Fiji Pro

Upsets, High Scores in Fiji Pro Round 1

Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Schedule: Round 1 (Heats 1-12)
Conditions: Three-to-four foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Cloudbreak

Round 1

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.90, Kai Otton (AUS) 10.16, Tiago Pires (PRT) 1.57

The opening heat of Fiji Pro competition saw Kai Otton strike first with a few midrange scores at Cloudbreak. Adriano De Souza followed suit, getting on the board as well while Tiago Pires remained quiet throughout the first half of the heat.

While both De Souza and Pires waited patiently for set waves, Otton remained busy, building on his small scores throughout the heat.

De Souza game plan paid off notching a 6.17 and eventually a 5.73 in the dying minutes of the heat, overtaking Otton for the Round 1 win.

Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.83, Brett Simpson (USA) 14.76, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.33

Brett Simpson took an early advantage with a 6.33 for a series of sharp backhand lip cracks, but was quickly overtaken by Billabong Rio Pro champion Michel Bourez who locked in a solid 8.83. Filipe Toledo suffered a slow start, but the young Brazilian can never be counted out as he posted a 6.23 of his own.

Simpson blasted an 8.43 for a combo of top-to-bottom power carves and snaps to momentarily take the lead until Bourez stole back first place for a fast flurry of backhand carves and floats. Bourez's red hot run continues as he skips Round 2 and advances directly into Round 3.

"I feel like I need a lot of waves to have more options and more opportunities," said Bourez. "That happened at Margaret River and Rio and I hope it happens here."

Heat 3: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.33, Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.83, Glenn Hall (AUS) 12.67

Reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning stamped his authority early on during his Round 1 bout against Fredrick Patacchia and Glenn Hall, finding the first set wave of consequence and backhand blasting it to the tune of an excellent 8.60.

Patacchia, however, would not be denied. The ice-crisp Hawaiian goofy-footer built momentum through the early moments of the heat before nailing the first barrel of the day followed by a powerful forehand slash for a 7.93 and the lead.

Fanning was provided opportunity in the final minutes, but Patacchia's dissection of a late set wave for an 8.10 put the nail in the coffin for Fanning's Round 1 campaign and he and Hall will look to survive the elimination Round 2.

Heat 4: Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 12.96, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.23, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.83

Heat 4 got off to a slow start, but Taj Burrow, Adrian Buchan and replacement surfer Mitch Coleborn engaged in an exchange just before the 20 minute mark. Buchan got the best of the three scores due to a variety of forehand hacks for a 6.50.

Coleborn remained consistent, belting the lefthander at Cloudbreak with his signature forehand style for a 6.53 for his second scoring ride, overtaking Buchan for first place.

Burrow and Buchan battled for backup scores, but Coleborn's 6.43 and 6.53 saw him advance directly to Round 3 over the more experienced competition.

"First Round Cloubreak has been good to me so far," Coleborn said. "I feel really at home here, I only just found out that I was in the event, I bailed from Indonesia and after a couple of Lay-Days I made it here in time."

Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.50, Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.00, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 6.97

This heat was a battle of youth verse experience as veteran Joel Parkinson (AUS) took on 2014 Rookie Mitch Crews (AUS) and Fiji Pro Wildcard Wiggolly Dantas (BRA). All three surfers started with scores in the two-to-three point range, but it was Parkinson who opened up with the first solid score, netting a 7.83 for a smooth tube and wrap.

In the end Parkinson's poise prevailed to take the win, despite Crews and Dantas showing flashes of brilliance, they will now have to battle it out in Round 2.

Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.50, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.86, Isei Tokovou (FJI) 4.40

Kelly Slater, four-time Fiji Pro champion, started strong in his Round 1 heat against Jeremy Flores and wildcard Isei Tokovou, connecting a series of sizzling backhand turns for a 7.17.

Flores and Tokovou got on the board with a series of small scores, but the 11-time ASP World Champion strengthened his lead with a backhand barrel for a 7.67.

The Frenchman battled back with a blistering backhand attack of his own, but the veteran's early-round dominance combined with an excellent 8.83 proved enough for a convincing Round 1 win.

Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.44, Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.27, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 7.73

Brazilian superstar Gabriel Medina established an early lead over young American Kolohe Andino and Dream Tour rookie Dion Atkinson, unloading his explosive forehand repertoire on Cloudbreak for a quick 6.17 and 7.27.

Both Andino and Atkinson were unable to collect any major scores, confirming Medina's direct advancement to Round 3.

"It's important to make it through Round 1," Medina said. "It's windy and hard out there, I don't know what my scores were, but I just tried to get two good ones. Last year was tough losing early, but two years ago I had a good result and hopefully I can do well here again."

Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.07, Josh Kerr (AUS) 11.93, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.67

Josh Kerr (AUS) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW) started with a few minor scores while Alejo Muniz (BRA) unloaded some solid snaps to net a 6.50 on his opener.

With only five minutes on the clock Kerr and Zietz both registered their best waves of the heat. Kerr's registered a 7.60, but was narrowly outdone by Zietz's 8-point-ride just before the final siren.

"It's really windy out there," Zietz said. "I thought I was in the spot, but it didn't quite work out at the start. Luckily for me there was a lot of waves in the second half of the heat and I was able to claw my way out."

Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.13, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.70, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 12.10

With the tide dropping out at Cloudbreak, the afternoon conditions provided plenty of barrel opportunities for the Heat 9 clash between Jordy Smith, Miguel Pupo and Aritz Aranburu.

Smith was in vicious form, the big South African packing backhand barrel after backhand barrel and combining his tubes with power carves and turn to the tune of 17.13.

Pupo and Aranburu fought back well with barrel-to-turn combination waves of their own, but were ultimately without answers to Smith's onslaught and will look to regroup in Round 2.

Heat 10: Owen Wright (AUS) 10.77, Nat Young (USA) 10.46, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.00

As the tide continued to drop, Nat Young, Owen Wright and Matt Wilkinson took on challenging Cloudbreak conditions. The battle of the goofy-footers saw Wright notch the first notable score, posting a 6.67.

With inconsistent conditions on hand, a crucial exchange unfolded in the final minutes and Wright's 4.10 proved enough to secure a gritty Round 1 win while Young and Wilkinson's efforts fell just shy of a lead change.

Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.00, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.50, Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.73

Julian Wilson came out swinging locking in a 7.50 and 6.50 in the first 10 minutes of the heat. Bede Durbidge and Jadson Andre also looked sharp, but were unable to put a complete wave together in the early stages of the heat.

Durbidge and Andre both posted some good scores of their own, but were unable to catch-up Wilson's early lead and finished the heat 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) 12.17, Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.77, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.54

The final heat of the day saw improved conditions for John John Florence, C.J. Hobgood and Travis Logie with Florence getting on the board first with a 6.67.

Hobgood and Logie would hunt down some forehand barrels, while Florence attacked the lip with brutal backhand snaps. With just seconds remaining, Hobgood connected an opening carve, to set up for a beautiful forehand barrel but was clipped on the exit. Florence advanced to Round 3.