Rounds 3 and 4 of the Billabong Rio Pro ran yesterday. The waves pumped, with four foot thumping barrels detonating up and down the beach at Barra Da Tijuca all day long. Somewhat unpredictable however in their placement and regularity, the biggest day’s news saw the elimination of Brazilian home favourites Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo. In fact, only tour veteran Adriano de Souza now remains in the draw from Brazil.
The best upset came in Round 3 from South African Travis Logie who pulled into a last-second drainer to score an awesome 9.5 and dispatch Gabes Medina. Both competitor and home crowd lay devastated.
“I’m baffled,” said Travis Logie. “That was a nice little birthday present. I got two good waves and I pulled the rabbit out of the hat at the end of the heat. I don’t know how I did that, I’m speechless. I’ve been doing this for a while now so I just kept relaxed even though I’d resigned myself to losing the heat. I just thought to myself it’s me against the ocean. I’m stoked.”
“It was tricky out there,” said Gabriel Medina. “My first wave was good but I couldn’t find a second one. Travis is always a dangerous guy and I knew it would be a tough heat. I just tried to pay attention to him and he got me at the end. He was at the right spot at the right time. It’s so good to have all the support here, there’s no better support than here in Brazil. I’m looking forward to Fiji, that was just a throwaway result. Now I’ll train more and get ready for the next event.”
Filipe Toledo would lose out to Australian powerhouse Bede Durbidge, who in their match-up just happened to bank the highest two-wave heat total of the day. With the powerful beachbreak conditions no longer lending themselves to aerial manoeuvres, it was all about negotiating the pit.
“It was tough to draw a Brazilian here and I knew Filipe (Toledo) would be doing his airs, but I’m glad we had swell and I’m glad I got the win,” said Bede Durbidge. “I really wanted to keep my momentum going because I had such a good heat earlier today. Preparation is key for me. I love getting fired up before the heats and surfing with lots of aggression so I just need to keep that going. I feel right at home here because I grew up surfing conditions like this.”
Jordy Smith then went on to eliminate Brazilian Jadson Andre, who then went on to secure a quarter finals berth against Joel Parkinson and Sebastian Zietz in Round 4.
“I was really inspired by Travis Logie’s performance earlier today,” said Jordy Smith. “It would really be something special if we could both make the final. These days you have to pull everything out from the get go. Jadson is an incredible surfer and really had the crowd behind him. It played on my mind a bit but got me fired up to do better. I’m feeling more confident than ever.”
Word is organisers are hoping to wrap up the contest today, and the first heat of the day will see Adriano de Souza match up against Kelly. With Adriano being one of the few competitors on tour to have the upper hand on Kelly it should prove an exciting start to the final day of competition.
Billabong Rio Pro Round 5 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)
Billabong Rio Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 15.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.34, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.03
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.27, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.43, Kelly Slater (USA) 5.30
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.53, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.24, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.10
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.83, Michel Bourez (3.20)
Billabong Rio Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 12.03 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 7.33
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.97 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 7.63
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.70 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.33 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.53 def. David Do Carmo (BRA) 10.93
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.36
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.04
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.00 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.17
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.13 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43