Brazilian Filipe Toledo taking to the air, posting a near-perfect 9.83 in Round 2 of the Hurley Pro at Trestles. Photo: ASP/Rowland
Filipe Toledo roared to life yesterday, taking to the air and stealing the show during Round 2 of the Hurley Pro at Trestles with the highest scoring ride of the event so far.
After four consecutive lay days, competition resumed at fever pitch and the first eliminations were dealt. Excellent overhead surf offered lengthy rides and saw strong performances by top seeds Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater to set the tone for what promises to be an event for the history books.
Australian Adam Melling took early control of his heat against Toledo, opening with an impressive succession of power turns for a 9.17. Toledo answered with a flawless and highly technical rotating aerial on his backhand, followed by a giant, vertical snap that got thousands on the beach cheering, including the entire competitors area. The progressive aerial maneuver puts him in line for the Innovation Award. Despite a solid showing by Melling, a long lull and last minute effort couldn’t push him past the energized Brazilian, and he leaves Lower Trestles with an equal 25th place. Toledo will face Adriano De Souza in Round 3.
“I saw Melling doing some big turns and getting a huge score, so I knew I had to do something crazy,” Filipe Toledo said. “I know the wind is really good for airs so when the first left came I just went for it. When I landed I was surprised but I’m stoked to get through. I’m looking forward to more heats and more airs.”
The opening heat of the day had ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina looking to redeem himself following an upset defeat at the hands of Costa Rican wildcard Carlos Munoz in Round 1. Medina took on compatriot Raoni Monteiro. The pair posted a series of low scores through most of the heat but Medina finally went for it with a perfectly executed air, edging him into the lead and backing it up with a frontside air grab. Monteiro answered back with solid, backhand carves, foam climbs and hacks but it wasn’t enough to better the yellow jersey, whose confidence seemed to improve with every wave. Medina took the win, while Monteiro’s run at Lower Trestles is over. Medina and Munoz will faced each other again and go head-to-head in Round 3 when competition resumes.
“Its pretty tricky out there,” Gabriel Medina said. “In the beginning of the heat we couldn’t catch many waves. It was so slow and I was getting nervous. I’m just stoked to make it through. It’s always hard to compete against a Brazilian guy but it’s a competition and we just think about our job.”
Despite a good-natured social media challenge from Jeremy Flores to World No. 2 Kelly Slater during the lay day break, he proved to be no match today. The 11-time ASP World Champion was looking for a win and opened with an acrobatic air and mind-boggling white-water recovery, taking the lead with an excellent 8.50. Backed up with a score of 7.43, the Frenchman was left in a combination situation. Despite some exciting maneuvers, his mid-range scores were not enough to get him through. A last-ditch effort to pull off an innovative layback failed when he lost his footing and Flores leaves the competition in equal 25th place while Slater moves on to Round 3 where he hopes to even the score in a rematch with Tanner Gudauskas.
“I knew I needed to do something big, it was a little sloppy but I made it,” said Kelly Slater. “Jeremy (Flores) and I are good friends, we travelled together for years. That was a big heat for both of us being in Round 2.”
“I really wanted to make that heat,” said Flores. “I feel like I’ve been surfing really well in my free surfs but every time I put on a jersey I just put too much pressure on myself and don’t get the results.”
Current ASP World No. 4 Michel Bourez opened his Round 3 match-up against Jadson Andre with a solid 6.50, putting the Brazilian on the defence. Andre answered with two mid-range scores while Bourez took the top spot courtesy of an 8.17. Despite posting the first nine-point ride and the highest two-wave heat total of the day in Round 2, Andre wasn’t able to better Bourez, and leaves the competition in equal 13th place.
“You have to free surf a lot to get to know the spot,” Michel Bourez said. “It was hard to pick the right one but I’m glad that left came through and I was able to score on it.”
Heat 2 of Round 3 saw a battle of the goofy-footers with 2013 Rookie of the Year Nat Young matching up against Australian Adrian Buchan. Both took off on their backhands to start, with a slight edge going to the Tour veteran. Young, currently in ninth place on the rankings, pulled off a variety of innovative maneuvers but Buchan’s fins-free cutbacks earned him an excellent 9.43 and the lead. With two minutes left, Young found a bomb and followed a long cutback with a vertical snap for an 8.10, but was just shy of the score he needed and is eliminated from the contest.
“It’s incredible to surf Lowers like this,” said Adrian Buchan. “I’ve been looking forward to having a heat with Nat (Young) for quite a while now. That was a big heat for me, the third Round is really important. It looks like the next few days will be really good so I’m really excited.”
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.83 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.94
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.93 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.16
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.66 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 7.87
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.73 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.74
Heat 5: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.43 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.07
Heat 6: Jadson Andre (BRA) 17.50 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.94
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.23 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.17
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.43 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.50
Heat 9: Tiago Pires (PRT) 16.93 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.74
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.94 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 12.33
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.93 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 15.40
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 10.67 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.83
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.67 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.44
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.30 def. Nat Young (USA) 15.60
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.60 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.83
Heat 4: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.93
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 3 Upcoming Match-Ups:
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Carlos Munoz (BRA)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 9: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 10: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Artiz Aranburu (ESP)