Nothing was ever gonna be decided on the first day anyway, seeing as there’s no elimination in Rd 1. (Full title 2014 race scenarios here) But we could’ve seen some tense Rd 2 business had either Slater or Medina found themselves surfing in it.

But we don’t. They both advanced straight to Rd 3; Slater over Wilko and Nic von Rupp (!) and Gabs over Kai Ottz and Jacob Wilcox.

Is the young Brazilian getting title race question weary? Not externally, anyway. “It’s not a pressure, it’s motivating me.” said the World Champ elect of the big silver trophy talk, “I feel good.”

Meanwhile, Slater was full of gushing praise for young Gabs, “He’s hyper-competitive and he wants to win more than anybody else,” Slater said of Medina. “You can see he loves to surf, he loves to get better… he’s got crazy skills.”

Mind games?

Damnation by semi-faint praise?

Oh you cynics, you. You jaded, salty, sceptics. Maybe he actually just means it…


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