BARRA DA TIJUCA, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil: The Billabong Rio Pro, Stop No. 4 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, saw a thrilling day of surfing on super Sunday and ran through Men’s Rounds 3 and 4 in barreling four foot (1.2 metre) surf. The first of the Quarterfinalists were decided in a flurry of Brazilian defeats, with only Adriano de Souza left in the running to represent the host country. Bede Durbidge was the standout surfer of the day, claiming the highest two-wave heat total with 16.33.
The first heat of the day featured a barrel shootout between current ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA) and veteran Travis Logie (ZAF). Medina wasted little time in establishing a lead, earning an 8.50 for a deep forehand barrel in the opening minute of the heat. Medina looked poised for victory when he found another forehand tube for a 6.50, but Logie’s patience paid off. With 1:30 remaining on the clock, the South African drove through an incredible forehand barrel, posting a near-perfect 9.50 for a win over the Brazilian favorite. Medina leaves the competition in equal 13th place. Logie went on to be defeated by Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Nat Young (USA) in Round 4 but will get another chance to fight for a place in the Quarterfinals against Kolohe Andino (USA) in Round 5.
“I’m baffled,” said Travis Logie. “That was a nice little birthday present. I got two good waves and I pulled the rabbit out of the hat at the end of the heat. I don’t know how I did that, I’m speechless. I’ve been doing this for a while now so I just kept relaxed even though I’d resigned myself to losing the heat. I just thought to myself it’s me against the ocean. I’m stoked.”
“It was tricky out there,” said Gabriel Medina. “My first wave was good but I couldn’t find a second one. Travis (Logie) is always a dangerous guy and I knew it would be a tough heat. I just tried to pay attention to him and he got me at the end. He was at the right spot at the right time. It’s so good to have all the support here, there’s no better support than here in Brazil. I’m looking forward to Fiji, that was just a throwaway result. Now I’ll train more and get ready for the next event.”
Thumping barrels at Barra Da Tijuca saw Australian powerhouse Bede Durbidge deliver today’s top performance. First he faced prodigious Brazilian Filipe Toledo in Round 3 Heat 5. Durbidge took control of the heat and banked the highest two-wave heat total of the day, leaving the sophomore standout in need of an excellent 9.10. Toledo was unable to find the near-perfect ride and the veteran advanced to Round 4 where his success continued against Americans Kolohe Andino and Kelly Slater. Durbidge revelled in the powerful beachbreak conditions, kicking off his Round 4 campaign with a deep backhand barrel for a near-perfect 9.10. Andino and Slater could not find the scores needed to better the Australian who backed up his stunning opener with a 6.10, securing a Quarterfinals berth.
“It was tough to draw a Brazilian here and I knew Filipe (Toledo) would be doing his airs, but I’m glad we had swell and I’m glad I got the win,” said Bede Durbidge. “I really wanted to keep my momentum going because I had such a good heat earlier today. Preparation is key for me. I love getting fired up before the heats and surfing with lots of aggression so I just need to keep that going. I feel right at home here because I grew up surfing conditions like this.”
2013 event winner Jordy Smith (ZAF) is one step closer to defending his title after eliminating Brazilian Jadson Andre in Round 3. The pair battled in barreling conditions and Smith struck first, driving through a thick barrel for a 7.60. Andre fought to get on the board, but posted only low scores for the first half of the heat. A crucial exchanged unfolded with 12 minutes remaining but the South African’s 8.50 score carried him to a convincing win. Smith was able to build on his success in Round 4 against Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW). The pair posted solid scores but were unable to back them up, leaving Smith to secure a Quarterfinals berth, while Parkinson and Zietz will have to surf again in Round 5 when competition resumes.
“I was really inspired by Travis Logie’s performance earlier today,” said Jordy Smith. “It would really be something special if we could both make the Final. These days you have to pull everything out from the get go. Jadson (Andre) is an incredible surfer and really had the crowd behind him. It played on my mind a bit but got me fired up to do better. I’m feeling more confident than ever.”
2013 Rookie of the Year Nat Young (USA) fast tracked his way to the Quarterfinals after victory in Round 3 against Mitch Crews (AUS) and another win in Round 4 against Travis Logie (ZAF) and Adriano de Souza (BRA). Nat Young took off early in Round 3, earning midrange scores in the opening five minutes with back-to-back tube rides. Another quick barrel with a clean cutback finish improved his bottom score to a 5.93 and forcing rookie Crews to hunt for an excellent score he was unable to secure. The three-man non-elimination Round 4 began came down to a crucial exchange with six minutes remaining. De Souza picked off the first wave of a set, posting a 6.07 for a modest barrel, but Young backdoored the following wave, driving deep through the barrel, punctuated with a clean exit for a heat-high 8.17 to take the lead and eventual heat win.
“I feel like I didn’t start very well,” said Nat Young. “I didn’t get too many waves but I managed to find those two decent barrels out there at the end and I’m slowly getting better scores. I’m happy to skip that fifth round. I don’t have the best luck in that round and I’m happy to be in the Quarterfinals.”
Taj Burrow (AUS), fresh from runner-up finish at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, advanced through two heats today, securing a spot in the Quarterfinals. While most of the day saw clean, barreling conditions grace the lineup, the Western Australian was forced to battle the elements in order to earn his victories in Rounds 3 and 4. He faced fellow Australian Dion Atkinson in Round 3 who, despite holding the lead for the first two-thirds of the heat, went down after Burrow posted a 7.43 for a deep barrel. Burrow matched up against Josh Kerr (AUS) and Michel Bourez (PFY) in challenging conditions in Round 4 and secured the win with a two-wave total of 9.00 at the end of the low-scoring affair.
“It was so difficult, it might have been the hardest heat I’ve ever surfed,” said Taj Burrow after his Round 4 win. “I was stuck in a rip at the end and it was like river rapids. With the waves I got, I didn’t think I won.”
Billabong Rio Pro Round 5 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zeitz (HAW)
Billabong Rio Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 15.34, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.34, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.03
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.27, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.43, Kelly Slater (USA) 5.30
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.53, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.24, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.10
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.00, Josh Kerr (AUS) 7.83, Michel Bourez (3.20)
Billabong Rio Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Travis Logie (ZAF) 15.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.00
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) 12.03 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 7.33
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.97 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 7.63
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.70 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 16.33 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.90
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.53 def. David Do Carmo (BRA) 10.93
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Tiago Pires (PRT) 7.36
Heat 8: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.04
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.10 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.83
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.00 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 9.17
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.73 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.90
Heat 12: Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.13 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 12.43
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