Filipe Toledo Steals JJF’s Haircut, Soars Above The Field At Winkipop

by Michael Ciaramella April 19, 2019 4 min read

The 2019 Rip Curl Pro Bells began with a cold, shriveled whimper.

Dark, disjointed lines stretched into the bay at Winkipop, with just enough consistency to justify running heats. With the forecast on hand, it’s no wonder the WSL gave Round 1 the green light. With tomorrow looking smaller and devilish in the wind, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to run again until Monday, and there are three days at the end of the period that look okay.

So yeah—small and crumbly as today may have been, it’s the best waves Torquay will see in a while.

And to be fair, the boys gave Winkipop a respectable bashing.

In heat one, Jadson polished off his old ExQaliber craft and swung it viciously through the lip, dicing Winki to pieces for mid-sixes and a heat win.

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Jordy Smith used his big-man agility to “dominate” his competitors, or so said fellow Saffa Rosie Hodge in the post-heat interview.

“Yeah I reallydominatedthat heat with a 10-point total,” Jordy laughed.

Later, in the parking lot, some kid approached Jordy with a pad and pen looking for an autograph.

“Yeah, five bucks,” Jordy responded, completely dead-pan.

The kid looked at Jordy, then back at his dad, as if to ask, “Father dearest, could you spare a cheeky fiver?”

“Juuuust kidding,” Jordy laughed, before making a loopy scribble on the kid’s notepad. The South African is in great spirits. That could be dangerous.

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If you were only gonna watch one heat from today, it’d have to be Filipe Toledo’s.

First of all, the hair. Filipe has not only ripped off John’s fauxhawk, but taken it to the next level – the Brazilian opted to actually shave the sides, rather than just giving ’em a number two. Is this a response to his quarterfinal loss against the 2x Champ at Dbah, or merely the next stage in Filipe’s hair evolution?

Whatever the reason, Filipe was going fast. As fuck. It looked like he was surfing a completely different wave than other surfers—including the 16-year old local grom with an adorable gap-tooth in his heat, Xavier Huxtable, and the greatest surfer of all time (Da GOAT).

Like Ronnie implied, if the event stays at Winki, we might as well hand Fil the Bell right now. No one can compete.

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Julian Wilson had a wave worth mentioning. After building a small thatch cottage with fours, fives, and sixes, Julian decided to push beyond his typically tepid exertion and throw some fucking heat at a wave, which just so happened to be the lowest quality lump he caught all heat.

It went like this:

Huge committed layback, pump pump pump, check turn, pump pump pump, air reverse.

7.23… on the worst wave he caught all heat. Imagine if Julian put that level of energy into the good ones.

While wildcard Jacob Willcox got Jules by a thin, blond hair, with the new CT format, they’re both going to Round 3.

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The Medina heat was also interesting, as it displayed the stark contrast between his and R-Cal’s styles, or perhaps their board selection. This insight comes from watching Winki live, all the way up on top of the hill, where you naturally lose some of the smaller, technical data, but gain more of the “big picture” perspective.

While Ryan dug his rail deep into the wave and drove through the lip, Medina skated across the surface and drifted over sections. I’d assume this whittles down to their respective board-literage-to-body-mass ratio. Compared to RC’s, Medina’s boards are like small boats.

Both surfers performed remarkably well in the subpar conditions, but Medina’s speed and glide set him above Callinan in the end. The heat’s third-man(n), wildcard Harrison Mann, looked oddly lost in his local, taking the first and lumpiest wave of the set and safety surfing like he was trying to get top-two in a Torquay Boardriders’ quarterfinal.

You’re against the best surfers in the world, kid! Show us something we couldn’t do ourselves.

The biggest shocker of the day (for me) was how many local fans were wearing shorts (males) and skirts (females), with low pressure on the horizon, winds gusting onshore, and temps in the marginally frigid range—not cold enough to throw on mittens, but to the point where our bare-knees would be knocking.

Victorians are tuff. See ya whenever we’re back. 

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Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.23 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.97, Owen Wright (AUS) 8.20  
Heat 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.26 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.07, Jack Freestone (AUS) 7.84  
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.87 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.63, Xavier Huxtable (AUS) 10.23  
Heat 4: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.57 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.06, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.73  
Heat 5: Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.74 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.73, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.00
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.70 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.00, Harrison Mann (AUS) 7.87  
Heat 7: Conner Coffin (USA) 10.77 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.60, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 9.56  
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.77 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 8.67, Soli Bailey (AUS) 8.37
Heat 9: Ricardo Christie (NZL) 11.83 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.10, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 8.04

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Men’s Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)  
Heat 11: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)  
Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Women’s Round 1 Matchups: 
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)  
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)  
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Kobie Enright (AUS) 
Heat 4: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)  
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)  
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)


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