Date: Thursday, June 5, 2014
Schedule: Round 3 (Heats 7-12), Round 4 (Heats 1-4) and Round 5 (Heats 1-4)
Conditions: Three-to-four foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Cloudbreak
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.36 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 9.60
Glenn Hall struck first in the day's opening heat against 2012 ASP World Champion Joel Parkinson, notching a modest 4.67 to start. 10 minutes into the heat, Parko answered back with his stylish backhand approach, taking the lead with a 6.33.
The regular-footer built momentum, connecting a seamless series of turns for a 7.83, placing Hall in need of a near-perfect score to turn the heat. Parkinson finished strong, adding an additional 7.53 for a backand carve-to-tube combo for the Round 3 win.
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 16.17 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 4.03
Florence continued to hunt the barrel, adding an additional 8.50 for a deep backhand tube, placing Zietz in a combination situation at the 20-minute mark.
With Zietz unable to find a rhythm, Florence secured a commanding Round 3 win.
"When I was paddling out I wasn't even thinking about barrels," Florence said. "Then I paddled into my first wave and it had a nice little bowl on it. The same thing happened on my second one. This is one of the best waves in the world from two feet to twenty feet."
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.63 def. Freddy Patacchia Jr (HAW) 15.10
The Hawaiian and the young Brazilian went blow for blow, turn for turn, tube for tube with the lead changing multiple times in an exciting all-goofy footer affair. Both surfers held excellent scores, in the last few minutes Medina stole the lead with a deep tube that saw him leapfrog Patacchia into Round 4.
"Freddy got me in the last one and he's one of the best in these conditions," said Medina. "I knew it was going to be a hard heat and luckily I got through that one."
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 18.63 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.56
The Brazilian went on a backhand tear, Belting a 9.33 and 8.63 for a massive turn combinations, placing Buchan in a combination situation with 10 minutes remaining. De Souza's excellence continued when he drove through a deep barrel complete with a big backhand hack for an additional 9.13.
The regular-footer continued to improve upon his stunning performance, punctuating his highlight reel with a 9.30 while advancing to Round 4.
"I have so much respect for Ace, he won Chopes last year," De Souza. "It doesn't matter what the numbers are, I'm just happy to make the heat. The next heat is different conditions, different strategy so I just need to learn and do my best."
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.07 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.60
The barrels from the last heat seem to have gone missing but Wilson and Andino have been getting the job done with rail whips and cracks. Andino was the the first to register two good scores with a 7.00 and an 8.07, while Wilson held a 7.83 and a throwaway and was hunting a 7.25 for the lead. His chance came with 60 second on the clock and after two solid cracks the wave died out and the win went to Andino.
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.24 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.74
The two natural-footers struggled slightly with timing on their backhands, but Burrow's explosiveness was given the nod over his Portuguese opponent and the West Australian advances through to Round 4.
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 13.83, Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.74, Michel Bourez (PYF) 6.13
Young struck first, snagging a 7.00, backing the ride up with a 6.83. With just seconds remaining, Fanning unloaded a series of turns on his backhand, but fell just shy of the high-seven needed. Young skipped directly to the Quarterfinals.
"I'm already doing better than this event last year so I'm stoked," Young said. "It's always nice to skip Round 5 and move right into the Quarterfinals."
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.00, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.77, Owen Wright (HAW)13.07
The youngest surfer on Tour, Filipe Toledo wasted no time in Round 4, getting two scores on the board before Owen Wright and Kelly Slater even put feet to wax. Wright struck next, starting with two solid turns before racing to the inside for a free-fall closeout crack. Slater then entered the foray with the biggest wave of the heat and a solid series of moves.
Slater proved too strong for his younger counterparts, posting a heat high 8.30 to earn the win and the right to skip Round 5, advance directly into the Quarterfinals.
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.20, John John Florence (HAW) 10.93, Joel Parkinson (AUS)9.83
Heat 2 ended in fireworks, but Heat 3 got off to a slow start, with John John Florence establishing an early lead due to a modest 5.00. Gabriel Medina answered back, launching a big alley-oop followed by a series of frontside hacks for a 7.17 to take the lead while Joel Parkinson waited patiently to get on the board.
Both Florence and Parkinson began to open up, but Medina's rhythm continued to compliment his electric forehand attack. Medina added an 8.03 to his scoreline, leaving the competition in need of near-perfect scores to overcome his efforts while the Brazilian advanced to the Quarterfinals.
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.27, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.14, Taj Burrow (AUS) 11.37
Adriano De Souza opened up first with a flurry of backhand blasts, Kolohe Andino quickly answered back and getting the better of the opening exchange with a 7.17 to De Souza's 6.67. Taj Burrow suffered an uncharacteristic fall on his first decent wave.
Andino answered back with another seven point ride, leaving his older counterparts chasing. De Souza fought back and fell just short, while Burrow appeared to be rattled after his earlier wipeout. Andino moved into Quarterfinals, while Burrow and De Souza get another chance in Round 5.
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 15.90 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 14.86
Mick Fanning got on the board first against Owen Wright while the pair of Australians battled to keep their Fiji Pro hopes alive. Fanning started with a 6.67, but Wright answered back with a big frontside carve followed by a clean barrel for an excellent 8.43 and the lead.
Fanning's experience was apparent, as the 12 year veteran patiently waited for a quality set, executing without hesitation. Fanning earned an excellent 8.27 of his own and the lead over his younger countryman.
With less than five minutes remaining, a crucial exchange unfolded. Wright was in need of a 6.50, but fell shy with a 6.43 while Fanning improved his account with a 7.63 and the heat win.
"Owen was my pick to win this contest so I wasn't happy when I drew him," Fanning said. "I was lucky that I got a few waves and my board stuck to my feet. My eight popped up perfectly and I was able to do a few turns and get a solid score."
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.44 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 8.20
Filipe Toledo struck first, but was only able to amass a 4.17, while Michel Bourez man-handled his first wave to register an 8.27. A 10 minute lull saw Bourez wait a long time for his second wave, which registered in the five-point-range leaving Toledo hunting a nine.
Time ran out for Toledo and he finishes the Fiji Pro in Ninth place while Bourez moves into the Quarterfinals where he'll face Kelly Slater.
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 16.70 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.34
Progressive regular-footers John John Florence and Taj Burrow battled next in a highly anticipated Round 5 matchup with Florence getting the early nod for explosive backhand turns that earned a 6.67 while Burrow answered with a 6.17.
Florence blew the heat open on the next exchange, earning a near-perfect 9.87 for a deep backside barrel finished with a late turn, asserting a commanding lead over the Australian.
Burrow worked to catch Florence's lead, but was unable to break the combination.
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.67 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.10
Both surfers looked sharp on their backhands and were patient with the waves on offer. However, De Souza was able to punctuate slightly better on his turns and won the close-fought heat against his Australian opponent.
QF 1: Nat Young (USA) 14.27 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 7.50
The opening Quarterfinal got off to a slow start, with Nat Young picking off some medium sized waves for a 3.50 and 5.33 while Mick Fanning patiently waited for set waves throughout the first half of the heat.
With just 12 minutes remaining, Fanning finally got on the board, posting a 4.57 to get back in the heat, but the Californian extended his lead, blasting an excellent 8.17 for a series of sizzling forehand turns.
Fanning tried to fight back, but was unable to find waves offering an open face, securing Young's spot in the Semifinals.
QF 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.90
Kelly Slater and Michel Bourez went tit for tat at the start of the matchup, trying to out perform and out position each other. Bourez was the first to register a noteworthy score - 6.00 for a power packed combo of turns and quickly backed that up with a 7.33.
Slater was left with only two and threes and swapped surfboards in the hopes of bridging the score gap. The heat ended with last year's Fiji Pro champion and World No. 1 eliminated with a fifth place finish.
"I was thinking before I came here, getting in to the Quarterfinals would be great," said Bourez. "I thought Kelly (Slater) was going to win it (the event) and I was excited to surf against him in the Quarterfinals. I wish it was a bit bigger, but I'm always happy to win a heat."
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.20 def. John John Florence (HAW) 6.34
Inconsistent conditions continued at Cloudbreak and John John Florence got on the board first, connecting a series of backhand turns against Quarterfinal opponent Gabriel Medina. Medina waited nearly 10 minutes to find his first ride, eventually connecting a series of turns for a 5.50 and the early lead.
Medina found a similar wave with 15 minutes remaining, leaving Florence in need of a modest 6.13 for the lead. The Brazilian's rhythm continued, adding a 7.37 while securing a Semifinals berth.
QF 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 18.36 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 17.07
Coming off a career-best runner-up finish in Brazil, the momentum was definitely with Andino this afternoon and the young natural-footer put together an excellent 18.36 out of a possible 20 for a flurry of backhand blasts.
De Souza battled back with an impressive assault of his own, but was ultimately left wanting as time run out. Equal 5th for De Souza and another Semifinals berth for Andino.