Brother on his way to bagging his best result to date since he joined the tour last year. Photo: ASP.
#15 Kolohe ANDINO – Fiji#9 – ASP#20
Excellent 9th for Brother, who will have clearly gained experience and confidence as he progressed through the rounds, beginning around the average scale on his Rd1, he will leave after Rd5 with some serious scores. Visibly much more comfortable in his backhand snaps and off the lips than in his backside tubes, where he wobbles and struggles where the top five shines; the Californian, smart, adapted his strategy to his opponents and to the changing conditions during his heats. Kicking out Medina, Wilson, he signed a solid competition and lost by lack of experience against an all-mighty Fanning. Still a few adjustments to work on for Kolohe, who is gaining momentum since the beginning of the season, approaching a potential final four in Bali.
#14 Dusty PAYNE – Fiji #25 – ASP#28:
Disappointing performance for Dusty, who still hasn’t had the WCT result matching the total awesomeness of his actual level. Surfing great on the only high-scoring potential wave of his first round, showing solid tuberiding vista and a couple of strong backhand turns, his lack of experience on the spot kept him away from finding a second good score against afro-veteran Kai OTTON, and he is sent to a cut-throat round 2 battle against 2012 World Champ and newborn fisherman extraordinaire Joel PARKINSON. Excellent surfing again, going blow for blow with Captain Igloo, but coming up short on a seriously low 8,63pts when he needed a reachable 9,27pts (booooo the judges), later Dusty is fooled by Parko, who forces him on a bad wave in the dying seconds while he will be safely scoring the perfect drainer hidden just behind on the usual second wave of the set. Great surfing, but total lack of local knowledge and most of all of heat management, exiting with a last place that coulda-shoulda-woulda gone to Parko aka Captain AHAB. Let’s wait for a Dusty show in Keramas, the kid has spent more time and gathered more killing video parts there than the whole WCT members altogether.
With his backhand barrel skills known to be his forte, Jeremy secured another strong equal 9th result as the lone Euro on tour (Tiago Pires still being injured). Photo: ASP.
#13 Jeremy FLORES – Fiji #9 – ASP #12
Finally some good scores for Jeremy who, solely in Fiji, doubled the number of excellent-scored waves he got since the beginning of 2013. Tough beginning of the season for the Frenchman, who seems to have finally overcome the rough patch he was sinking in over the last couple of months. As usual in hollow reef wave, the Pipe Master and Andy Irons Award laureate puts on a good show, mixing deep barrels with strong, vertical backside snaps. Gifted with one of the most lethal backside barrel technic, Jeremy will advance effortlessly until his Rd5 encounter with Jordy SMITH, from whom he could have stolen an easy 7,01pt, last-minute victory if the giant Safa hadn’t smartly used his priority to heavily drop in his 90kg ass on one very disillusioned French face. Possibly a good result coming in Bali if he steps up his game against the frequent flyers, but the main focus remains Teahupoo where Jeremy will have fun late dropping on liquid monsters while most of the world will be scrambling for their lives.
#12 Gabriel MEDINA – Fiji #25 – ASP #14
From 2nd in 2012, to last in 2013 with a horrendous 8,82pts of average, score he usually cry-claims on one single brown sinker in the morning prior to his first coffee… Surprisingly after a solid 3rd place in Rio, Gaby was just not “in” for Fiji, falling way too many times on maneuvers he usually nails blind. Average wave selection, fair tube rides but nothing medinesque… he will be back with a vengeance in Bali, surely landing crazy contorted backside rotations and other circus stuff he is the only goofy to think of. With already two 13th and one 25th, the former super rookie really needs to get his sh*t together if he wants back his Top 5 slot.
#11 Felipe TOLEDO – Fiji #25 – ASP #11
In quite a contrast with Medina, Felipe seemed awfully confident for his first event in Fiji, showing great wave selection, rhythm and sharp decision-making on his 1st round. His Rd2 duel versus another rookie was all different, being so unusually patient that he actually lost all rhythm waiting for the bomb, letting time for Nat YOUNG to burry him deep into Comboland way before halftime. The rest of his heat was more than shaky, trying unskillfully to get back to the Californian with uncharacteristic below average surfing. Contest to forget and first bad performance of the season for the new brazilian freak, who may as well alley-oop to the win in Bali just because he can.
#10 Nat YOUNG – Fiji #9 – ASP #6
Excellent contest for the young Santa Cruz local, proving that he can do just as good on his forehand after a string of successes on right-handers. Superb tube technics, great wave selection, the rookie surfed like he owned the spot during his first three rounds. Excellent vista in finding the right positioning and tempo in the barrels, he threw some mean face turns and snaps as well, only to peak maybe too early in the event, going from high 15 points averages to end up being combo-spanked by Kerrzy in their Rd 5 match-up. Great overall performance nonetheless for YOUNG, only surfer from the Tour maintaining the same ranking after Fiji, who can now aim confidently at a good couple of events coming up, knowing the judges will score him well on the rights of Keramas just as in the deathpits of Tahiti later on.
As one of the most well-rounded rippers on tour and now on the tour since 2007, how long until Josh Kerr actually wins an event? Photo: ASP.
#9 Josh KERR – Fiji #5 – ASP #8
Another strong result for Kerrzy, putting his opponents twice in need of a combination, and proving if needed that his days as a one-trick pony destined only for airshows are definitely over. Brilliant wave selection, often choosing a super high line in the barrel on boards freakishly small (but wide), his backside barrel technics are close to being flawless, not to mention he also scored some serious points on a variety of insane backside full-face carving turns. Over the years, Josh has been working hard on fine-tuning every single aspect of his surfing, jumping in the rankings from low 30th before 2010, to consecutive 8th this last couple of years. Good everywhere, get ready to see him shine evenly in playful Bali and dreadful Teahupoo.
Now go to Part 3 Power Wankings.