The day kicked off with round 3 heats. The man on man heats matched up the who’s who of the surfing world. The conditions were big and there was a great deal of water shifting in the lineup. The early heat scores were not big, but if you caught a solid ride you would make it through your heat.
Round 3 was challenging as many guys got caught on the inside and took a pounding. Previous North Shore experience paid off for some as John Florence, Evan Valiere and Jamie O’Brien all moved into the Quarterfinals.
The early heat of the day (round 3) was Owen Wright vs Evan Valiere. Valiere took out Wright, coming from behind late in the heat, with a two-wave total of 16.14 to Wright’s 15.67. Classic battle.
As the competition moved into round 4 (non-elimination heat) with 3-man heats the contest really started to showcase the experience needed to take on Pipeline. Jamie O’Brien took out Kalani Chapman (12.00) and Joel Parkinson (12.06) with a two-wave total of 13.93. Jamie is known to be one of the best Pipeline surfers on the planet right now.
John Florence (17.67) took out Cj Hobgood (5.43) and Kelly Slater (8.50) in this heat with precision tube riding and wave selection. In heat 3 of round 4, Michel Bourez (13.10) beat Evan Valiere (10.84) and Gabriel Medina (8.17). In heat # 4 Kieren Perrow (13.66) took out big wave charger Shane Dorian (11.87) and Taj Burrow (7.83). Round 4 saw some epic Pipe waves ridden… the stuff of future legends.
In round 5, with many contestants facing elimination and huge waves, the ground was laid for some great battles. Joel Parkinson (12.83) in the first heat took out CJ Hobgood (7.74). It was a slow heat, but Joel did what he needed to do to get through. JOB will be waiting.
The heat of this round was Kelly Slater matched up against local charger and Wave of the Winter winner in 2010, Kalani Chapman. Slater started off slow and Chapman got the early lead, but that got Slater’s competitive edge going as he scored a 9.87 scoring wave late in the heat to take the lead for good. Chapman had a great event and showed his Pipeline ability throughout this event. Slater’s 16.80 to Chapman’s 14.63 was a classic battle.
Next up was Evan Valiere vs Taj Burrow. Evan showed why he is one to keep your eye on as he took out Taj with a 16.03 to Taj’s 10.87. Valiere is part of the North Shore underground that has been scoring tube rides all contest. He will be tough to beat.
In the last heat of the day, Shane Dorian was matched against Gabriel Medina who surfed Pipe for the first time within the last 24 hours. Medina took out Dorian with a two-wave total of 9.23 to Dorian’s 2.30. It was a slow heat, but Medina keeps his run alive as he continues to open up eyes around the surf world with his success thus far on tour.
Today brought more big sets and carnage. Everyone took heavy wipeouts today. Josh Kerr took the pounding of the day as he got caught on the inside multiple times and broke a board. We hope he is OK as the doctors were checking him for a concussion after his round 3 heat. Kieren Perrow also left some skin in the lineup.
The man to beat at this point in the contest is John Florence. He has been pulling 10′s out of his pocket and handing them to the judges. He had two heat totals of 19.10 and 17.67 He will be going up against Kelly Slater in the Quarterfinals. This heat will be one to watch as they take the water on the final day of competition.
The Quarterfinals are set:
Joel Parkinson vs Jamie O’Brien
John John Florence vs Kelly Slater
Michel Bourez vs Evan Valiere
Kieren Perrow vs Gabriel Medina
The final day will be epic as this contest has already proven to be one of the best surf events ever . . . stay tuned!
Andy Irons would be stoked on the performances in the water throughout the contest . . . . .
~P. Franklin / Guerrilla Surf — Guerrilla.Surfers@gmail.com