|Florence, two-time WSL Champion, was eliminated by France’s Joan Duru in Heat 3 by only one-tenth of a point. Duru, who narrowly requalified for the CT this year, got an early lead and secured three consecutive mid-range scores. Florence then battled back to overtake the lead, but Duru refused to back down and his 6.17 in the dying minutes gave him just enough to take down the Jeep Frontrunner.
“My first wave I maybe pushed too hard and was kind of falling,” Duru said. “I knew I needed to surf that heat well but I didn’t think too much. I just went for it. I remember my fellow Frenchman Marc Lacomare back in the day during the Juniors. He was really ripping here and getting 9-point rides, so I just tried to surf like him.”
“That was a super tough heat for sure,” Florence said. “I made a few mistakes in that heat, which right now is all I can think of. I’ll have to go back and watch it again to see where I went wrong. The waves are super fun and, obviously, Joan (Duru) ripped that last wave really well, but I didn’t see it. I’ll probably hang out here for a couple of days and then head to Margaret River next week. I’m so stoked to be heading back there this year and hopefully, we get some pumping waves at North Point or something.”