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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 1 June 2018

Gabby Medina was up to his tricks against Jordy Smith, but both are through to the quarters of the Corona Bali Protected presented by Hurley after dreamy 4-6' surf yesterday.

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PADDLE BATTLE: An intense jostle went down between Jordy and Medina. Photo WSL / Cestari

It's halfway on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) with event #5 of 10, and Jordy really needed to come good, which he did, but not after a bit of argy bargy, or make that some brazzo bumping in Heat 3 of Round 4. It was always going to be an intense battle with three of the CT’s most passionate competitors, Gabriel Medina (BRA), Jordy and Jeremy Flores (FRA), who were fightng tooth and nail for a spot in the Quarters.

'When it happened again I thought, okay, let’s go'While Medina and Flores fought for priority, Smith played his own game. He took control of the heat and stayed separate from the others. At the 15-minute mark, Smith engaged in a fiery paddle battle with Medina with the two bumping and splashing in an attempt to gain the all important first go at a wave. In the end, Smith, who is desparate for a good result, took the honours, while Flores finished in second leaving the 2014 WSL Champion Medina to be eliminated in Equal 9th place.

“I knew that those guys were going to peacock pretty hard and battle for priority so I just opted to keep to myself,” Smith said. “The waves are so pumping and clean you can almost get over excited to a lot of it is just staying calm and not over-surfing. That paddle-battle was crazy. He brushed my leg and I thought it was an accident then when it happened again I thought, okay, let’s go. It’s time to catch my breath and get ready for tomorrow.”

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COVERED UP: Lakey Peterson hooks into a clean tube to make the quarters. Photo WSL / Cestari

It was perfect Keramas for women’s Round 3 and men’s Round 4, leaving just eight Quarterfinalists in each division. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) took on Malia Manuel (HAW) and former WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in pumping surf. Fitzgibbons sat deep with priority when the best wave of the day rolled through, and she took a late drop straight into a dredging tube.

After skillfully navigating two deep sections, Fitzgibbons came flying out of the tube and executed two powerful carves. She was rewarded with a near-perfect 9.93 (out of a possible 10), the highest single wave score of the event thus far. This left the two Hawaiian to battle for the second advancing position, with Manuel edging out Moore in a tight and dramatic finish.

Reigning two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) made a mid-heat strategy adjustment during Heat 1 of Round 3 to overcome Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) and Coco Ho (HAW). Wright struggled to complete her turns in the morning glare so opted to sit closer to shore for the hollower insiders. She and Weston-Webb progressed, while Ho was eliminated.

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POWER SURFING: She's a rookie, but Caroline Marks made the quarters. Photo WSL / Cestari

Six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) snuck through her Round 3 heat against fellow Australian Keely Andrew (AUS) and event standout Silvana Lima (BRA). In a slow heat, Jeep Leader Gilmore found the best wave to narrowly overcome Lima, while Andrew was eliminated.

The all-American matchup between current World #2 Lakey Peterson, Sage Erickson, and 2018 CT Rookie Caroline Marks saw Peterson and Marks progress, and Erickson lose out.

The final heat of the day was all-Brazil: 2015 WSL Champion Adriano de Souza, Italo Ferreira and Filipe Toledo. There were tubes, aerials, fireworks, but Ferreira took it with Toledo 2nd. Toledo has now amassed enough points to leapfrog Julian Wilson (AUS) and take the #1 spot on the Jeep Leaderboard, the first time since 2015.

Michel Bourez (PYF) had a ball in his Round 4 heat win over Willian Cardoso (BRA), who advanced 2nd. Jesse Mendes (BRA) was eliminated with equal 9th, the best result of his Rookie season. Bourez threaded tube after tube and had the crowd on their feet with a display of barrel-to-carve combos.

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GRIFFIN AIR: Griffin Colapinto stuck crazy aerials to make the quarters. Photo WSL / Cestari

Wildcard Mikey Wright (AUS) once again vindicated the decision to give him an opportunity at the elite level, booking a spot in the quarters. He trailed CT veteran Adrian Buchan (AUS) and 2018 CT Rookie Griffin Colapinto (USA) for the majority of the heat until he unleashed a series of committed power hacks- to snatch first. Colapinto followed to move into 2nd, which dropped Buchan from the event.

Surfline are calling for: chest-head high to slightly overhead sets through Friday and the weekend. Good winds Friday AM, but problematic on the weekend with an increase of onshore flow. Better AM winds may return next week with similar swell.

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TUCKING IN: Ezekiel Lau pulls into a sweet tube for a clean exit. Photo WSL / Sloane

Corona Bali Protected Women’s Round 3
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.93 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.33, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.57
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.40 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 9.54, Keely Andrew (AUS) 8.50
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.03 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 15.00, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.67
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.93 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.00, Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.83

Corona Bali Protected Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 4
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) 17.00 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 13.60, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.66
Heat 2: Mikey Wright (AUS) 15.80 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 13.73, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.50
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.76 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.70, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.76
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 17.00 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.87, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.16

WCorona Bali Protected Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 2: Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)


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