Igarashi, Rodrigues, Huscenot Keep Hopes of Making the Cut Alive
Currently sitting below the Mid-season Cut line and tied for 24th, 11X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) were surfing to keep their spots on Tour as they went head-to-head in the Round of 32. They both opened with solid six-point rides, with Slater getting the better of Igarashi. But, just after the halfway mark, Igarashi threw an electrifying turn to earn a 7.83 and turn the heat on GOAT to take the crucial win.
“The nerves were there, but everytime I surf against Kelly, I get nervous,” Igarashi said. “I feel like he had things going his way and that I was chasing him a bit. Eventually, I got that set that set up nicely and I think that’s when things started going my way. There’s not much I can do about the Cut and who is making heats, I can just focus on my heat with Kelly. I don’t know how many more heats I’ll get with him. I was definitely really nervous so I’m glad I made it and I’m glad I get to surf the Bowl more.”
Michael Rodrigues (BRA) was another competitor with everything on the line, and caused a major upset in the Round of 32, taking down 2019 WSL World Champion and 2019 Bells winner Italo Ferreira (BRA). Rodrigues’s sharp, frontside, rail game was the perfect match for the Bells Bowl. He now prepares for a head-to-head match with event standout Florence.
Maxime Huscenot (FRA) found himself a spot in the Round of 16 for the first time in his rookie season, claiming an impressive win over Bells standout and current World No. 4 Caio Ibelli (BRA). Huscenot still has a long way to go in order to move up the rankings and save his spot on Tour for 2023. He currently sits eight spots below the Cut line in 32nd place.
For highlights from today’s competition at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Presented by Bonsoy, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The next call will be tomorrow, Monday, April 10, at 7:15 a.m. AEST for a possible 7:35 a.m. start.