Fiji Pro

Fiji Pro Day 2 Culminates in Cloudbreak Barrels

Date: Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Schedule: Round 2 (Heats 1-12) & Round 3 (Heats 1-6 of 12)
Conditions: Three-to-four foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Cloudbreak

Round 2

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.00 vs. Isei Tokovou (FJI) 4.43

The opening heat of Round 2 got off to a slow start, with Taj Burrow holding a slim lead over local wildcard Isei Tokovou throughout the first 10 minutes of the heat with just a 3.00 as the only wave ridden. Inconsistent conditions continued and Tokovou opened his own campaign with two backhand cracks for a 3.43.

Burrow quickly answered back, taking off deep on a set. Burrow opened with utility, floating the first two sections, eventually unloading two big tail-throws for a 7.50 and the lead over the Fijian. The Australian extended his lead with a 5.50, leaving Tokovou in need of a near-perfect score to finish.

"I've known Isei for years and I know he's dangerious especially in the big surf," Burrow said. "It was an inconsistent heat, I felt a little lost. I didn't mind surfing in Round 2, I needed some more time in the water out there to try out my boards. It's one of the best event on Tour and I really want to do well."

Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.43 def. Wiggolly Dantas (AUS) 11.60

Both Mick Fanning and Wiggolly Dantas opened their accounts with identical scores, earning 5.83 for contrasting styles. Dantas backed that up with a 4.43 to take an early lead.

With only 10 minutes on the clock Fanning answered back with the best wave of the heat, earning a 6.60 for a string of sharp snaps and carves, but left the door open for Dantas as he fell on his last turn. Dantas waited, but a perhaps too long as time wound down leaving Fanning to finish the heat in 1st place.

Heat 3: Glenn Hall (AUS) 11.76 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.97

Clean conditions prevailed for Heat 3 of Round 2 as versatile Australian Josh Kerr took on wildcard and returning-from-injury Glenn Hall.

Hall's forehand proved precise and dangerous with the goofy-footer selecting the superior waves and dissecting them with speed, power and flow.

Kerr's backhand was in character form, but his wave selection didn't offer the scoring opportunity needed. Kerr receives an Equal 25th while Hall advances to Round 3.

Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 14.67 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 11.17

Californians Nat Young and Brett Simpson took on high-performance Cloudbreak conditions next, with Young's aggressive forehand attack against Simpson's polished backhand approach.

Young got the best of the opening exchange, combining powerful railwork for a 7.50 while Simpson's first ride fell at a 5.17. The regular-footer temporarily overtook the lead compliments of a small backup, but Young quickly surpassed his compatriot with a two-turn 5.23.

The Santa Cruz standout lengthened his lead, combining a critical snap, huge frontside carve and a closeout reentry, earning a 7.17 for his efforts and the Round 2 win.

"I was excited to get put there and surf another heat," Young said. "It's not always great to be in Round 2 but I'm stoked to get out there today, the surf is a little better than yesterday. I got a 9th here last year and I want to do better than that here this year."

Heat 5: Tiago Pires (PRT) 13.87 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 7.40

CJ Hobgood started off with a long dredging tube ride, but was unable to find an exit after traveling a fair distance down the reef. Tiago Pires was also looking sharp, but struggled to find a wave that would allow him to open up in the early stages.

Pires pounced at the 20 minute mark, unloaded multiple trademark power hacks to amass a 7.77 and lock in the lead. With seven minutes on the clock the 2001 ASP World Champion was left chasing a score that never came. Pires caused the first upset of the day, eliminating one of the most consistent performers at the Fiji Pro.

Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.37 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 14.20

Australian regular-footers Bede Durbidge and Dion Atkinson clashed next and Durbidge established an early lead with a series of seamless backhand combinations for a 6.67 and 4.43.

While Atkinson collected a series of smaller scores, Durbidge extended his lead his due to a series of vertical snaps for a 7.70.

In need of an excellent 8.67, Atkinson battled back, detonating three big backside hacks with just minutes remaining. The rookie's score landed at an 8.50, just shy of the score needed to advance to Round 3.

Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.10 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.93

Compatriots and Hurley teammates Miguel Pupo and Alejo Muniz squared off in Heat 7 of Round 2 and improving conditions at Cloudbreak provided ample opportunity for both surfers to perform upon.

Pupo's forehand dominance was in full flight as the young Brazilian blasted the rippable lefthanders, blending stylish carves with aggressive top turns.

Muniz answered back with some excellent waves of his own, but struggled with timing at the outset, but would eventually find his footing to scored some solid rides and take the win.

Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.70 def. Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.83

Following the fireworks of Heat 7, American Kolohe Andino and Basque talent Aritz Aranburu got off to a slow start, trading small scores throughout the first half of the heat.

Andino established a lead following the 15 minute mark, notching a 5.83 for the lead. A crucial exchange unfolded in the final minutes of the heat, with both Aranburu and Andino catching clean Cloudbreak sets. Aranburu's backhand combinations earned a 6.10 while the Californian improved on his situation, smashing a 6.87 for the win.

Heat 9: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.10 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.10

The all-Australian, all goofy-footer battle was off to an explosive start with both Matt Wilkinson and Kai Otton exchanging powerful and progressive turns on reeling left hand runners.

Otton was given the nod from the judges, scoring two rides in the seven-point-range, while Wilkinson answered back late in the heat, he still fell short and was forced to settle for second.

Heat 10: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.50

Brazilians Filipe Toledo and Jadson Andre took to the water next, with the goofy-footed Andre getting the best of the opening exchange over regular-footed Toledo.

Andre furthered his lead compliments of some forehand flare, adding a 6.83 to his scoreline, extending the lead over his younger compatriot.

With just two minutes remaining, Toledo attacked a midsize runner, combining a series of backhand snaps for a 6.67 and the heat lead. Andre answered back in the final minute in what appeared to be a gutless wave. The wave would stand up on the inside reef, allowing Andre to punish the lip with a variety of forehand hacks, but his 5.63 fell shy of the score needed.

Heat 11: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.10 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.96

Goofy-footed veterans Adrian Buchan and Travis Logie took on building swell and onshore conditions, forcing the two to rely on their rail game rather than the barrel as the round continued.

Buchan came out of the gates firing, combining committed maneuvers on the biggest sets for a 6.67 and 7.43. Logie answered back when he belted a 7.33 of his own, but the Australian held on for the win.

"Fiji is a wave that I feel really compfortable in," Buchan said. "Travis had some good scores at the end and it was close so it's good to get the win there and move on. I haven't had the best start to the year so every heat counts right now."

Heat 12: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.53 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.70

Jeremy Flores hit the scoreboard first, notching a pair of six-point-rides in the opening minutes. Mitch Crews opened up with a couple of smaller scores, but hit back with a 5.83 to put himself back in the game.

Flores then stroked into a bomb wave and was equal to the challenge, drawing deep bottom turns matched by vertical snaps to register an 8.43 and a solid lead. Crews fought hard, but fell short and was eliminated.

Round 3

Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)

Mick Fanning wasted little time in asserting his dominance over Alejo Muniz in Round 3, belting a 5.00 and excellent 8.93 for a solid backhand barrel complete with a committing reentry.

A lull forced little scoring opportunity following Fanning's electric opener, with both competitors remaining quiet throughout the majority of the heat.

Fanning eventually extended his lead. The three-time ASP World Champion took off deep on a set-wave, driving around the opening section to connect a huge opening turn with a second additional snap for a 6.17 and a spot in Round 4.

Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 16.33 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 13.20

As the tide continued to drop, Cloudbreak began to deliver the iconic barrels it's known for while Nat Young and Kai Otton battled for a spot in Round 4.

Both goofy-footers remained quiet throughout the first half of the heat, but Young drove through a solid barrel complete with a committed forehand hack for an excellent 8.93 a commanding lead.

While Otton displayed his full forehand repertoire, Young continued to hunt the tube, adding an additional 7.40 for a double-barrel across the point at Cloudbreak on his way to a Round 3 win.

Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Michel Bourez pounced and posted a 6.00 in the first minute of the Round 3 bout against Flores, who conversely suffered a broken board on his first wave which became a theme for the heat. Bourez gets unbelievably barreled, Flores can't find the exit.

Bourez then shut the door on his fellow French speaking surfer with a massive 9.50 after he muscled his way through two deep tubes on one wave, he backed that up with an 9.20 for another epic tube. Flores finishes the event with an equal 17th place finish.

Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.70 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.43

Heat 4 of Round 3 provided the "David vs. Goliath" match-up of the day with the big South AfricanJordy Smith taking on fleet-footed Brazilian Filipe Toledo.

Smith got off to a quick start, throwing his powerful frame into a a flurry of backhand blasts. Toledo hunted the barrel early on with little success before securing set waves of his own and assaulting them with speed, versatility and progression to take the win late in the affair.

Heat 5: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.16 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.93

Australian powerhouses Owen Wright and Bede Durbidge reveled in the ideal afternoon Cloudbreak conditions, with Durbidge establishing an early lead due to a series of ferocious backhand snaps for a 6.17 and 8.43.

Wright got off to a slower start with a 6.83, but eventually locked into one of the best waves of the day. The goofy-footer unloaded a big forehand carve that set him up for a deep barrel ride that was rewarded with a near-perfect 9.33. With seconds remaining, Durbidge belted another wave, but his 7.50 fell shy of the score needed to surpass Wright.

Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 16.33 def. 9.43 Mitch Coleborn (AUS)

Kelly Slater struck first in the clash of the four time-reigning event champion verse wildcard Mitch Coleborn. Slater jammed a massive turn, tucked into a tube and finished with a floater to score a 7.83. Coleborn hit back with a deep tube to earn a 5.33.

Slater then backed up his opener with a solid 8.50 courtesy of a long Cloudbreak barrel and left Coleborn in a combination situation. Coleborn battled hard, but couldn't match Slater and had to settle for a 3rd Round exit as Slater advanced into Round 4.