The remaining heats of Round 3 at the J-Bay Open belonged to the members of the Brazilian Storm.
Rookie Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) was the first to step up: He faced two-time J-Bay champ Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Heat 5. While Parko earned the highest heat total of the event during Round 2, a combination of spotty sets and Dantas' excellent-range score spelled doom for the Tour veteran, eliminating him from the contest.
Dantas set off a chain reaction for the Brazilian contingent. In the next heat, rankings leader Adriano de Souza (BRA) easily defeated wildcard Dane Reynolds (USA). In Heat 8, meanwhile, reigning World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) scored a near-perfect two-wave total -- 19.07 -- throwing huge airs for three rides in the nine-point range.
"That was a pretty fun heat," said Medina. "The year has been tough for me and it feels good to make this Round 3. Now it's a no-loser round and it's more relaxed -- you can choose your waves and do your thing. I just want to keep going and keep the ball rolling."
The final heat of Round 3 featured two Brazilians -- World No. 2 Filipe Toledo took on Alejo Muniz -- continuing the charge of the Storm but with a new face added to the mix. Despite early heroics from Toledo, who went to the air multiple times for excellent-range scores, Muniz hacked up a larger set-wave for a 9.80, the highest single-wave score for the event so far. Competing in his fourth consecutive CT event this season, this time in place of Jeremy Flores (FRA) who was injured during a recent freesurf in Indo, Muniz has a chance to overtake a number of elite Tour surfers in the overall rankings.
YELLOW JERSEY WATCH: After the eliminations of Taj Burrow (AUS) in Round 2 and Owen Wright (AUS) and Toledo in Round 3, there are only two surfers left to challenge De Souza for the No. 1 spot on the Jeep Leaderboard: Defending J-Bay champion Mick Fanning (AUS) can steal the yellow jersey if he makes the Final. Julian Wilson (AUS), meanwhile, can move into the No. 1 spot if he wins the event.
Tune in Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. local time for the next call and more action. Take waves on the go with the WSL App.