Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Schedule: Round 3 (Heats 5-12), Round 3 (Heats 1-4), Round 5 (Heats 1-4)
Conditions: 5-to-7-foot faces, largest waves up to 8 feet at Lowers
Day 1 Recap
Day 2 Recap
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
Defending event champion Taj Burrow faced off against the most winningest surfer at Trestles, Kelly Slater, for the last Quarterfinal spot. After the restart, Slater capitalized on the first scoring opportunity, flying off the lip for a 5.00 to open his campaign. Burrow managed a giant opening maneuver that gave him the better of the opening exchange. He found himself comfortably in the lead when he belted a seven-point backup score shortly after.
With Trestles firing, Burrow and Slater traded big moves, Slater earning an excellent 8.60. But the Aussie stuck to his powerful, under-the-lip maneuvers, banging out a 7.90 to extend his lead.
After a five minute stalemate, Burrow took off, going rail-to-rail on a long, peeling right. Headed toward the beach right behind him, the 11-time Champ was carving up a similar ride, seamlessly stringing together multiple cutbacks. Burrow improved his scoreline slightly with the better ride of the exchange. With 30 seconds remaining, Slater's Hail Mary -- with included two rotations -- came in at a 7.27, enough for one last lead change and the Quarterfinal berth.
Result: Kelly Slater, 15.87, def. Taj Burrow, 15.83
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Adriano De Souza (BRA)
Adriano De Souza opened big, dropping into a set wave for one of his 9.03. Wright took off next and was looking solid on his backhand, but fell in the foam at the end and creased his board. He went for a gear-change, but lost time in the process, with only a low score so far. Taking advantage of the window, De Souza took off on another solid wave, backing up his nine-pointer with a 4.77.
Once he got back to the lineup, Wright earned a midrange score, for an 8.50 total. De Souza, though, was still on fire. He found another set wave, powering through a bottom turn into a huge floater and drop down to the flats. The wave earned him an 8.93, putting the Aussie in a combo situation, where he needed two new scores with fewer than two minutes left.
"It was a tough day because I competed three times," De Souza said. "I feel so good to make it through to the Quarters but I feel exhausted. During the last two weeks I've been here waiting for this event and I'm really proud of myself to make those heats."
Result: Adriano De Souza, 18.00, def. Owen Wright, 12.34
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Miguel Pupo and Adrian Buchan waited out the leftovers from Heat 1, forcing a restart. Ace opened the heat with a number of strong backhand hacks down a long righthander for a 6.50. Pupo dropped into the bigger wave of the set, attacking the lip to win the opening exchange with an excellent score.
But the Brazilian's advantage was short lived when Buchan found his own excellent score -- an 8.50 -- for matching power with precision on a string of carves on his backhand. After a couple negligible scores, the ocean went quiet with Pupo still in need of a decent backup score. Needing only a low six to earn back the lead, Pupo was kept off the final scoring opportunity when the Australian strategically used his priority.
"My body feels good, my boards feel good," Buchan said. "This wave, no matter what style of surfer you are, you can do some exciting and creative surfing out there. I love watching all ... those guys who have been surfing for a long time."
Result: Adrian Buchan, 15.00, def. Miguel Pupo, 10.27
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Michel Bourez (PYT)
World No. 4 Michel Bourez took first lead, working his powerful turns for a combined 10.77. Jordy Smith, currently No. 14 on the WCT rankings, paddled out needing a result to break his bumpy ride so far this season. But his first few scores were negligible.
It was during the second half of the heat that the South African found a score to help his cause. Driving down a righthander, he earned an 8.17, taking a narrow lead. The surfers were then left to wait out a long lull as the minutes ticked down. Finally, a set arrived and Bourez dropped in. He laid down clean carves up and down the overhead face, drawing lines from top to bottom and closing it out with a quick layback for an 8.07. With less than a minute left Smith answered back on a smaller wave, but showed off his power with some tail drifts and smooth turns. He scored a 7.57 and ousted Bourez from the contest.
Result: Jordy Smith, 15.74, def. Michel Bourez, 15.07
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
After the fireworks of Heat 3, the ocean took a breather as Joel Parkinson, Owen Wright and Taj Burrow waited for the next pulse to arrive. The defending event champ found the first scoring opportunity carving up a right to get on the board. Parko faltered on his opening ride while Wright took the early lead, mastering a number of float sections for a 6.83.
Parko and Burrow found their footing in the back half of the heat but Wright made few mistakes and held the lead, backing up his opener with a seven-pointer. Sitting in last position with under 10 minutes to go, Burrow knew he couldn't play it safe. He went for a huge tail-slide, maintaining his footing for an excellent 8.17 that elevated him to the top of the heat. In the dying moments of the heat, Parkinson made a final effort to bolster his own scoreline. After a discussion among the judges, he earned an 8.27, and took the win.
"It was kind of a shocker," Parkinson said the heat. "I thought I was going to come up short."
Results: Joel Parkinson 14.57 vs. Taj Burrow 14.44 vs. Owen Wright 13.90
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Adriano De Souza opened the heat with a 9.07, setting the bar from the start. Hawaiian John John Florence met the challenge, taking huge vertical turns on a set a wave, wowing the crowd and making it look easy. The ride earned him a 9.63. De Souza added a 7.50 to his scoreline, though, to solidify his spot in front of the pack. At the halfway mark, it was Kelly Slater who was trailing, waiting for his wave and needing two high scores to catch up.
During the second half, De Souza was still leading, upping his scoreline with an 8.77. Slater made some attempts, but fell on a landing and his best score was a 7.00. And then Florence let loose, and the game changed completely. First, there was a 9.10. Then he topped himself, earning a 9.23. But then he did one better: He pulled off a near-perfect 9.93 with a nimble 360. In the dying minute of the heat, Florence pulled off a Gumby-like series of laybacks in the foam, standing up again and again for a crowd that cheered him at the shore. He stole the show and moved on to the Quarters, leaving his opponents to battle again in Round 5.
"The waves are amazing and I was just surfing them the best I could," Florence said. "It's a lot of confidence coming out of a heat with Adriano and Kelly."
Results: John John Florence 19.73 vs. Adriano De Souza 17.84 vs. Kelly Slater 11.83
Heat 2: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Jordy Smith wasted no time establishing himself as a threat. He dropped into the first bomb that came through, stringing together multiple cutbacks and vertical snaps for a 6.33 opener. Gabriel Medina was quick to shut down any notion he would back off his raid at Lowers, winning the opening exchange with a 6.83.
At the midway point, Medina raced down a double-overhead face, transitioning into a fins-free carve for a near-perfect 9.63. Miguel Pupo, who had failed to notch a keeper score throughout the first half of the heat, all of a sudden showed up in a big way. Pupo registered a 9.10 for throwing massive spray on a vertical snap and two powerful float sections but without another significant ride he remained in third position. A final exchange at the 5-minute mark swapped the surfers in second and third but Medina's early heroics carried him directly into the Quarterfinals.
"I knew I was going against Jordy and Miguel," Medina said afterward. "They both surf really well. Jordy, I was watching his heat the other day. After making Round 3, I felt comfortable. I wasn't pressured at all, I wanted to surf. I got a sick one, and a six. I was stoked."
Results: Gabriel Medina 16.46 vs. Miguel Pupo 15.00 vs. Jordy Smith 13.03
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Mich Fanning (AUS)
The first heat saw three formidable competitors face off. 2013 World Champion Mick Fanning opened the action with a quick warmup, but found his feet soon enough and scored a 6.83. Tahitian Michel Bourez packed a few small scores for the middle spot, while Ace Buchan, who came out strong, led the pack.
In the second half, Fanning went for an air-reverseto put himself the lead. As the waves picked up, Fanning took off again on a set wave, pulling out his power-carves for perfect, wrapping turns and quick floaters. Bourez took the same line, powering through bottom turns to throw spray and ride out smoothly.
Fanning's effort earned him a 9.07, while Bourez scored an 8.87. Buchan, trying to catch up, took off on a heavy set wave, but it wasn't enough to help his cause. With the Aussie in the lead, Bourez made a last-ditch effort to break into the lead.In the end, though, Fanning took the win and was headed straight to the Quarters, while Bourez and Buchan headed to the sudden-death Round 5.
"You either win and keep in [the Title race] or you lose and you're out," Fanning said. "You just have to throw everything against the wind. For me, I just gotta win events and that's my goal going into the back end [of the Tour]."
Results: Mick Fanning 15.90 vs. Michel Bourez 15.70 vs. Adrian Buchan 11.14
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
The final heat of Round 3 started slowly, with Joel Parkinson and Aritz Aranburu sat out the back scoreless. As the blew for the restart, the Spaniard took full advantage of Trestles's return to form. An innovative float and layback gave him a solid opening score of 7.50. A solid backup gave him a comfortable lead over the former Champ with 10 minutes gone.
Parko belted his first solid score with clean roundhouse carves but it came in below Aranburu's opener. The Australian's backup score for a series of fins-free maneuvers pulled him into the lead, though, with 10 minutes remaining. The next exchange also gave the nod to Parkinson, who pulled off an 8.50 and left his opponent hunting down an excellent score. The waves subsided and Aranburu will leave Trestles with a 13th place finish.
Asked what it might take to move up in the World Title race, Parkinson said, "Gabriel needs to stumble," said Parkinson. "He's been so exceptional this year, and hasn't looked like he's stumbling at any time. Unless the pressure gets to him, he could run away with it."
Result: Joel Parkinson, 16.03, def. Aritz Aranburu, 13.70
Heat 11: Freddy Patacchia (HAW) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
After a warmup wave, Freddy Patacchia made the most of a medium-sized wave, working to catch up with the re-form and see it through. The ride earned him a 4.83. A long lull kept the Hawaiian in the lead with no new top scores.
At the halfway mark, Owen Wright finally broke out of a slow start with a massive floater that suggested the warmup was over, earning him a 7.50. The Aussie charger's skills, which range from tube riding to new-school maneuvers, earned him two seven-point rides that put him in the lead.
Patacchia, meanwhile, showed off his own skills with a huge turn that threw big spray, followed by a pair of laybacks that scored a 6.50. His next solid wave earned a 6.93, but it wasn't enough to move the needle. In an unusual move, he headed back to shore with more than a minute left, while Wright took a victory ride with a final air for good measure.
"I didn't have a warmup before I went out and I felt it at the beginning," Wright said. I'm glad I pulled off a couple good scores at the end."
Result: Owen Wright, 15.37, def. Freddy Patacchia, 13.43
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
With both surfers in Heat 10 needed a solid finish at Trestles, Taj Burrow and Kai Otton were anxious to get underway in a waning tide. But when sets rolled through they offered big opportunities. Again, the contestants mirrored each other's approaching, carving up tall righthanders with cutbacks and vertical snaps.
Burrow unleashed his power surfing and earned an excellent 8.70. Otton was able to ditch his early throwaway with solid rail-to-rail surfing but still lagged behind his compatriot with less than 10 minutes remaining. Otton over-rotated on the next set while Burrow remained strong and precise, earning a spot in Round 4.
"It's so nice to get the lineup to yourself, I almost get too excited," said Burrow. "During a heat, you have to calm your nerves and pick the big waves."
Result: Taj Burrow, 14.70, def. Kai Otton, 14.10
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
It was a battle of Brazilian aerialists, and the action that unfolded was less about who could get airborne and more about how many times they would. Filipe Toledo's newfound local knowledge was paying off in spades, as he turned the Lowers ramps into perfect launchpads, earning an 8.77 and a 7.90 to take a narrow lead.
Adriano De Souza matched Toledo's 8.77 with a similar ride and tied the score at 16.97 with another perfect air-reverses. In a tied heat, the judges look to the third-highest score. With 60 seconds left, De Souza's highest throwaway, a 7.00, would give him the win over Toledo, whose third score was a 6.83.
"I knew Filipe was going to go for broke, and that's what he did, but at the same time I believe in myself and that really helped," De Souza said. "This board makes me feel good out there and I just felt like I got into a flow."
Result: Adriano De Souza, 16.97 + 7.00, def. Filipe Toledo, 16.97 + 6.83
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Having skipped Round 2, John John Florence wasted no time getting back to work, taking off as the horn sounded to establish himself over C.J. Hobgood. The Floridian found his first significant score at the 17-minute mark, stringing together smooth cutbacks on a glassy left for a 6.83. With Florence taking big risks, he held the lead but only by a small margin.
After a significant lull, Florence looked like he would take a more classic approach until he launched for another air, this time landing it for an excellent 8.90. By the final five minutes of the heat, the Hawaiian had found his rhythm and attacked another righthander with a variety of moves to solidify another heat victory.
"I thought, I've got to be smart and finish my wave," Florence said of his final exit. "It's actually really hard out there right now. ...I used to have so much fun out here as a grom. But I"m finding my feet again, and having fun."
Result: John John Florence, 16.57, def. C.J. Hobgood, 11.83
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 7 was a battle of experience, skills and local knowledge that again pitted local surfer Tanner Gudauskas against Kelly Slater in a rematch of Round 1. While Gudauskas knows Lowers like the back of his hand, Slater has the most event wins here in history, making for a tight matchup that forced both surfers to push the envelope. Slater threw a perfect air-reverse, finishing with a quick tail-tap floater for a 7.67, while Gudauskas displayed a playful attitude on his backhand, showing off his power for a 7.07.
Despite his local knowledge, by the final minutes Gudauskas was trailing by just a fraction of a point. The local took off on a last wave, but dug a rail in and got buried in the foam. When the horn sounded, it was the veteran who still reigned and Gudauskas, the Hurley Pro's other wildcard, was out.
"I know tanner can beat me -- he beat me in the first round -- and I think he's one of the most solid guys on the QS (Qualification Series)," Slater said. "I knew it would be a turn off so I had to throw a couple airs in there. I knew any set with an open face was going to give him a chance."
Result: Kelly Slater, 14.17, def. Tanner Gudauskas, 13.84
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Carlos Munoz (CRI)
In a highly anticipated rematch, World No. 1 Gabriel Medina found himself in the lineup alongside wildcard Carlos Munoz, who had topped him in the opening round. Medina drew first blood, stringing together multiple cutbacks on two long righthanders. Munoz opened his campaign on a soft left and Medina claimed the early lead.
Medina stuck to his game plan, continuing to carve up the rights to slowly widen the gap between himself and the Costa Rican. At mid-heat, Medina had two six-pointers in the bucket and Munoz had yet to better a 3.67.
The Brazilian opened up his forehand game, with laybacks and above-the-lip progression solidifying his dominance through the back half of the heat. Feeling the pressure mounting, Munoz took risks on each ride, but only managed to land one air-reverse for a 5.10. Unable to replace his bottom score, the Cinderella man was eliminated.
"I was pretty nervous," Medina said. "[Munoz] got me in the first one. I was feeling good, even though I lost [in Round 1]. He's a good guy, he surfs so good. I was nervous."
Still, Medina added, "I think I was angry. [People] said I didn't let him get waves. I'm sorry about anything, Carlos."
For his part, Carlos said, "I want to say thank you to everybody for this amazing opportunity. I learned a lot. I know how professional these guys are now. ..[Medina] got on my game. But well done for him. ...All the people hat came out to watch me, thank you."
Result: Gabriel Medina, 13.30, def. Carlos Munoz, 8.77
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
The first heat of the morning saw a clash between two new-schoolers, Jordy Smith and 2013 Hurley Pro runner-up Julian Wilson. Smith kicked off the action with a 5.50. Wilson answered back with a huge launch, but didn't land cleanly. The South African had the early lead with both surfers tallying low-range scores.
With fewer than five minutes on the clock, Wilson was reaching for an 8.34 to catch up. He made the most of a righthander, throwing his tail, wrapping tight turns, and squeezing the life out of it until the closeout. Still, it wasn't enough to put him on top: He earned a 6.10 and went looking for a bigger wave. A keen competitor, Smith used his priority in the final 30 seconds to keep Wilson off a last wave.
"I've lost to Julian every heat the last two years and it was really bumming me out," Smith said. "I just wanted to change everything."
"Just to get one win is pretty exciting," he continued. "I feel like we're top 5 surfers so to meet up in a Round 3 heat is pretty heavy."
Result: Jordy Smith, 12.17, def. Julian Wilson, 9.93