PORTUGAL POWER WANKINGS PART 2
Vico tugs the WCT Middle Men: Melling to CJ
Missed part one? It's here
#24 Adam MELLING - Supertubos #13 - ASP #25
In Peniche, the best of Mello's crisp, precise and versatile surfing was to be witnessed in his Rd2 versus Travis Logie. He lost to Kerrzy in another scrappy heat, chasing a low 5 in appalling conditions. Currently third qualifier on the QS and notoriously better in the last 2 months of every season, one good result in either of the circuit should see him getting a nice seeding for 2014, hoping this 5th season on Tour would finally showcase consistently the Top 10 surfer he potentially is.
#23 Bede DURBIDGE - Supertubos #13 - ASP #21
Weird event for Durbo, but maybe one of his best since Australia back in March. After a long struggle of inconsistent and insulting results for a former world number 2, Bede seemed to be finally showing signs of his best and displayed rhythm and spark. Scoring the second best total of the event is quite a performance for Durbo, considering how shitty his year has been so far. Was pushed out by eventual Supertubos champ Kai in a dynamic heat which could have seen a little less disdain from the judges. Now dangerously close to the bubble, but already confirmed in all the remaining events of the year, it's quite clear Bede wants his come back in 2014 after three poor seasons on the CT.
#22 Gabriel MEDINA - Supertubos #25 - ASP #16
6,87pts heat average, 25th place...not the kind of numbers usually associated with Brasil's former next big thing. So far all he got in 2013 apart from a 2nd in Hossegor and a 3rd at home were 25th and 13th... Again in Peniche, he tried, hard, but never was as dominant, easy, and in control as he was the last two seasons. Thin on mojo, unable to wash off stress and pressure, visibly doubting his choices, the rookie magic is long gone, both for the judges, the surfers and the media alike. Maybe it's time to step back and assess what the heck is going wrong, because
the more he cries, prays, cuddles, claims or multiplies his entourage, the worse the results.
#21 Fredrick PATACCHIA - Supertubos #13 - ASP #21
A little hiccup for Freddie P in Portugal, losing two places and right on the bubble. A little too fired up on his frontside, he was missing some valuable sections by aiming at hitting too fast and too strong; whereas he was way more on point on his backhand, smooth yet aggressive with great control of his front foot and rhythm on the fickle righthanders. Got his 13th place on a last minute mistake, leaving the biggest, best wave of the set to a fussy CJ. Will requalify for his 10th season back home during the Triple Crown.
#20 Kolohe ANDINO - Supertubos #25 - ASP #26
Brother showed some massive improvement on his backhand when it comes to rhythm, power, variety and control. Was just not on the best/trickiest waves opposed to a more in tune, more-favored-by-the-judges Bede. Already qualified for 2014, maybe Kolohe will finally get on the good side of tough calls next season, maybe not.
#19 Brett SIMPSON - Supertubos #25 - ASP #22
Swindled by the Rd1 conditions, Simpo woke up and actually surfed a really good Rd2 versus Pupo (4th best score of the Round) but was just pipped by a more dynamic and versatile performance. Escaped the qualification bubble for a week after his 9th in Hossegor, just to pocket another 25th...Never was able to do better than last in Pipeline (well he can't really do worse either, can he?), Simpo will need to score good next week on the Prime to make sure he'll be part of the fiesta in 2014.
#18 Alejo MUNIZ - Supertubos #13 - ASP #28
Should have won over Parko back in Rd3 had the judges used more than a 2 points scale. Anyway, a strong performance again for Alejo, compared to Trestles he was excellent at finishing waves (maybe trying a little too much sometimes though). Nice heat management against Medina, great tube vista and good top-to-bottom lines with solid balance when it comes to recovering quickly in the sketchiest positions. Usually as good on the Primes as he sucks at Pipeline, Alejo may use these potentials good results to improve his QS qualifying slot and start 2014 with a better seeding.
#17 Matt WILKINSON - Supertubos #9 - ASP #20
2nd best result of his season with a bitter twist, as it's always frustrating to loose a heat when you have its best score. Always a threat in hollow lefts, Wilko seemed to be this time a little more concerned and committed than usual; and his positioning, energy and pure stoke were genuinely pleasing, as if the judges were actually expecting him to finally wake the fuck up this season to give him the scores they have been eager to throw at him for several months. Back in front of the bubble, but without Santa Cruz to save his chubby ass this year, Wilko needs one more good result in Primes or at Pipe to come back for some more random awesomeness in 2014.
#16 Adriano DE SOUZA - Supertubos #13 - ASP #12
This year Adriano had to surf in some of the worse conditions that Peniche had to offer, and somehow didn't show the devastating passion he used to be fired with, or is it it we are bored of him? Apart from some parsimonious excellent bottom turns, Adriano was showing less spray, drive and variety than Pupo, less flair than Toledo, less competitive gusto than Alejo.
Like a good car going slightly out of fashion, yet not old enough to become "a classic", we tend to turn our heads
towards the fresher, flashier new models and get bored of the good old reliability of the former. Adriano needs an off-season make over, fast, or he will have an even harder time re-inventing himself with the new class of rookies coming for 2014.
#15 Sebastian ZIETZ - Supertubos #13 - ASP #17
Seabass looked uncharacteristically out of pace in Peniche, with only one good barrel in Rd1 and a solid frontside hack to tail blow in Rd2. Really picky, but not with the best waves, he seemed to surf a little safer than usual, not going mental wave after wave...and got a 13th for it. Unable to adapt to the changing tide conditions as well and fast as Nat Young in their round two bout, Seabass flies back home for a possible bis repetita placent of his 2012 rampage on the Hawaiian Triple Crown, and why not a final result at Pipe?
#14 Filipe TOLEDO - Supertubos #13 - ASP #14
Excessively precise and fast, Filipe needs to calm down. Best pop on the market, his gymastic abilities are ridiculous, but in Peniche more than during the previous stops he seemed to be a little too quick, too sharp, rendering ultra technical and precise surfing sometimes too boyish and shallow for the judges. Filipe, only 18, needs to calm down and breathe more on the waves, as the rhythm and timing he had in Bells was just perfect. Since then he's been too many times on fast forward, blurring the judges' vision on how hard what he's doing on a wave is. Not rookie of the year, but definitely top 10 contender in 2014.
#13 Miguel PUPO - Supertubos #9 - ASP #24
Best result of his season for Miggie Smalls, who has no room for mistakes in 2013 has he was out injured for the two first events and therefore must count all his results in. Ticking most of the boxes, Miguel improved drive and power release on his frontside carving of the tops, not to mention his trademark maestria when it comes to the airgame. Miguie already did good at Pipe, and being no stranger to success on Prime events (he won 3), it's safe to say we'll see him back in 2014. In the meantime he just needs to work on his backside facesurfing to match his frontside, as when it comes to air, tubes, big or small waves, Miguel already has all the rest pretty much dialed in.
#12 Michel BOUREZ - Supertubos #13 - ASP #11
Ouch, 4 places down the rankings after Peniche, that must hurt, especially when you're kicked out of a long-awaited Top 10 membership.
Nevertheless, excellent adjustment to the waves and spot options, great heat strategy. Michel spiced up his game in Peniche, being more aerial, vertical, and going über-technical in the extensions of his body on his backhand. Sadly came one wave short against Miguel Pupo. After next week's Prime, he will need to go as good as in 2011 at Pipe (3rd) if he wants to recover his Top 10 spot, as even if the WCT point differences are little, Michel is the only Top 11 member seating on three 25th. #gomichel
#11 CJ HOBGOOD - Supertubos #5 - ASP #10
Quarter final result...with 10,02pt of average per heat. Says a lot about the conditions he had to surf just as how smartly he surfed them. Great waves selection, peaked at the right moments to avoid trouble, just another well-built competition for the vet, who unsurprisingly was the most relaxed in the most complicated hollow sections. Nobody seemed to be more in symbiosis with the spot during the whole event, CJ pocketing his second best finish of the year before trying to "do the job" as he says on the remaining Primes and CT and cashing in more prize money and bacon for the family. Another day at the office for the hard-working family man, that's all he is, but with a fucken cool job let's admit it.