When you can’t rely on Adrian de Souza finishing his waves with “exclamation points” or outmanoeuvring a teenage Italian wildcard in Round 3 at Margaret River, on what the fuck can you rely?
On Matt Wilkinson claiming his third consecutive event victory? His breakaway in yellow continued apace over the weekend, while reigning world and event champion de Souz suffered a shock defeat to Leo Fioravanti, who already counts Kelly Slater’s gleaming scalp among his collection. The other big Round 3 upset — and it was extremely upsetting — saw John John Florence felled for the second successive event by skilful lumberjack Caio Ibelli, who snatched the lead under John John’s priority with a lofty last-minute reverse.
Jordy Smith recorded the round’s highest heat total, Nat Young, Parko and Seabass also scored highly, and Kolohe Andino landed a very nice alley-oop to defeat Wiggolly Dantas. Meanwhile both Medina and Julian Wilson seem to have found some form, the former making it out of Round 3 for the first time this year.
Today the men took a break as the women took to the water for Rounds 3 and 4. Carissa Moore, Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons and ratings leader Courtney Conlogue all won their Round 3 heats; Steph Gilmore was once again relegated to the losers’ round but once again clawed her way into the quarters, where she’ll face Wright. Tatiana Weston-Webb, Laura Enever and Bianca Buitentag complete the final eight.