The current No.1 Gabriel Medina was on form in France. He continued his incredible run — narrowly escaping a round three bout with Jeremy Flores, only before reasserting his dominance in round four.
The pressure was on during round three, with both competitors’ eyes on the World Title. For Medina, losing was not an option — an early elimination could potentially give world No. 2, Kelly Slater, an edge.
By the halfway point neither surfers had logged a significant score. Medina and Flores battled it out, both adding numbers to their score lines. With less than 10-minutes on the clock Medina began his assault, Flores tried to answer his call but couldn’t catch up. Medina took the win.
“With the swell increasing this afternoon, there is a lot of water moving and it’s easy to get lost out there,” Medina said. “Lucky I found some opportunity and was able to have a better heat than the one I had this morning. I hopefully will get some good waves tomorrow.”
[pullquote]Kolohe Andino put on an impressive performance during his round four heat, besting Mick Fanning and Matt Wilkinson, and securing a place in the quarterfinals[/pullquote]
Kolohe Andino put on an impressive performance during his round four heat, besting Mick Fanning and Matt Wilkinson, and securing a place in the quarterfinals.
The battle of the three began slowly, with no decent scores being added until over halfway. But it was Andino who logged the first significant score, a 7.83 that nudged him into the lead — with Fanning in second, and Wilkinson trailing behind.
Andino then broke out his aerial game, landing solidly for an 8.67, putting the other two in a combination situation, allowing him to take the win.
“Mick is one of my favourite surfers and he’s the reigning world champ so of course I’m stoked to beat him,” Andino said. “Anytime you draw one of those guys, you have to lift your game. I feel like I’m getting more confident in my surfing this season and growing into a more comfortable competitor. Looking forward to a great finish for the event.”
Fanning will face John John Florence in the opening heat of round five.
Miguel Pupo seems to be recovering after a mid-season slump — collecting 9th at Trestles — he took the win during his round four bout against Kelly Slater and Filipe Toledo.
Toledo attacked early, taking off on some successive waves, but falling on both — resulting in low scores. Slater attacked next, driving down a righthander and into a barrel section, but it closed down on him — also resulting in a low score. Pupo was third to try, earning himself a six pointer and putting him in second, behind Toledo’s combined 9.17.
With 10-minutes remaining, Slater was trailing behind the two Brazilians, who had shot ahead with some airs and backhanders in a changing tide. Slater’s frustration became apparent and he lost the heat with a 6.60, Pupo took the win with a 12.83, 0.83 more than Toledo.
“Very difficult to get waves out there this afternoon,” Pupo said. “I found myself on a couple, but I just as easily could have ended up with none. Kelly didn’t really get anything out there so you know it’s difficult. I had a good start to the year then had some bad events. Happy to be in the quarters and hope to keep progressing.”
Slater will take on Taj Burrow in round five.
[pullquote]Wilson answered back with some clean carves and a huge air[/pullquote]
Jordy Smith, winner of the previous event in Southern California, put on an inspired round four, showing his speed, power, and potential.
It was a rematch between Smith and Julian Wilson, who last faced up during the final at the Hurley Pro Trestles. Smith took his first victory of the year then, and it was clear he intended to keep the trend going. Within minutes he had logged a 8.60 and a 6.83 to his score. Wilson answered back with some clean carves and a huge air, which unfortunately he didn’t land and was unable to log a solid score.
Wilson eventually managed to earn a six-pointer, getting him out of the combination situation, but still left him trailing behind. Smith took off on another solid frontside, connecting powerful turns and throwing a big air reverse to earn an 8.53.
“Conditions remained clean but it was hard work out there,” Smith said. “I’m feeling confident in my surfing and comfortable in competition recently. I have some great boards with me and I’m looking to keep the momentum from Trestles going here in Europe.
When the competition resumes Mick Fanning will take on John John Florence in the opening heat of round five.
Words Louis Hall @LHall69
Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Round 3 Results (1st Advances to Round 4, 2nd Finishes Equal 13th):
Heat 5: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.90 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.77
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.40 def. Jeremy Flores (BRA) 7.50
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.27 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.93
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 15.23 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 14.33
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.10 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.50
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.14 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 11.36
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.03 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.03
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.70 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.86
Quiksilver Pro France Round 4 Results (1st Advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 5):
Heat 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.50, Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.24, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.16
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.17, Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.93, John John Florence (HAW) 5.87
Heat 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.83, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.00, Kelly Slater (USA) 6.60
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.67, Taj Burrow (AUS) 10.60, Jadson Andre (BRA) 5.17
Quiksilver Pro France Round 5 Match-Ups (1st Advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd Finishes Equal 9th):
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Quiksilver Pro France Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st Advances to Semifinals, 2nd Finishes Equal 5th):
QF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. TBD
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. TBD
QF 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. TBD
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. TBD