|Two-time World Champions Florence and Medina Advance to Round of 16
John John Florence (HAW) has already improved an equal 17th place finish from Newcastle after he took down an in-form Miguel Pupo (BRA) in Heat 4 of the Round of 32. Two-time WSL Champion Florence was able to find a couple of bigger right-handers to display his smooth and powerful frontside rail game and progress into the Round of 16. He will match up again with CT rookie Morgan Cibilic (AUS). Cibilic continues to find success on the Australian leg, this time with a win over Julian Wilson (AUS) in Heat 8.
“Getting out of that third round is definitely a plus and settles the nerves for sure,” Florence said. “After Newcastle, I thought my boards felt good and my surfing was there, but my wave choice wasn’t great so that was definitely a focus for me coming here and it seemed to be better just then. I’ve changed my equipment for that heat and it all worked well.”
Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) took down local wildcard Dylan Moffat (AUS) in Heat 5. The Brazilian eliminated the local with only an 11.17 two-wave score (out of a possible 20) to Moffat’s 8.57, leaving the door open for Moffat to strike back. The Australian only needed a 6.27 but was unable to find the scoring wave in the dying minutes of the heat. Moffat exits his career-first CT event in equal 17th place.
“I’m feeling good and definitely happy there are good waves today,” Medina said. “It was a bit of a slow heat for me, which was a shame as I wish there was more opportunity but a win is a win and that’s what matters most. I had never heard about Dylan (Moffat) before this heat and then when I saw him and realized he is a great surfer and will probably be with us on the CT one day and I told him that. I’m happy with my performance because I had minimal opportunities, but when they came, I took them.”