|John John Florence Takes Down Filipe Toledo
One of the heats to watch so far in 2019 did not disappoint as two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) squared off against the ever-explosive Filipe Toledo (BRA). Florence’s first wave set the tone of what to expect and he did not relinquish that early lead despite a ferocious Toledo on his heels throughout the battle.
“It’s nerve-racking going up against a guy like Filipe (Toledo),” Florence said. “It’s sort of anyone’s game out there, it was just about who could be in the spot for the peak. It’s scary when there are 12 minutes to go and he only needed a 6.00. You can’t really give him any room because he could just take off on an insider and do a huge air. I felt like there were a lot of unknowns going into this year, since I only started surfing and training about a month ago, so it’s a big confidence boost.”
Florence will take on the powerful style of Conner Coffin (USA) in the Quarterfinals after the Santa Barbara native eliminated Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) today.
”I felt fired up this morning,” said Coffin. “Kanoa’s so good in these kinds of waves so I knew I had to step it up and push myself to beat him. This is our fourth year on Tour together and that was our first ever head-to-head matchup, so that was fun and great to get the win.”
Coffin’s fellow Californian Kolohe Andino (USA) showcased his prowess in hunting down scores over former event winner Owen Wright (AUS).
Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) had to fight back against fellow countryman Yago Dora (BRA) after Dora’s quick start. But Medina wasn’t to be outdone and quickly took the lead despite Dora notching the heat’s highest single-wave score of a 7.33 (out of a possible 10).