Mon, 3 June 2019

Replacement Caio Ibelli took down big guns Kelly Slater and Jordy Smith at Margaret River, while an on-fire Lakey Peterson killed title rival Stephanie Gilmore in the quarters.

Smith KELL8831_MRP19_Cestari

FRACTIONS: Jordy Smith lost out on a semis berth by a fraction of a point. Photo WSL / Cestari

After eliminating two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) on Saturday, the injury replacement for Adriano de Souza (BRA) in the first four events continued his upset streak by beating 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in Round 4. Ibelli missed out on 2019 full-time CT qualification with an injury that occurred at Margaret River last year. The full-time CT wildcard went to Slater, giving Ibelli extra motivation in their matchup.

The Brazilian then faced Jordy Smith (ZAF) in Quarterfinal 2. An extremely close heat saw Ibelli advance with only two-hundredths of a point separating the high-scoring heat. Smith’s 15.24 two-wave total included a critical air-reverse for an 8.07 but narrowly missed the mark over Ibelli’s two 7-point rides.

“There was so much going on in that heat,” Ibelli said. “I stepped on an urchin, I was getting hit by sea lice, cut my foot on the reef, so I was just trying to regroup the whole time. When I saw that wave coming, I knew what I wanted and then Jordy (Smith) went on the first wave and I got the best one out the back. I’m feeling so good and staying calm here. At the other events this year, I put so much pressure on myself but this event I’m just letting everything happen naturally and trying to control everything. I’m stoked to have a rematch with John John (Florence) and am really excited for the Semifinals.”

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FIRE AND ICE: Lakey Peterson was in imperious form to oust title rival Gilmore. Photo WSL / Cestari

The fourth stop on the Championship Tour is down to its final four women - Lakey Peterson (USA), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Carissa Moore (HAW), and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) - and final four men - John John Florence (HAW), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), and Julian Wilson (AUS) - after 4-6' surf at Main Break.

Lakey Peterson (USA) unleashed the performance of 2019 season with the highest two-wave total of the year, a near-perfect 18.83 in Quarterfinal 4. She eliminated seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in Equal 5th place. Peterson advances to the Semifinals where she matches up with Carissa Moore (HAW).

“The win was really satisfying,” Peterson said. “Steph (Gilmore) and I had the Title race last year and every time we meet up in heats she beats me. Going into that heat just I was like, ‘I’m done losing to her.’ Steph is such a phenomenal surfer and I feel like this year she is surfing better than ever, so even when I scored my first nine, I was still scared because she could always get an 8.5 or something. That one felt really good and was definitely good for my confidence, so I’m stoked. I love competing with Steph as she always brings the best out in me. I’m really happy to be doing well here at Margaret River.”

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KING SLAYER: Caio Ibelli took down Kelly Slater and sneaked past Jordy Smith. Photo WSL / Cestari

In a rematch of their Quarterfinal heat at last week’s Corona Bali Protected, three-time WSL Champion Moore took on 2019 CT Rookie Brisa Hennessy (CRI) for a spot in the Semifinals. The rookie clinched the last-minute win at Keramas, but Moore got redemption at Main Break. Hennessy leaves with a 5th place result, while Moore continues her hunt for a third event title heading into Finals Day.

2017 event winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) eliminated current World #2 Caroline Marks (USA) in Quarterfinal 2. After an uncharacteristically slow start to the 2019 CT season, Brasilian Title hopeful Weston-Webb guaranteed her best result of the year after taking down former Margaret River Pro winner Courtney Conlogue (USA) in the opening Quarterfinal. Weston-Webb thrived in the powerful conditions, unleashing her trademark backside re-entries to overcome to current World #3.

John John Florence (HAW), 2017 event winner and current World #1, commanded the Main Break lineup with big victories over Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in the Round of 16 and Italo Ferreira (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. Florence scored three excellent rides throughout the day, including his 9.23 (out of a possible 10) to beat Ferreira. Florence took the Jeep Leader Jersey off of Ferreira after Bells Beach and continues to add the pressure to the Brasilian’s World Title campaign.

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BEST IN BLUE: Sally Fitzbibbons ended young Caroline Marks' remarkable run. Photo WSL / Cestari

Heat 3 of the Quarterfinals saw 2019 CT Rookie Seth Moniz (HAW) take on former Margaret River Pro runner-up Kolohe Andino (USA) as the wind dropped and conditions began to turn on at Main Break. Currently sitting in 5th place on the rankings, Andino is positioned to make a big jump up the Jeep Leaderboard with a solid result in Margaret River.

A shark was observed adjacent the contest zoneThe pair had to wait for their opportunity as the competition was placed on a temporary hold while a shark was observed adjacent the contest zone. Once the shark was confirmed to be moving west and away from the lineup, while being monitored closely by the safety drone and jet skis, the competition resumed. Andino went into overdrive, taking down Moniz and moving on to Finals Day where he will take on Julian Wilson (AUS) in Semifinal 2.

The last heat of the day saw the last two Aussie males left in the draw, Wilson and Ryan Callinan (AUS), go head-to-head in idyllic Western Australian conditions. The pair went back and forth attempting to outdo each other, but Wilson finished with the upper hand as he continues to search for a breakthrough result in 2019. For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

Margaret River Pro Men’s Round of 16 (Round 4)
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.74 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 12.14
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.67 DEF. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.40
Heat 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.50 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.26
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.77
Heat 5: Seth Moniz (HAW) 14.20 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 9.97
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.26 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.73
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.27 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.70
Heat 8: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.57 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.07

Margaret River Pro Men’s Quarterfinal
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.73 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.36
QF 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.26 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.25
QF 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.90 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 13.34
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.40 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.60

Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Matchups
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
SF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)

Margaret River Pro Women’s Quarterfinal
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.26 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.10
QF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 14.40
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.84 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 8.50
QF 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 18.83 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.16

Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Matchups
SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

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