial 7.67 that held the Brazilian in the lead throughout the heat. Aranburu took to the face with just minutes remaining, but his 3.70 for two average turns was not enough to surpass De Souza.
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.70 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50
Taking his cue from previous red jerseys, Aussie Julian Wilson took off early, finding back-to-back tubes in the opening five minutes of Heat 4. Kolohe Andino, who had yet to win in Round 3 on Tour this year, then found a tight barrel on his backhand to chip away at the lead.
Ten minutes later, Andino forced the heat's first lead change, dropping into a deep barrel, this time on his forehand, stalling to find complete cover and and a clean exit for an excellent 8.43. Wilson fought back with a long tube ride and stomped out a closing floater for a 7.00 but couldn't find another midrange score to reclaim the lead.
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.33 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90
Thumping barrels continued at Barra Da Tijuca as prodigious Brazilian Filipe Toledo and Australian powerhouse Bede Durbidge took to the water. Durbidge took control of the heat, grabbing rail and sliding through a backhand barrel completed with a hit for a 7.50. Toledo fought back, smashing a 7.23 of his own.
Durbidge took to his forehand next, navigating a throaty right barrel for an 8.83, leaving the sophomore standout Toledo in need of an excellent 9.10. He was unable to find the near-perfect ride and the veteran Durbidge advanced to Round 4.
"It's tough drawing a Brazilian here and I knew Filipe would be doing his airs," said Durbidge. "It's a shootout and I'm glad I got the win."
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.53 def. David Do Carmo (BRA) 10.93
The first half of the heat was quiet, both surfers struggled to find clean exists out of uneven barrels. Going into the final 10 minutes, Slater held a slight lead over the giant killer.
Then came the shootout.
Using his priority, Do Carmo managed to close out a short tube for a 6.33, forcing the first lead change with six minutes left. Slater stalked the lineup and found a deeper barrel, with a cleaner finish for a 6.60.
The heat came down to the final wave: Slater and Do Carmo split the peak but Slater was able to use his veteran experience while Do Carmo's shallow barrel failed to better his situation.
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.36
2012 ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson and Portuguese tiger Tiago Pires took on barreling Barra Da Tijuca next, with Parkinson establishing an early lead compliments of a 5.00. Pires struggled to find a rhythm, logging only two throwaway scores throughout the first 20 minutes of the heat.
The stylish Australian extended his lead when he navigated a throttling backhand barrel, earning an excellent 8.43. Pires fought back, surviving a late drop into a forehand tube for a 5.90. Pires failed to find another substantial score though, confirming Parkinson's commanding Round 3 victory.
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.04
The Hawaiians hit the water in Heat 8 with John John Florence taking on Sebastian Zietz. Florence started quickly, with a keeper on his first wave that came in at 6.67. Zietz wasted no time matching though, sinking into a tight tube for a 7.77.
Seabass improved his standing with a 6.90, coming out of a lengthy barrel that he punctuated with a smooth cutback. Florence struggled to settle in to rhythm in the shifty barrels and with ten minutes left he needed an 8.00 to avoid elimination. He would make six attempts but either did not complete the wave or was simply forced to kick out, accumulating only throwaway scores. Zietz advanced to Round 4, eliminating the 2012 event champion.
â€œIt's been a tough year and I've had some tough draws,"Jordy (Smith) at Bells wasn't easy and John John (Florence) out here wasn't easy either," said Zietz. Hopefully I can keep the ball rolling and make Quarters or better.â€
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
As barreling conditions continued to ignite the thumping beachbreak of Barra Da Tijuca, South African powerhouse Jordy Smith battled Brazilian flyboy Jadson Andre next. Smith struck first, driving through a thick barrel for a 7.60. Andre fought to get on the board, but would log no higher than a high three for more than half of the heat.
A crucial exchanged unfolded with 12 minutes remaining. Andre, who was in need of a midrange 5.00 to overtake the lead, snagged a quick barrel complete with a closeout reentry. Smith quickly answered back on a right, smashing two down-the-line speed turns and finishing with a fins-free snap. The South African's 8.50 score carried him to a convincing win.
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.00 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.17
With pulsing surf continuing at the Billabong Rio Pro, Josh Kerr and Alejo Muniz battled for a spot in Round 4. Neither competitor logged a big scores throughout the first half of the match, with Kerr's midrange 6.17 remaining the heat-high.
Both the Australian and the Brazilian hunted the lineup, but Kerr's heat total of a 10.00 proved enough for the win.
"It was a grindy heat," Kerr said in his post-heat interview. "You can't be everyplace at the same time and it's really a potluck out there."
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90
With racy barrels on offer, the contestants of Heat 11 had difficulty finding the exit point on most tubes.
After midrange success in the first ten minutes, Michel Bourez opened it up, scoring an excellent 8.23 for a long tube ride with a clean exit and a smooth cutback. Adrian Buchan improved his early throwaway score but only to midrange level.
Three times in the final minutes, Ace pulled into a barrel but was unable to escape the closeout pits. Bourez held on to advance.
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.13 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43
Heat 12 was another low-scoring affair. Dion Atkinson posted a keeper score on his opening wave against fellow Aussie and World No. 5 Taj Burrow. Unlike most, Atkinson stuck to his guns and worked vertical snaps and carves on the open face for solid midrange scores.
Burrow, however, tried to do more with less. His risky-barrel strategy looked like it was going to be his undoing until the 10-minute mark. At that point he was able to replace an early throwaway with a 7.43 when he dropped into a deep barrel and held on for a clean exit. Atkinson hunted a few tubes of his own, but had little success. After holding the lead for the first two-thirds of the heat, Atkinson finished just a midrange-score shy of victory.
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 15.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.34, Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.93
The South American jumped out to an early lead, posting a pair of 6.67s. Young answered back, posting a 5.17 and 7.17 of his own, while Logie remained quiet.
A crucial exchange unfolded with six minutes remaining: De Souza picked off the first wave of a set, posting a 6.07 for a modest barrel. Young found a backdoor on the following wave, drove deep through the barrel and punctuated the ride with a clean exit for a heat-high 8.17, giving him the lead and direct advancement to the Quarterfinals.
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.27, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.43, Kelly Slater (USA) 5.30
Bede Durbidge continued to revel in the powerful beachbreak conditions, kicking off his Round 4 campaign with a deep backhand barrel for a near-perfect 9.10. Kolohe Andino got on the board with a solid 7.00 while Kelly Slater was still looking to get started 10 minutes into the heat.
Action throughout the second half of the heat slowed, but the Australian backed up his stunning opener with a 6.10, securing a Quarterfinals berth.
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.53, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.24, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.10
Defending event champion Jordy Smith struck first in Heat 3 against Joel Parkinson and Sebastian Zietz, notching a midrange 6.00. With a strong rip running through the lineup, Parkinson and Zietz struggled to find the barrels on offer before the South African snagged another 5.53, extending his lead.
Despite the challenging conditions, Zietz battled back, driving through a technical barrel for an excellent 8.17. The Hawaiian continued to hunt for barrels, while Parkinson got on the board with a 7.00 of his own. Both Parkinson and Zietz unable to find backup scores though, so Smith's two modest rides still secured a Quarterfinals berth.
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.83, Michel Bourez (PYF) 3.20
The low-scoring affair was a testament to how trying conditions became, with Burrow, Kerr and Bourez all struggling to garner even average scores. Burrow's eventual 9.00 heat total for both a left and a right proved enough for a Quarterfinals berth.
"It was so difficult, it might have been the hardest heat I've ever surfed," said Burrow. "With the waves I got, I didn't think I won."