Filipe Toledo (BRA), 20, has won the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal over tour rookie Italo Ferreira (BRA), 20, this afternoon in an amazing final contested in solid six foot surf at the iconic Supertubos in Peniche.
Stop No. 10 on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT), the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal delivered substantial upsets in the WSL Title race and high-drama scenarios with local wildcards and new generation athletes reaching finals day in front of capacity crowds.
Toledo started his final with a bang, claiming the event’s second perfect 10 point ride for a combination of two aerial maneuvers and transitional floaters to launch his assault towards a third event title this season. In a combination situation halfway through the Final, Ferreira took his air game to the next level and launched into a huge aerial for a near-perfect 9.93 that put him right back into the battle for first place.
Toledo kept building momentum and confidence and improved on his back-up score with another two-airs combination to increase his lead over Ferreira, ultimately clinching the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal title. With a third victory this season, Toledo climbs up to second on the Jeep Leaderboard, only 200 points behind current WSL No.1 Mick Fanning (AUS).
“I have no words, I’m just so stoked,” Toledo said. “I had a crazy two-weeks here, I hurt my back right when I got here after France. France was such a bummer for me, but it made me think about everything and put my mind in the right place and now the results are showing. The Final to me is the best heat, I don’t have anything to lose and I just go for it.”
One of the most in-form surfers throughout this whole event, Ferreira fell just short of a first ever CT victory in the final against Toledo, but proved to be extremely consistent in the various conditions on offer in Peniche. Current leader in the Rookie of the Year race, Ferreira nets a career-high result and vaults up to 6th on the Jeep Leaderboard in his inaugural season amongst the World’s Best surfers.
“I just want to thank God for the amazing moments, and thank everyone who showed up here,” Ferreira said. “I can’t believe I just made my first final, I’m so happy. I’m super excited to go to Hawaii and am going to do my best there.”
Brett Simpson (USA), 30, equalled his career-best result with a 3rd place in Peniche, defeated by event winner Toledo in their Semifinal bout. Simpson had a solid campaign in Portugal, defeating giant killer Frederico Morais (PRT) for his spot in the semis among other big performances. This result will propel Simpson to 26th on the CT rankings, giving the Californian a shot at requalification in Hawaii.
“I think just getting through some heats was a big confidence boost, maybe especially that first one with Parko (Joel Parkinson) where I was behind,” Simpson said. “It’s pretty fatiguing surfing these conditions day in and day out. I physically felt great and my surfing has been there for a while, I just wasn’t making a lot of those close heats. I’m super happy with this result. I will probably need a huge result in Hawaii to re-qualify, but at least with this event I’ve given myself a chance and I’m excited about that.”
In a re-match of last year’s World Junior Championship final, local wildcard Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), 20, took on Ferreira in the semifinals, but this time Ferreira was on a roll and Ribeiro couldn’t find the waves he needed to overtake the Brazilian. Ribeiro’s path to the semis was exemplary, having defeated Jeremy Flores (FRA), Michel Bourez (PYF) and Adriano De Souza (BRA) on his way to an equal third for his first time competing at the highest level.
“It’s amazing, you can’t be sad with a semis result in your first CT ever,” Ribeiro said. “I want to thank everyone who came here to support us and thanks Moche for the opportunity. This for me was just a taste of what the CT is, this is where I want to be. There are a couple more events to go this season and I hope I can keep the ball rolling.”
Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), 21, had a mathematical shot at leaving Portugal with the Yellow Jersey had he won the event, but his Peniche campaign was halted in the quarterfinals by a lethal Ferreira. With an equal 5th today, Medina jumps up to No. 4 on the Jeep leaderboard and will be a strong contender when the World Title race resumes at Pipeline next month.
“Conditions were tricky and I couldn’t find the right waves,” Medina explained. “I can’t wait to go to Hawaii, I’ll be surfing in the Triple Crown too. Like I said I wasn’t thinking about the World Title, but to be back in the race feels great. I’m heading home now and will train and do a QS at my home break to get ready.”
Frederico Morais (PRT), 23, saw his Portugal dream run stopped for a mere 0.08 in his quarterfinal matchup against Simpson. Despite the frustration of losing in difficult conditions, Morais looked back at an amazing event in Peniche, and this learning experience might see the current QS No.55 carry momentum into the all-important Hawaiian leg of events coming up.
“It’s been an incredible event for me, a fifth place is just unbelievable, especially considering as a wildcard I had to go against the very best surfers in the rankings,” Morais stated. “I’m stoked with the way I surfed and the maturity I displayed competing against those guys. I will definitely get a huge confidence boost from this, but the QS are very different events, and contested in different conditions. I’m keen to hit the water again, next time will be in Brazil and I’ll see how I go there. I can’t wait to be on the CT full-time, it’s definitely my dream and I’m working hard towards it, hopefully it will come sooner than later.”
Following the completion of the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal, the World Title Race heads to Pipeline, Hawaii for the final stop in the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Billabong Pipe Masters from December 8-20. Heading into Pipe, six athletes remain in a mathematical position to clinch the coveted WSL Title with the following scenarios:
* If Mick Fanning finishes 25th/13th
Owen Wright & Julian Wilson will need a 1st;
Gabriel Medina will need a 3rd or better;
Adriano de Souza will need a 9th or better;
Filipe Toledo will need a 13th or better to clinch the World Title;
* If Fanning finishes 9th
Medina will need a 1st;
De Souza will need a 5th;
Toledo will need a 9th;
* If Fanning finishes 5th
Medina will need a 1st;
De Souza will need a 3rd;
Toledo will need a 5th;
* If Fanning finishes 3rd
De Souza will need a 2nd;
Toledo will need a 3rd;
* If Fanning finishes 2nd
De Souza will need a 1st;
Toledo will need a 1st;
If Mick wins the event he will clinch the World Title.
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 5 Results:
Heat 3: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 10.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 9.77
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.26 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 5.30
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.73 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.67
QF 2: Brett Simpson (USA) 10.54 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.46
QF 3: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 13.34 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.17
QF 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 18.27 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.83
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.60 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 12.94
SF 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.37 def. Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 9.10
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:
1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.83
2 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 17.13
WSL Men’s Top10 (after Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 49,900 pts
2. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 49,700 pts
3. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 49,450 pts
4. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 45,530 pts
5. Owen Wright (AUS) 43,600 pts
6. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 41,600 pts
7. Julian Wilson (AUS) 41,450 pts
8. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 37,700 pts
9. Kelly Slater (USA) 34,150 pts
10. Nat Young (USA) 33,200 pts
This weekend is the 2015 NMBS Billabong Championship Contest/Closed event. The Opens and Masters will surf on Saturday and the groms and Juniors on Sunday. Billabong is sponsoring the event and there will be awesome prizes for all 4 finalists in each age division.
You must be an affiliated member of NMBS to enter. If you affiliate this weekend, your affiliation will be for the 2016 calendar year. Affiliation is R200 and R50 for each division one enters. You can go onto the NMBS web page and enter on line for this weekend’s event. www.nelsonmandelabaysurfriders.co.za
Saturday 30 October, roving venue.
Meet at Pipe at 8am. U20 boys, U20 Girls, Open Men, Ladies, Masters, Grand Masters, Kahunas and Vets.
Sunday 1st November – Pipe, meet at 8am for registration
U10, U12 Boys and Girls, U14 Boys and Girls, U16 Boys and Girls, U18 Boys and Girls.
Friday 6th November – Prize Giving and AGM 6pm at the Boardwalk Hotel.
Ps Not all 2014 trophies have been returned. Please return these to either Etienne in J Bay by tomorrow evening or to Surf Centre or get them to Shirley.
A clean swell that built consistently over the day delivered high-quality waves at Supertubos on Sunday to resume the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal. The event is Stop No. 10 on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT).
A marathon day of excellent surf witnessed Portuguese Wildcards Frederico Morais and Vasco Ribeiro producing stellar performances.
Giant-slayer Frederico Morais (PRT), 23, produced yet another huge upset today by eliminating current Jeep Leaderboard frontrunner Mick Fanning (AUS), 34. Morais launched his assault in the opening minutes of their exchange with a near-perfect 9.13, displaying his signature forehand power carves and combination snaps to top it off. The talented natural footer backed up his top score to take the biggest win of his young career.
“It’s amazing to win with good scores against Mick Fanning -- I’m super stoked,” an emotional Morais said. “Any surfer here would have been a tough competitor, but I’m feeling really good and I have nothing to lose. I just wanted to show how I surf. ”
Morais later went on to win his non-elimination Round 4 heat to reach the quarterfinals in Peniche.
Despite multiple efforts to get back in the lead, Fanning’s Portuguese campaign ended as the three-time WSL Champion could not find the waves he required.
“I was fighting for the inside and thought the set was done, but when I turned around, Frederico was on a dreamboat. He got that 9 and backed it up right away with a couple of 6s,” Fanning stated. “I needed close to 16 points before I even stood up; but I put everything into it and I can’t be disappointed about that.”
Inspired by his countryman’s heroics, reigning World Junior Champion Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), 20, went on to defeat current WSL No.2 Adriano De Souza (BRA) in the very next heat. Backed up against the wall, Ribeiro found a way to score an excellent 8.43 to seal the deal.
Unable to capitalize on Fanning’s early exit in Peniche, De Souza will need a big result in Hawaii for a shot at his first World Title.
“I feel like I left Vasco by himself for just a second because I saw a wave coming; he stayed in the same spot and earned an 8 on a left,” De Souza reflected. “I think he deserved to win. It’s a bummer for me, but at least I’ll have another shot at Pipe.”
Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), 21, advanced into the fourth round of competition, courtesy of a huge backhand full rotation on the buzzer against former QS surfer Caio Ibelli (BRA), 22. Ibelli applied pressure on Medina with a 9.77 in the dying moments of the heat, but the World Champion was non-plussed and went on to launch a massive aerial to take the win.
“I feel blessed to get that last wave, I was asking God for one more opportunity and luckily I got one,” Medina said. “Today was a crazy day with the losses of Adriano and Mick, but I’m not thinking World Title, I just want to do good as always. The way I’ve been surfing lately is working for me and I don’t want to add any pressure, I just want to have fun.”
Brazil’s Filipe Toledo (BRA), 20, solidified his outstanding 2015 with an inspiring performance for a spot in the quarterfinals. The current WSL No.6 -- who has won two events this season already -- showed his predilection for progressive aerial maneuvers, delivering multiple big scores to defeat wildcard Mason Ho (HAW), 27, in Round 3 and dominate his Round 4 match-up.
“I woke up this morning feeling like something good was going to happen,” Toledo said. “I was super confident, my boards were feeling good and I just put my head in the right place and everything worked out for me. It’s been a great year for me, and I’ve been having a lot of fun surfing.”
Current WSL No.9 Jeremy Flores (FRA), 27, collected one of the day’s highest combined heat totals, an impressive 17.26 including a near-perfect 9.43 on a long right-hander which the young Frenchman dismantled from start to finish. Flores’ crisp carves on the open face coincided with the perfect tide that pushed glassy five foot walls through the lineup.
“I felt like I was getting better wave after wave, and finally everything came together for me,” Flores said. “It was a crazy day and shows that the level of European’s surfing is getting stronger. Frederico and Vasco surfed amazing and today they beat the two current best surfers in the world. I’m not taking anything away from Mick and Adriano either --they’re champions and I’m sure they’ll come back with a great show at Pipe.”
Kolohe Andino (USA), 21, has been leading the charge at the latest major QS events in Europe and carried that momentum into the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal. The young Californian proved lethal in the clean shoulder-high surf, mixing powerful snaps and aerials to force Bede Durbidge (AUS), 32, out of competition. Andino went on to clinch the first perfect 10 point ride of the event in an amazing Round 4 matchup before sunset.
“I over-surfed one wave and I was pretty mad at myself because my solid surfing is good enough to make it through most heats,” Andino said. “I’m stoked to win one over Bede because he’s such a great surfer and it’s been a good event for me so far. I’m leading the QS so that takes a bit of pressure off for these last two events. But I want to prove I can requalify through the CT, and this will improve my seeding for next year.”
With the eliminations of Caio Ibelli (BRA) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW) today, Andino officially claimed the Portuguese Waves Series - Cascais Trophy, and the US$25,000 prize money bonus, rewarding his consistency throughout the Portuguese leg of events in Azores, Cascais and now Peniche.
“I’m stoked, it’s always fun to win,” Andino added. “Luckily I won in Cascais and made it pretty hard for the other guys. It’s cool that they put this on, it kind of forces CT surfers to enter the QS10,000 which is great for the level.”
Brett Simpson (USA), 30, eliminated 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 43, in Round 3 with a solid display of powerful and progressive surfing to reach the fourth round for the first time this season. Simpson found his rhythm early on and managed to keep his opponent off of the best waves to control the matchup and take an important win.
“I wanted to make sure I got a decent start and tried not to let Kelly do his thing,” Simpson said. “Fortunately, with two decent rides and priority, I was able to control the heat. I don’t do that enough -- this was more of a strategic win. Obviously Kelly is the best ever and I really enjoy surfing against him. I haven’t made it to Round 4 this year, but I keep surfing and having fun -- the surf stoke is there!”
Nat Young (USA), 24, was the first surfer to achieve a score greater than 9, with a 9.07 for a series of under-the-lip snaps on an overhead bomb this morning. The 2013 WSL Rookie of the Year, Young had an excellent start on the Australian leg this season, followed by a series of inconsistent finishes, and will be looking to advance through a few more rounds when competition recommences.
“Lately, Sebastian (Zietz) has been surfing really well, so I just wanted to go out there and give myself opportunities,” Young said. “I felt like I was surfing well, I just needed to get on those waves. I can land airs, but not as consistently as other people so I wanted to be in a good position before going to the air.”
Up first when the event resumes will be Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Keanu Asing (HAW) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) at the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Surfline, official forecasters for the World Surf League, are calling for:
Old WNW swell lingers into Sunday AM before reinforcing WNW swell filters in during the afternoon. WNW swell continues into early Monday before fading. Solid swell for Tuesday and Wednesday but onshore winds are expected. WNW swell eases on Thursday before more swell shows for Friday and Saturday but local winds are expected to remain problematic for Supertubos.
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 2 Results:
Heat 8: C.J Hobgood (USA) 12.43 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 6.17
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.00 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 7.70
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.90 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.43
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.43 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.47
Heat 12: Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.17 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.83
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.70 def. Mason Ho (HAW) 2.76
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.06 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.43
Heat 3: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.54 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.06
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 16.67 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.17
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.60
Heat 6: Frederico Morais (PRT) 16.03 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40
Heat 7: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.36 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.80
Heat 8: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.43 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.16
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.26 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 12.47
Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.17 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.84
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.17 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.10
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.67 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.87
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.00, Kolohe Andino (USA) 18.00, Brett Simpson (USA) 17.57
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.96, Nat Young (USA) 14.50, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.43
Remaining Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Keanu Asing (HAW), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Gabriel Medina (BRA)
By Sandy Coffey
"Wow! What a contest. To all those who surfed in the EP Open, to all those who helped, to all those who watched - thank you. We had our best ever comp. Record numbers, lots of new faces, plenty of juniors - so cool to see. Thanks to Billabong and Grant Beck, Brett Hoppe and the Boardwalk, and Benn Koppen Beer, for sponsoring prizes, to the Boardroom for providing a wonderful venue for our prize giving, and to our judges, Kia Fenton, Issy, Luqmaan, Pete and Cuan for keeping it real. Was such a great day in the sun."
The Results of our EP Open 2015 are as follows
Surfers Surfer Award - Voted by surfers - Craig Cuff (R1000)
Droppin In award - Lippie (Boardwalk Voucher for two nights)
Most Improved - Mia Baard (Dakine Hamper)
Loud Mouth - Kye Macgregor (Billabong Hamper)
Most Stylish - Alfonso Peters (Billabong Hamper)
Spirit Award - Andy Radford (Benn Koppen Beer/Boardwalk Voucher for two nights)
All images Sandy Coffey - click for full size, cos the Gallery view tends to crop the tops off.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 21, reigning WSL Champion, and Tyler Wright (AUS), 21, have emerged victorious this afternoon, claiming the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France respectively, in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 - 2 metre) waves at Culs Nus.
Stop No. 9 on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France, delivered a week’s worth of the world’s best surfing, with the WSL elite and the classic Autumn conditions combining for a high-performance surfing extravaganza.
Medina, who claimed his maiden CT victory in France in 2011, was dominant throughout the 35-minute Final, blasting the clean righthanders with speed, power and progression to post a 17.50 out of a possible 20 and claim an emphatic win. The victory sees Medina move up two places to fifth on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“It feels so good, I’ve been trying so hard this year. I’m so stoked, my board felt really good and everything went my way,” Medina said. “I’m really glad to be back on the podium and especially for a win. I’m stoked to be back in France, which has always been good to me. I promised myself I would win an event this year for my grandfather who passed away a couple of months ago. ”
Durbidge, whose form throughout the 2015 Quiksilver Pro France was undeniable, found himself out of rhythm in the final heat of the event, finishing Runner-Up for the second time this season. Durbidge’s French performance moves him to 10th in the world heading into Portugal.
“I had some really good heats, but the final was just one-sided, Gaby was on every good wave,” Durbidge said. “It was just one of those heats that you don’t want to have again. But I have to just look at the positives, it’s another podium finish and I’m right there for a win, I’ll try to bring it home next time. I love Portugal and have done well there in the past so I look forward to that.”
Despite an exciting opening heat this morning in which he posted massive scores, Julian Wilson (AUS), 26, was stopped in the Semifinals, lacking opportunities to perform. However, Wilson’s equal third in France provides another excellent result for the Queenslander this season, moving him to 4th on the WSL Jeep Rankings.
“It was a really good event, we had some nice conditions, France delivered again,” Wilson said. “I love coming here, it’s always throwing different conditions and you’re always changing boards for airs, barrels, turns. You get to do it all so I think it’s a super exciting part about surfing this event.”
In an all-Brazilian Semifinal matchup, Adriano De Souza (BRA), 28, seemed in control up until Medina posted his second perfect 10 point ride of the event to turn the table in the dying moments. With a third place under the belt in France, De Souza solidifies second position on the Jeep Leaderboard, well within striking distance of Fanning when the title race resumes in Portugal next week.
“Always a pleasure to surf against Gabriel (Medina) but frustrating to lose in challenging conditions,” De Souza said. “Semifinals is another good result though and I’m excited about the next stop in Portugal. I always feel comfortable there and hopefully we get good waves.”
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1- Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.50
2- Bede Durbidge (AUS) 9.44
ROXY PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1- Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.10
2- Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.93
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.73 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.84
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.67 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.50
ROXY PRO FRANCE SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 6.87 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 4.43
SF 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.27 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 3.83
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.00 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 9.00
QF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.10 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.57
QF 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 15.37 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.83
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.43 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.10
WSL Men’s Top 10 (after Quiksilver Pro France):
1. Mick Fanning (AUS) 49,900 pts
2. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 49,450 pts
3. Owen Wright (AUS) 43,600 pts
4. Julian Wilson (AUS) 41,450 pts
5. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 40,650 pts
6. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 40,200 pts
7. Kelly Slater (USA) 34,150 pts
8. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 34,100 pts
9. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 33,000 pts
10. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 31,200 pts
The Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France, Stop No. 9 on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), ran in pumping conditions, deciding the men’s and women’s Quarterfinalists at Culs Nus. Huge crowds gathered on the water’s edge to witness an epic day of mind-blowing performances from the world’s best surfers.
Gabriel Medina (BRA), 21, reigning WSL Champion, blew up in his non-elimination Round 4 matchup and posted the men’s event first perfect 10 point ride for a no-grab stratospheric full-rotation. Medina then turned to maximum-risks vertical backhand hooks to back it up with a couple of 9 point rides and put his opponents in a combination situation. The 2011 Quiksilver Pro France winner, Medina looked unstoppable in the pumping conditions and will look to go all the way and post his first event win of 2015 when the competition resumes.
“It felt like I was free surfing, surf against Wilko and Owen we’ve been doing this for a long time as we always stay in the same house as a team. It was sick, I had a lot of fun,” Medina said. “This might have been the biggest air I’ve ever done. It feels good to be in the quarters. I’ve had a couple of losses early this season and I’m surfing more relaxed now, not thinking about World Titles and just enjoying.”
The high-flying Brazilian will be joined by defending event champion John John Florence (HAW) in a much anticipated superheat when the event resumes.
Julian Wilson (AUS), 26, current WSL No. 5, dominated his Round 4 bout to put an end to a series of unlikely 13th place finishes in Tahiti and Trestles. Wilson fired up and entertained the capacity crowds with aerial maneuvers and carves on the glassy canvas conditions provided.
“The waves are fun, the tide just turned before our heat and gradually as our heat went on the waves got a better shape to them,” Wilson stated. “The medium ones are definitely the best, but even on those big sets if you know it’s going to reform with a big section in the inside, you can roll the dice under priority, there was lots of opportunities out there.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), 34, three-time WSL Champion, marched through Round 4 to get one step closer to an unprecedented fifth event title in France, as the current Jeep Rankings Leader unleashed his signature power carves to rack up two excellent scores. Fanning did not let yesterday’s close call against wildcard Huscenot hinder his momentum and looked lethal in the rippable peaks.
“It felt like I’m building and my surfing is getting a bit better,” Fanning reflected. “Hopefully comes final day it can peak and I can put another good performance. I like these big matchups, even though they are stressful, they keep you in a good frame of mind. Sometimes when you surf easy heats, then you get those big matchups and you sort of forget what to do.”
Adriano De Souza (BRA), 28, followed right into Fanning’s path with a similar approach to dispatch of Jeremy Flores (FRA) and John John Florence (HAW) on his way to an exciting quarterfinal matchup against Owen Wright (AUS). De Souza laid down his sharp forehand turns to collect the day’s second-highest total of 18.50.
“I was watching conditions since the first heat of the day and I realized our heat was going to be pumping,” De Souza said. “I watched John John’s last heat, he smashed it and Jeremy grew up here and knows everything about it so I really had to do everything I could. I’m happy to make this heat and am looking forward to finals day.”
WSL Top17 athletes had previously launched the day’s action with the completion of Round 3 at the Roxy Pro France to determine the first four surfers in the quarterfinals. With waves pulsing all the way through the changing tide, the women later took it to the lineup to complete the fourth round as well.
Local favorite Johanne Defay (FRA), 21, continued her successful Roxy Pro France campaign with an important win this morning to skip a round and obtain her quarterfinal ticket. Defay chose her waves wisely in a tricky lineup and applied her smooth style on the clean shoulders to send defending event champion Tyler Wright (AUS) and Sage Erickson (USA) to Round 4.
“The tide was pretty low and there was a little rip in the inside and a little backwash, the smaller waves were the best with an open face whereas the sets just closed out,” Defay explained. “Tyler beat me in the semis here last year and put me in combo in the first round this year so I’m happy to get a win over her. I’ll get some rest now and prepare for the quarters.”
Coco Ho (HAW), 24, upset current Jeep leaderboard frontrunner Courtney Conlogue (USA) and 6-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in Round 3 to reach the quarterfinals for the first time since the Oi Rio Women’s Pro. With two disappointing early exits in the last two events, Ho’s position on the Samsung Galaxy Women’s Championship Tour is all but certain for 2016 and this result will help in her re-qualification campaign.
“I kind of wasn’t even in the heat until Steph let out my 8, I was really lucky and that’s when the ball started rolling for me,” Ho admitted. “And getting that last wave of the set to back it up was great. Courtney and Carissa in that title race are pretty close, but I’m more focused on my own game and trying to get the results that I know I can.”
Capitalizing on Conlogue’s setback, Carissa Moore (HAW), 23, seized the opportunity to send the World Title race to the last event of the season in Hawaii when she advanced into the quarters. Moore performed her surgical approach on a clean righthander with three solid turns and a little cover up for an 8.90 and the win.
“It’s crazy, balancing energies and stuff. I had such a fun time this morning in my warm up session and I didn’t want to come in but I had to keep myself at a pretty even energy level,” Moore said. “I didn’t really know how Courtney’s heat ended and I focused on myself and stayed in my own bubble. I’m happy to take the battle home to Maui.”
Conlogue would be eliminated later in the day by an in-form Tyler Wright (AUS). With Conlogue’s elimination, Moore will overtake the frontrunner position on the Jeep Leaderboard with a Semifinals berth in France.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8am to assess conditions.
Surfline, official forecasters for the World Surf League (WSL), are calling for:
WNW swell mix with improved winds and conditions expected on Thursday and Friday. A smaller leftover mix lingers into Saturday before new Joaquin swell shows during the afternoon/evening. Joaquin swell for Sunday drops into early next week. Monitoring potential WNW swell for next Thursday/Friday.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France is webcast LIVE on worldsurfleague.com and via the WSL app.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
QF 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
QF 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.23 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 15.07
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 18.30 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.20
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 18.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.17
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.80 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.87
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.37, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.93, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.47
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.67, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.43, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.73
Heat 3: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 18.50, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.00, John John Florence (HAW) 13.37
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.83, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 15.56
Round 1 of the Quiksilver Pro France, Stop No. 9 of 11 on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, was completed today in clean six-to-eight foot (2 - 2.5 metre waves) at Culs Nus.
Offshore winds groomed the solid swell on offer, creating a tube riding feast for the world’s best surfers, who proceeded to put on a high-performance surfing spectacle for the thousands on the beach and many more watching online and via broadcasts around the world.
John John Florence (HAW), 22, defending event champion, picked up where he left off last season with his unparalleled comfort in conditions of consequence, pulling into a sizable forehand barrel and topping it off with a massive layback snap to collect a near-perfect 9.93 out of 10.
“There’s a lot of water moving, but it’s really fun and clean,” Florence said. “I love coming back here. It’s been flat the whole time we’ve been here so I was a little worried but when I woke up this morning and saw this bank with the righthand barrels I thought this would be fun.”
Mick Fanning (AUS), 34, three-time WSL Champion and four-time event champion, is in the Jeep frontrunner position again and overcame a treacherous Round 1 matchup against Tahitian powerhouse Michel Bourez (PYF) and local event wildcard Maxime Huscenot (FRA). Fanning threaded through a heavy Hossegor barrel to belt an incredible 9.73 and advance straight into the third round.
“It can be heaven or hell out there, if you get the waves it’s great and there are some amazing ones, but you can also easily get lost real quick,” Fanning said. “You've got to pick your spot and hopefully they come so there’s a little bit of luck involved today. All my wins here were really different, I think in 2010 it was somewhere around here, out the back and pretty massive, very similar conditions to this and it was never about scores and results but just about getting barreled with only one other person out, so probably the funnest year.”
Julian Wilson (AUS), 26, current WSL No. 5, put on a deep barrel-riding clinic at Cul Nus, to collect the day’s highest combined heat total, an impressive 18.80 out of 20. A former runner-up in France (2011), Wilson found two brilliant right-handers back-to-back and surfed the fast, throaty barrels flawlessly to advance into the third round.
“I got into a really good rhythm with the sets and got two waves back to back, it was really fun out there,” Wilson explained. “I want to have a really consistent year, two 13th obviously never feels good but there’s a lot left to go in the year.”
Dane Reynolds (USA), 30, followed in Wilson’s path and dominated his opening round matchup to relegate WSL No. 4 Owen Wright (AUS) to the second round. Reynolds proved lethal as a wildcard in Fiji earlier this season and will look to advance through a few more heats in the pumping French surf he adores.
“I’m definitely inspired to surf good and do my best, good waves make it exciting and I think the performance excites me,” Reynolds reflected. “A lot of time you’re at the contest area and you know the good ones are straight out or to the left or right, but we were down the beach so I had no idea what to expect. That first one came right to me and you just got to pick them when they come in, they’re good barrels.”
When confirmed as the event wildcard, Reynolds announced he would give away his entire prize-money to the NGO ‘Surfers, Not Street Children’ association in South Africa.
“They take street children in Durban (South Africa) and they provide mentorship and education all through surfing,” Reynolds continued. “I had a friend who visited them this year and suggested it. I just wanted to come here and surf on somebody’s behalf, and that kind of felt like it would be a good motivation. I have great sponsorship money and I just felt like somebody else could need it more and benefit from it.”
Brett Simpson (USA), 30, current WSL No. 35, took an important win in the opening heat of competition over 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and last year’s runner-up in France Jadson Andre (BRA). Simpson, currently sitting outside the requalification Top 22, will need big results in the last three events of the WSL CT season to remain amongst the world’s best in 2016.
“First heats are always hard, it was a bit foggy this morning and I didn’t really have a freesurf,” Simpson said. “It’s really fun, there’s peaks everywhere and I was able to get two good waves. I almost made a mistake at the end, I had priority and Kelly got a wave, I made the decision not to go and he almost got the score. I haven’t had much success as of late and it feels great to get a win. It’s nice when the waves are like this and you’re excited and you get good barrels.”
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8am to assess conditions.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France is webcast LIVE on worldsurfleague.com and via the WSL app.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Brett Simpson (USA) 14.84, Kelly Slater (USA) 14.84, Jadson Andre (BRA) 10.90
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.80, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.83, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 5.66
Heat 3: Dane Reynolds (USA) 17.00, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.90, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.94
Heat 4: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.57, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.97, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 9.93
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 16.00, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 6.37, Keanu Asing (HAW) 4.97
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.73, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.73, Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 8.87
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.76, Dusty Payne (HAW) 4.33
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 18.60, Alejo Muniz (BRA), 10.93, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 2.83
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 18.40, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.84, Ricardo Christie (NZL) 9.50
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.70, Glenn Hall (IRL) 6.43, Nat Young (USA) 4.67
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.40, Kai Otton (AUS) 11.10, Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.90
Heat 12: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.43, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 10.73, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.50
UPCOMING QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 8: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 11: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
The South African Junior Surfing Team leaves for California later today (Wednesday) to join 34 other teams from all parts of the World in the annual ISA World Junior Surfing Championships. The event gets under way at Oceanside this weekend and ends on Sunday October 18th.
The team, which is made up of four U18 Boys, two Under 18 Girls, four Under 16 Boys and two Under 16 Girls, has been preparing for this event since February and after a string of successes in local events recently they depart full of confidence and determination.
Michael Monk of East London, Shane Sykes of Salt Rock, Ntando Msibi of Durban and Richard Kidd of Ballito are the Under 18 Boys while Teal Hogg of Umhlanga and Chanelle Botha of Warner Beach are the two Under 18 Girls in the team. Adin Masencamp of the Strand, Jeffreys Bay surfers Joshe Faulkner and Sebastian Williams and Luke Malherbe of East London are the Under 16 Boys group with Sophie Bell of Umdloti and Olivia Izzard of La Lucia the two Under 16 Girls in the side. Isaac February is the Team Manager, Greg Emslie is the Head Coach and Dave Malherbe is the Assistant Coach.
The Teams will gather for the Parade of Nations and the traditional Sands of the World Ceremony on Saturday and the first rounds will start at 8am on Sunday morning.
The USA last hosted a World Junior Surfing Championships at Huntington Beach in 2005.
The annual tournament determines the World Junior Team Champions and medalists in the Under 18 Boys and Girls and Under 16 Boys and Girls divisions. The World Championships will be streamed live from the Parade of Nations up to and including the Final and results will be posted immediately. In order to follow the event live and check results and photos go towww.isasurf.org and click on Visla ISA World Junior Championships.
Daily releases will be posted on www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za and on the Surfing South Africa facebook page. For more information on the team go to www.surfingsouthafricateams.co.za.
Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). All South African surfing teams that participate in international events are ratified by the Board of Directors of Surfing South Africa.
The Second day of surfing saw perfect conditions again with smaller swell, but still totally ridable (especially on the logs we were riding). It was a full day of surfing with the Mens division splitting at the 6th round into a main and plate event. The plate event was won by longboard extraordinaire Ryan Anderson, who was one of the guys (along with Dean “Porp” Simpson), who birthed the idea of the Cobbles Classic. The main event was won by myself, which was a truly humbling event, because I regard all the guys around me at the event as excellent surfers who I don’t mind losing to at any time. Jamie Morris has managed a 4th place all 3 years since the contest started; Ludi Du Toit won the first event and came 3rd this year; and Porp won the second year and came 2nd this year.
The ladies event was won by Shannon Bolotin from California, who won the first year as well. So far this event has only been won by foreigners, because an Australian girl won it last year. There were a number of stand-outs in the contest and they received special awards. Another new concept introduced this year, was a mens elite "top 8" and a ladies elite "top 4", which saw top surfers literally getting capped for this impressive result as the logging standard has shot through the roof over the past 3 years in South Africa. These surfers get a free invite to next years contest and get seeded for the event.
The RVCA Cobbles Classic was hosted by the Loggers Union. The weekend started with the “Hog-a-Log” session on Thursday afternoon, where people came to Cobbles and surfed whatever boards they liked. This gave people an opportunity to try other people’s boards and play around. Once again Cobbles greeted us with classic waves! We were blessed with sunny, clean runners allowing for some great surfing. The opening function was held at Pine Lodge on Thursday evening with live music by Charlie Finch.
With a huge wind predicted for Sunday we made a mission to surf the contest on the Friday and Saturday. With the Christian Surfers praying hard, the contest started with epic conditions on the Friday: light offshore winds and perfect swell. The men’s event was run all day Friday with the ladies surfing in the late afternoon. As always, the competition was extremely tough, but the vibe was so chilled and happy. The large number of Cape Town surfers was amazing, with legends of the sport, like Bernie Shelley bringing a bevy of beauties with her. One lady hadn’t surfed for 40 years and the Cobbles Classic got her so stoked, that she is like a 12 year old grom again!
The 2 judges from Cape Town were amazing (Kwezi and Johnno) and Des Sawyer took the reigns as the head judge. Gregg Clarke was the contest director and (as always) did an incredible job. The sponsors of the event were excellent with RVCA being the headline sponsor this year and Des Sawyer making a custom board for the first prize. Other sponsors included Sector Nine Skateboards, Red Bull, Above and Beyond Sound, VZ Sunglasses, Pine Lodge, Cork Wine Bar, Surf Centre, DPI Signage, Bings Brew, Surf Lock Board Racks, Mike Meyer Surfboards (he made the amazing trophies).
We are really looking forward to the event next year with people like Miles Gilham already starting his countdown the day after the event.
The results for Cobbles are as follows:
Loggers Union TOP 8:
Mens 1st Place - Cobbles Classic King - Craig Cuff
Mens 2nd Place - Dean Simpson
Mens 3rd Place - Ludi Du Toit
Mens 4th place - Jamie Morris
Tie 5th Gregg Clarke & Matt Macleod
Tie 7th George Bunting & Greg Smith
Loggers Union Top 4:
Ladies 1st Place - Cobbles Classic Queen - Shannon Bolotin
Ladies 2nd Place - Margreet Wibbelink
Ladies 3rd Place - Michelle Hill
Ladies 4th Place - Mia Baard
Mens Plate 1st Place - Ryan Anderson
Mens Plate 2nd place - Paul O’ Connell
Mens Plate 3rd Place - Shaun Simpson
Mens Plate 4th Place - Darren Ball
Mens Stylemaster Award - Miles Gilham & Oliver Fuchs
Mens Noserider Award - Matthew Macleod
Ladies Sylemaster Award - Susannah Leigh
Ladies Noserider Award - Simone Robb
Surfers Surfer Award – George Bunting
You can check out all the shots from the event here.