Double-overhead conditions set the stage for big performances in the first five heats of Round 2 of the Fiji Pro.
The day's biggest upset arrived in Heat 3, when Dane Reynolds (USA), an event wildcard, eliminated Josh Kerr (AUS), World No. 4, after an intense back-and-forth. Reynolds, who's known for his outstanding freesurf clips, was able to make critical turns for an 8.17 that ultimately tipped the scales and saw him advance.
Up next was arguably the most anticipated heat of the day, featuring Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jay Davies (AUS). Slater made a statement out of the gate with a flawless, deep barrel for an 8.77 to start, and kept the wildcard comboed for most of their matchup. He upped the bar again in the back end of the heat, threading through two barrel sections on a single wave for a near-perfect score.
"I'm trying to get a little bit of that Florida mojo back," said Slater. "I was so focused on the chops that were two feet ahead of me on and that last wave was a tough one to get along with."
Yellow Jersey Watch: With their Round 2 victories, Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) have moved even further ahead of the pack. Now, only Mick Fanning (AUS) can catch them and he will need to make the Final to do so. It's winner-take-all between De Souza and Toledo -- whoever finishes in higher place here will be No. 1, and wear the yellow jersey in J-Bay.
Competition was called off for the day after winds kicked up. Round 2 will continue with Heat 6, Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA). Tune in to Dawn Patrol LIVE Sunday, June 14 at 7:30 a.m. local (Saturday, June 13 at 12:30 pm/PT).