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John John in the first of two deep tubes that despite getting him a heat score of 19.20, were not enough for him to progress.© 2014 ASP/Hayden-Smith
Kelly losing to his good friend CJ Hobgood leaves the title race wide open once again.© 2014 ASP/Hayden-Smith
To say the surfers are stoked with their new venue is something of an understatement.© 2014 ASP/Hayden-Smith
Parko on his way to his second ever perfect 20 heat score and also the second one of this event.© 2014 ASP/Hayden-Smith
There is a very wise group of people who choose Michel for their Fantasy Surfer team. He must be a dark horse to take the event win now.© 2014 ASP/Hayden-Smith
The Oakley Bali Pro resumed competition today, completing Rounds 4 and 5 in excellent six-to-eight foot barrels at Keramas. It was a day of incredible surfing and even better waves. It was also one that was not without some controversy. The scores and judging for the rounds featuring Mick and Freddie P and Parko and John John will be debated at length and with some justification.
The really good news however, is that tomorrow should see a significant bump in the swell to really finish what has been a great contest in spectacular style. You can see the forecast HERE.
Back to today and Taj Burrow opened up this morning’s proceedings with an excellent 18.30 out of 20, weaving through a number of impressive forehand barrels to advance directly into the Quarterfinals. “I’m pretty happy to skip that next round,” Burrow said. “The last few events I got stuck in that Round 5 and got a ninth and once you get to the Quarters it’s considered a pretty good result, so I’m stoked.”
“That was the best heat you could ever ask for, I had priority when the good ones came and that was just really fun. You can’t script a much better heat and that was my first 10 in a ‘CT event. I’ve been wanting one for years and to get one in a heat like that makes it that much more special. We’re so stoked to come to Bali and with the forecast looking good and right now, it’s so pumping out there.”Josh Kerr
Josh Kerr continued this morning’s action with the best heat of his career, threading several solid barrels and blending big forehand turns to collect a near-perfect 19.20. Of the fives waves Kerr caught in his Round 4 heat, all scored in the excellent (8 to 10-point range), including a Perfect 10.
Julian Wilson survived one of the slower heats of the morning, utilizing superior wave selection and solid surfing to post a win in the dying moments. “We had a really slow heat and I figured it’d be slow after the last heat, I thought we’d get plenty of sets with the incoming tide, but it was still slow. My first wave was pretty good, but it felt like more of a warm up wave and I left it pretty tight at the end.”
Michel Bourez closed out Round 4 with an electric performance, securing an excellent 18.50 out of a possible 20 to advance directly into the Quarterfinals. The powerful Tahitian exhibited a blend of fearless tube-riding as well as unmatched power carves on his forehand. “That’s why I like my job so much,” Bourez said. “I was having fun riding good barrels and getting paid for it. I got a really good score on my first wave and knew if Freddy (Patacchia) got a 9.8 that I needed to get a 9.8 too. I followed him everywhere he went and wanted to make sure I was on the good waves.”
“Over the years I’ve been coming here, there have been odd moments where you get a wave like that but never the kind of frequency we had in that heat, that was just magic. We were throwing away 9s and John (Florence) was nearly sticking 8-foot corked out rotations. The kid can do it all and he was never one I was going to take lightly.”Joel Parkinson
The action didn’t stop at Round 4, however, as the elimination, man-on-man Round 5 delivered some of the most impressive performances of the year. Joel Parkinson opened up the afternoon’s action with a sensational shootout against an in-form John John Florence. Florence threaded a number of excellent barrels and punctuated with unmatched carves to amass a near-perfect 19.20.
C.J. Hobgood caused the upset of the afternoon in the elimination of Kelly Slater in Round 5 of competition. With conditions changing in the dropping tide, Hobgood executed a series of impressive backhand maneuvers to put his fellow Floridian out of competition, 17.00 to 14.33. “Trickier heat than most today for sure,” Hobgood said. “There have been some crazy heats with amazing waves and you could tell that the conditions were changing for our heat. I think out of all the times Kelly (Slater) and I have met up, I’ve only gotten him once before today so it was bound to balance out.” Hobgood is joined in the Quarterfinals by fellow goofy-footer and rookie sensation Nat Young who’s aggressive backhand approach resulted in a polished Round 5 win over title threat Adriano de Souza.
Mick Fanning two-time ASP World Champion, capped off the day’s events by seizing the opportunity with a late-heat win over dangerous goofy-footer Fredrick Patacchia. Fanning’s advancement this afternoon pushes the Gold Coaster ahead of Slater in the hunt for the 2013 ASP World Title for the time being. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 6:45am start.
All the Heats on Demand are available HERE
OAKLEY PRO BALI ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 18.30, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.90, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.57
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 19.67, Kelly Slater (USA) 18.60, John John Florence (HAW) 17.10
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.00, Nat Young (USA) 13.86, Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.50
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) 18.50, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 17.23, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.87
OAKLEY PRO BALI ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 20.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 19.20
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 17.00 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.33
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 16.93 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.94
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.46 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.90
UPCOMING OAKLEY PRO BALI QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
QF 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
QF 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
Entry to The Winter Session has closed for this season. The task remains of picking a pair of winners for February, then sorting through all the edits in search of an overall victor.
Three months of non stop storms ended abruptly in Les Landes on Thursday.
Skeleton Bay providing the implausibly long tunnels for which it is known.