Day 5 of the Oi Rio Pro

by stab March 08, 2016 3 min read

Words by Jake Tellkamp  

The quarterfinals are set at the Oi Rio Pro, decided after a massive day of competition. Held in front of arguably the most electric crowd the WSL has ever seen, here are the top 5 moments from rounds three to five.

5. John John minces Melling
In the first heat of the morning, John John Florence dusted Adam Melling with a combined heat total of 18.77 to Melling’s 12.67. Starting off the heat with a very chic rodeo flip, and backing it up with a sand-ridden cave, the young Hawaiian set the bar of expectation impossibly high for the rest of the day.

4. Kelly falters in round three to Matt Banting
The unpredictable nature of the ol’ Brazilian beach break was never more apparent than in round three heat three when Kelly Slater took on rookie Matt Banting. Coming off a brilliant round one performance, Slater looked like the man to challenge Filipe Toledo’s solid game plan. However, Banting re-wrote the script when he ground out a few fives and regulated Slater to another disappointing result. In a post-heat interview with the always wonderful Rosy Hodge, Banting attributed his win to the shiftiness of conditions:“The waves were really tricky out there which kind of played my in my favour.”

3. Rookie, Ricardo Christie continues his dream run
Who doesn’t love this guy? After taking out Jordy in round two, Ricardo’s momentum carried on into round three where he dismantled current rating’s leader, Adriano De Souza. In the opening stages of the heat, Ricardo netted an 8.67 for a lengthy tube, combo’d with a snap and never looked back. While De Souza has looked unshakeable this year, the Kiwi put a stop to his ratings runaway by handing him a 13th place on home soil. Ricardo remained unfazed by the crowd’s reaction to their local hopes falling hard: “I got out of the water yesterday and everybody was booing me, so I took that on and said, ‘Come on guys, I’m just here to have fun!’” See, who doesn’t love this guy?

2. Keanu Asing: An underdog story
What do you do when you’re up against the current world champ who’s backed by 30,000 of his countrymen? Stick it to him right in the gut, says Keanu Asing! This year we have seen Keanu surf with calculated risk, functional foam climbs, decent wraps and rookie mistakes but it’s all been topped with persistence. He closed the heat with a full rotation alley-oop for an 8.60. Strikingly composed after the most dramatic heat win of his career, Keanu proclaimed while looking up at Peter Mel, “These kind of heats call for big performances, and  I needed to improvise, adapt and overcome, and thats what happened.”

1. Filipe Toledo is still the most exciting surfer on tour
The proof is in the perfect 10! Filipe Toledo is a peaceful man, so much so that when the crowd lost its favourite son (Gabriel), he quickly calmed them down with a very generous display of his frighteningly fast surfing. If there are any surfers on tour who could challenge Filipe in an aerial duel, it was Banting and Florence in round four. “Unfortunately Gabriel (Medina) and Adriano (de Souza) lost today,” said Filipe. “But I’m really comfortable and confident and I’ll try my best to be in the Final and represent Brazil. I really want the yellow jersey back too.” There is no one on tour with a better make-rate than these three gents. However, it was a one-sided affair as Filipe combed the two gentlemen into humble submission.

Here’s how your Quarterfinal match-ups look:

Heat 1
Filipe Toledo vs Ricardo Christie

Heat 2
Jadson Andre vs Italo Ferrira

Heat 3
Josh Kerr vs Bede Durbidge

Heat 4
Matt Wilkinson vs Owen Wright

The post Day 5 of the Oi Rio Pro appeared first on Stab Mag.