Le Gardian delivered 8 to 10 foot waves for the Quiksilver Pro today, completing round five and the opening two heats of the quarterfinals.
Current world No.8, John John Florence, was on incredible form — eliminating the reigning three-time world champ, Mick Fanning, in round five with a near perfect 19.90 heat total; before besting Kolohe Andino in the quarterfinals.
The opening heat of the day saw barrels that the competitors had hoped for all week[/pullquote]
The opening heat of the day saw barrels that the competitors had hoped for all week. Mick Fanning found the first wave of the day — but it was short lived, and scored low. John John Florence casually tucked into a tube and scored an eight-pointer, he quickly backed this up with another barrel for a 7.00.
The pressure was now on Fanning, however, Florence got barrel after barrel — logging sevens, eights, and a 9.90 on his scoreline. Fanning found a few tubes, but none could produce the score he needed.
After eliminating the world champ, Florence took on Kolohe Andino in the opening of the quarterfinals, dropping into some huge waves and throwing big carves, linking a layback and an air-reverse, to take the win.
“The conditions today look amazing but can be all over the place out there,” Florence said. “I was lucky to find a rhythm in my first heat and seemed to be on all the good ones. Great waves, but you can feel the conditions changing with the onshore wind. My quarterfinals against Kolohe was harder to find scoring waves.”
However, Josh Kerr delivered quite an upset today after he dispatched current frontrunner Gabriel Medina in their quarterfinal match.
Pressure was on Medina, as another heat win would put him one step closer to the world title[/pullquote]
Pressure was on Medina, as another heat win would put him one step closer to the world title — a first for him and Brazil. But Kerr was on form, opening the heat with a 7.00, the highest single wave score of the matchup. Medina fell further behind after blowing out a fin on a frontside bottom turn had to go in for a board change.
On his return to the lineup he went for a huge air rotation, but fell on the landing and didn’t get the score.
By the time the horn sounded it was all over for Medina, Kerr had the lead and took the win.
“Gabriel has had an incredible year and it always pushes your surfing to come up against the No. 1 guy,” Kerr said. “I was fortunate to get him in our quarterfinals match in Margaret River and to get another one on him today is great for the confidence heading into the last events of the season.”
The 11-time World Champ, Kelly Slater, defeated Taj Burrow during round five this morning.
Slater kicked off the match up with a 9.07, for a big righthander barrel. The score set the bar for the match, and immediately put Burrow on the defensive. Slater dominated the match from the start, with Burrows struggling to find his rhythm. Out of Burrow’s five scores his highest was a 3.00. He was eliminated from the competition. Slater progresses to the quarterfinals.
But with Medina’s elimination, Slater will not have the opportunity to close the gap between them with a result in France.
“With Gabriel falling in the quarters, I have an opportunity to carve a few heats into his current lead,” Slater said. “It’s really on me to make headway now and make it harder for him to clinch in Portugal and hopefully bring it to Pipeline. We have two more days to really pick the eyes out of the swell for the last five heats so hopefully we see some good conditions again before the event finishes.”
Words Louis Hall @LHall69
Quiksilver Pro France Round 5 Results (1st Advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd Finishes Equal 9th):
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 19.90 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.16
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.34 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 6.93
Heat 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.23 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 5.33
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.24 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 5.87
Quiksilver Pro France Quarterfinal Results (1st Advances to Semifinals, 2nd Finishes Equal 5th):
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 16.00 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.17
QF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.83 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 8.90
Quiksilver Pro France Remaining Quarterfinal Match-Ups (1st Advances to Semifinals, 2nd Finishes Equal 5th):
QF 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
QF 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)