Rounds 3 and 4 ran today at Middles, in clean surf that even went offshore in the afternoon offering up a few barrels.
The big story was both Kelly and Jordy advancing from their Rd3 heats, meaning that the 2010 World Title would not go down today. Kelly dispatched local hero Dylan Graves, despite the loudest and proudest cheering section in pro surfing history, whilst Jordy, in the following heat, made short work of the Klingon to stay alive. However if Kelly advances from his QF heat, which could well run tomorrow, then he will be crowned the Champ.
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Dylan Graves’ impressive local cheering section, led by Wesley Toth, getting right into it. The judges werent so enthralled, awarding just a 7 something for this wave, which the local boy got barrelled on, but not very. The girl leaping about the most in the middle is actually from Pamplona, Spain, not PR and yes darlin, I will be showing Kelly this. Busted.
Along with Kelly and Jordy, Dane Reynolds and Owen Wright put in the performances of the day. Aside from Old Boy who is relatively small in stature, with the dominance of Jordy, Dane and Owen today, it seems the high performance future is big, bad and heavy.
Whilst Taj looked flashy and Mick’s turns had plenty of whip and venom, it was the rude loose hooks from Reynolds that made even ol’ fave power horses like Taylor look a bit pedestrian. I ear wigged Wilko and Dane’s beer chat at the end of the day and Wilko reckoned Owen “looks like he’s going too tight off the bottom, then somehow pops over the section and extends out,” which seemed like as reasonable a technical description of the big goofy’s turns as you’ll get, and a bit better than saying, ‘ripping’, ‘rad’ and ‘he went mad.’
Wilko’s recently tattooed toes. It says ‘A Team’. He’s actually much too young to have been in the A Team, but if he was he’d mostly likely be Murdoch with perhaps a very slight suggestion of the Faceman and very, very little BA or Hannibal if any at all.
Drama came in the ‘exhibition’ round 4, which incidentally it seems the jury is very much still out on, when little Adriano de Souza copped a blatant paddling interference against Kelly. It was pretty stupid, seeing as at that point de Souza seemed in control and destined to send Slater to Rd5. A source from Kelly’s entourage stormed through the media area incensed, spitting, “That’s three times, he’s lucky he doesn’t knock him out.” Word was Kelly broke off Minheiro a lil’ something something in the surfers area afterwards, although that is unconfirmed. He certainly didn’t knock him out. Tom Curren perhaps put it best in the webcast booth when offering, “Well he got in his way, but there was a bit of Academy Awards in that…”
I watched the clinch heats of Rd 3 sitting next to the Claw, who admitted he’s been watching pro surfing ever since “its very first heat, ever.” The guy is definitely a fan, his enthusiasm for the game undeniable. I asked him about the Ashes and he was fairly ambiguous and non-committal in response, which mightn’t bode well for the Aussies, who aren’t usually shy in claiming advantage if they feel they have one. He correctly predicted England would do them in 2005 when at the Reunion Isle Search event, and certainly seems to know his sporting onions.
Anyway, Kelly needs to make one more heat to win his Tenth World Title regardless of what Jordy does. Stay tuned.
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.16 def. Dusty Payne (USA) 9.00
Heat 2: Taylor Knox (USA) 14.10 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.73
Heat 3: Dane Reynolds (USA) 16.04 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.70
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.70 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.90
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.06 def. Bobby Martinez (USA) 12.84
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.50 def. Dylan Graves (PRI) 13.07
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 11.43
Heat 8: Chris Davidson (AUS) Advances Over Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) N/S
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.50 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 10.27
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.37 def. Dan Ross (AUS) 11.80
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.33 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.54
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.60 def. Roy Powers (HAW) 12.10
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.57, Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.23, Taylor Knox (USA) 13.70
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.20, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.42, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.60
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.80, Owen Wright (AUS) 14.26, Chris Davidson (AUS) 8.16
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.70, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.53, Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.30
RIP CURL PRO SEARCH PUERTO RICO ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Taylor Knox (USA)
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Chris Davidson (AUS)