There are numerous variables of emotion in a Championship Tour surfing event, particularly in Round Two. It can be a cruel round of surfing, an at times unfair-feeling elimination. For Jadson Andre every heat at every contest is absolutely critical. He's been struggling to get out of Round Two all season, and at No. 34 on the Jeep Leaderboard, he's battling for Tour survival again (No. 22 is the requalification cutoff). If you've seen Andre's video profile, you know this is his everything.
Kolohe Andino on the other hand, is sitting inside the top 10, and wants nothing else but to get into the top five, and possibly have a sniff around the World Title race.
In Heat 4 of Round Two, Kolohe found himself facing off against a fired-up Jadson in the very perfect Supertubes surf pouring through. Jadson had banked good scores on the back of some backhand cracks and tubes, and Kolohe was chasing hard with his fast and tight surfing.
Then the moment that had the beach buzzing happened. Andino pulled into the barrel at the top and rode it through multiple sections as the wave opened up further on the sandy inside section at Impossibles. He traveled for ages in the tube and it looked like he might exit, until the very end, when a body boarder surfing in the non-competitor's area appeared on the scene and drifted down the wave face next to Kolohe.
That's the negative of surfing a wave too far down the point, and the only downside of sand build-up down at Impossibles. Andino actually surfed into the next wave, the next section. At some stage however, there would be a time when the judges would stop judging. It's the same at the Superbank. For the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast for example, the event venue is Snapper Rocks, not the whole length of the bank.
"It might have made a difference," said beach commentator Greg Emslie. "He was deep, but sometimes when you're this far away it looks deeper than what it actually is, so who knows. If he had come out of the tube, the score would have been different."
Obviously distraught, Andino formally requested a re-surf after losing the heat. It was a long shot, as these situations are rarely overturned, but Commissioner Kieren Perrow gathered his team to look at all the video evidence before weighing in on the matter. Ultimately, the ruling went against Andino. The score would still reflect an incomplete tube, and Jadson kept his win.
"That was a really tough one," said Perrow. "We reviewed the evidence and had a discussion within the Commissioner's Office, and and we're not going to re-surf the heat due to inconclusive video evidence that the boogie-boarder actually impacted the lip of the wave."
It was a major upset. The Brazilian contingent was obviously elated. The immensely popular Jadson was blowing up, including a huge backhand barrel for a 7.97 score. Kolohe accepted the decision with poise, but he was disappointed, and he probably wanted to go down and have a chat with the young body boarder before packing his bags.
Andre, meanwhile, will face John John Florence when Round Three gets going.