Date: Saturday, April 5, 2014
Schedule: Round 2 (Heats 1-12) of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
Conditions: Two-to-Four foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Main Break. Light wind.
With ASP Top 34 competition absent from the Margaret River lineup over the last two days, the world's best surfers took to the water once again in building swell at Main Break for Round 2.
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.00 def. Nathan Hedge (AUS) 13.16
Up first would be 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater against trials winner and veteran campaigner Nathan Hedge. The Australian would strike first, delivering a series of passionate backhand blasts while Slater would follow with polished forehand carves.
Both Slater and Hedge would continue to attack the righthanders in a seesaw battle with incredible commitment, finishing their rides off on dry reef. While the pair would exchange waves throughout the 30 minute entirety, Slater's scores of 7.50 and 6.50 would see him advance to Round 3 over Hedge.
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.64 def. Mitch Coleborn (AUS) 6.96
Clean conditions continued for Heat 2 of Round 2 as 2012 ASP World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 2 Joel Parkinson did battle with lethal replacement surfer Mitch Coleborn.
Both surfers opted to utilize the righthanders out at Main Break and Parkinson's versatile forehand approach proved advantageous over his goofty-footed opponent.
Heat 3: Nat Young (USA) 15.10 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 6.97
Heat 3 would deliver an all-American battle between Californians Nat Young and Brett Simpson. Both Simpson and Young would jump out to quick starts with Young's surgical backhand against Simpson's progressive forehand repertoire on the righthanders of Main Break.
Young would build momentum throughout the heat, improving on his scores throughout the entirety to take a commanding win while Simpson would struggle to find any substantial scores throughout the 30 minute entirety.
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 15.10 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 12.57
Carnage became the underlying theme of the Round 2 bout between C.J. Hobgood and Raoni Monteiro with both surfers doing battle with the dry reef section of the righthander at Margaret River.
Despite Monteiro's never-say-die approach, Hobgood's backhand (with the utilization of a quad-fin board) proved to be dominant in the morning conditions.
Heat 5: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.17 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.94
Heat 5 between Brazilian ASP World Title threat Adriano de Souza and Spanish standout Aritz Aranburu would get off to a sluggish start, with the pair sitting through the day's first restart due to no waves ridden in the first 10 minutes.
The wave-starved opener would be followed by fireworks, with both De Souza and Aranburu unloading explosive forehand exchanges on the Main Break rights. Aranburu would catch a wave in the dying minutes of the bout needing just a modest 4.5 to overtake De Souza, but would fall just shy of the score needed to advance.
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 17.60 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.43
It was nothing short of fireworks for the Heat 6 bout between perennial ASP World Title contender John John Florence and dynamic rookie Dion Atkinson.
Both surfers continued to favor the righthanders at Margaret River's Main Break with Atkinson drawing first blood for a blistering forehand assault for an 8.00.
Not to be outdone, Florence destroyed a follow-up wave blending airs, turns, barrels and fin-free maneuvers to the tune of a near-perfect 9.87. From then on, it was all the Hawaiian's heat.
Heat 7: Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.77 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.70
While the previous heat would host a stunning performance from Florence, Tahitian powerhouse Michel Bourez and South African workhorse Travis Logie would grind out a gritty heat with inconsistent conditions out at Main Break.
Logie and Bourez would both quickly log a pair of five point rides, with the Tahitian's explosive forehand combinations against Logie's lighting backhand attack. Bourez would get the best of the exchanges at the end of the 30 minute affair, advancing to Round 3 while Logie will look to Bells to regroup.
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.20 def. Perth Standlick (AUS) 10.00
With Alejo Muniz a last-minute withdrawal due to an ankle injury, Owen Wright would take on trials replacement Perth Standlick in Round 2.
While the winds would begin to shift onshore, Wright would drive through the choppy conditions, decimating the powerful Main Break walls with an impressive backhand array.
Standlick would fight to battle back, but was unable to answer Wright's scores.
Heat 9: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.10 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 11.77
As onshore winds continued to build, Adrian Buchan would battle fellow Australian Mitch Crews for a spot in Round 3.
Adrian Buchan would deliver a technical backhand attach on the Main Break rights while rookie Mitch Crews would unload forehand panache combined with explosive carves and airs. While both surfers would exchange solid scores, Buchan would edge out the rookie, solidifying a Round 3 berth and handing Crews his first Round 2 loss.
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.50 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.17
Jeremy Flores would strike first in Heat 10 unloading his polished forehand rail-game with precise wave selection.
While Kolohe Andino would get off to a slow start, the Californian would battle back in need of a solid score, vaulting a committed air-reverse on the outside section followed with a flurry for frontside turns. Andino would earn a 7.67 for the ride, overtaking the Frenchman for a spot in Round 3.
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.83 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.77
Heat 11 would see an electric collage of exchanges from progressive masterminds Sebastian Zietz and Matt Wilkinson. Zietz would unload a barrage of forehand maneuvers while Wilko's backhand repertoire would shine on the chunky Main Break rights.
Zietz would build momentum however, detonating one of the day's high heat totals of 15.84, securing a Round 3 berth.
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.03 def. Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.67
The final heat of Round 2 would see a battle of the veterans, with Australian regular-footer Bede Durbidge up against Hawaiian goofy-footer Fred Patacchia.
Patacchia took an early command of the heat, but Durbidge would decimate a righthand wall in the back half of the bout, overtaking the Hawaiian and hanging on for the win.