Former World Champs Go Above The Lip To Score Big
Former World Champions Italo Ferreira (BRA), John John Florence (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) were also standouts in the air. Ferreira and Florence went on a nail-biting matchup, eventually going Florence’s way for a spot into the Round of 16. All three surfers currently sitting outside the Top 5, need a big result in the last two events of the regular season for a chance to fight for the ultimate crown at the Rip Curl WSL Finals later this year.
“It feels great to be back here and surf nice clean walls before the wind came up,” Medina said. “The forecast looks pretty good so I’m excited to surf this event. When I picture surfing it’s someone on waves like this, it’s just too perfect. ”
Brazil’s Joao Chianca (BRA) and Yago Dora (BRA) also made their way into the Round of 16 with wins in their debut performance in this event. Dora turned the heat with seconds on the clock with an insane backhand rotation landed perfectly for a near-perfect 9.27.
“That was a short wave so I needed something special to get a big score,” Dora explained. “I’m really glad I made that, I landed on the flats and rode out perfectly, I’m thankful for the opportunity to get that ramp.”
Out of the current WSL Top 5, only World No.3 Ethan Ewing (AUS) failed to advance in first out of the Opening Round and will need to battle it out in the Elimination Round when the event resumes.