Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men's Round 4
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.57, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.90
Burrow built momentum throughout the first half of the heat while his fellow competitors took 15 minutes to log scores on the board. While De Souza and Melling eventually notched respectable rides, Burrow's early breakaway carried him a direct Quarterfinal berth.
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 18.00, Kelly Slater (USA) 16.53, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17
The second heat of the non-elimination Round 4 was one of the most anticipated of the event: 11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater, current ASP WCT No. 1 Gabriel Medina and Hawaiian phenom John John Florence collided in a heavyweight lineup.
Slater opened the affair with some solid scoring for a series of power carves on his forehand while Medina struggled, somewhat, in the high tide Rincon conditions.
However, it was Florence who shook the field with a semi-inverted full rotation aerial followed up by a series of carves and a power layback. The ride earned him the first Perfect 10 of the season, changed the momentum in the heat and the Hawaiian remained dominant, advancing directly to the Quarterfinals.
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.66, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.20
Parkinson surfaced in the lead with unmatched variety, blending his silky rail work and technical no-grab airs, notching a 16.66 heat total topping his competition and earning a Round 5 skip.
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.34, Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.17, Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.54
Patacchia bolted out to an early lead and Wilson struggled to find appropriate scoring opportunities while. However, it was the two-time event winner Fanning who dissected the Rincon rights with surgical precision, netting a 16.34 and advancing directly to the Quarterfinals.
Patacchia and Wilson will face off against their respective opponents in Round 5.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men's Round 3
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.90 def. Mitch Crews (AUS) 10.84
The opening heat of the morning matched progressive Australians Taj Burrow and Mitch Crews against each other. While Burrow brought veteran experience to the table against his rookie competitor, Crews showed impressive poise throughout the 30 minute affair.
Both surfers had stumbles on set waves throughout the heat, but ultimately Burrow would capitalize, earning with a high-score of a 7 to advance him to Round 4.
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.20 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.74
Tricky conditions persisted for the second heat of the morning as defending event winner Adriano de Souza faced compatriot and tour sophomore Filipe Toledo.
De Souza stuck to his full-rail power game while Toledo took to the air. An exchange in the dying moments would ultimately decide the bout.
Heat 3: Adam Melling (AUS) 15.56 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.60
With winds blowing in to the rights for Heat 3, conditions appeared favorable to highlight Josh Kerr's forehand air game against Adam Melling.
Melling was unfazed by the bumpy walls and decimated the sets for a strong start of 7.33. Kerr displayed his highly anticipated frontside air, notching a midrange 5, but Melling continued to rage, posting an 8.33 for a series of sizzling forehand turns and a Round 3 win.
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.00 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 15.13
Conditions pulsed for Round 3, Heat 4 as current ASP WCT No. 1 Gabriel Medina squared off against Australian veteran Bede Durbidge.
After a sterling run in Margaret River, Durbidge's power was in full flight this morning, blending massive forehand arcs with full-speed transitions.
Medina would not be denied, the young goofy-footer surfing with futuristic aplomb, sticking backhand full-rotation aerials and mixing them with high-impact turns. In the end, the precision of the Brazilian's maneuvers overshadowed the momentum of Durbidge.
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) 15.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 15.67
Heat 5 got off to a quick start, with John John Florence and Kai Otton immediately engaging in a high-scoring exchange. Florence delivered two fins-free turns followed by a series of powerful carves for an 8.83, while Otton dismantled the following wave with backhand gouges for an 8.50.
Florence fell on his next three attempts, while Otton quickly backed up the ride with his committed backhand attack for a 7.17.
The Hawaiian eventually rebounded later in the heat, belting a 7.00 to secure his first Round 4 berth of the 2014 season.
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.53 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 14.40
11-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater and grinder Glenn Hall battled for a Round 4 berth next. Slater stuck first, utilizing his veteran experience to navigate the Bells lineup with ease. Slater opened his campaign with a 7.00, eventually switching his equipment from a thruster to four-fin setup to adapt to conditions.
Hall maintained composure, eventually earning the highest score of the heat via a series of impressive backhand combinations for an 8.67 out of 10. Slater answered back again, notching a 7.70 to solidify a Round 4 berth.
Heat 7: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.10 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.90
2012 ASP World Champion and three-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Winner Joel Parkinson combatted Basque talent Aritz Aranburu in groomed Bells Bowl conditions.
Parkinson got on the board first, posting a 7.50 compliments of his signature forehand rail-work. Aranburu answered back, unloading his own raw approach of a committed lay-back and several carves for a midrange 6. The Australian eventually sealed the win on another set wave, dismantling a Bells wall for a 7.60.
Heat 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.43 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 10.83
Light winds and clean conditions prevailed for Heat 8 of Round 3 as goofy-footers C.J. Hobgood and Owen Wright squared off.
Coming off a season-long injury sustained at Bells Beach last year, Wright continued his 2014 momentum with critical backhand floaters and monster backhand punts to the tune of a 13.43.
Hobgood's own punchy backhand surfing was on display as well, but it didn't have any answer for Wright on this occasion.
Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.44 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.50
Jordy Smith wasted little time in asserting his dominance in Round 3, dropping a near-perfect 9.57 on his opening ride against Sebastian Zietz.
The South African powerhouse continued to revel in the open walls of Bells Bowl, backing the ride up with a 5.60. While Zietz captured a near-perfect 9.00 of his own for a blistering attack on a long set, Smith left with the heat win.
Heat 10: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 12.66 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.43
As the high tide filled in further, inconsistent conditions plagued Bells Bowl. Goofy-footers Fred Patacchia and Nat Young entangled in the wave-starved affair, with Patacchia earning a crucial 8.33 for a series of powerful backhand turns on his opening ride.
Following the Hawaiian's excellent start, both Patacchia and Young waited patiently to log their scores. Young notched a pair of 6s, temporarily overtaking the lead, but Patacchia's patience paid off, eventually locking in a backup score to eliminate last year's event runner up.
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.03 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.34
After a two-hour hold, progressive wizards Julian Wilson and Miguel Pupo relocated to the rippable walls of Rincon for a high performance showdown.
Wilson put together an incredible aerial display while dominating the heat over his Brazilian competitor, connecting classic carves and huge forehand rotations. Wilson detonated one of the higher single-wave scores of 9.93 during the one-sided affair and moved on to Round 4.
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.94 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.50
Rincon continued to pump for the final heat of Round 3 with reigning three-time ASP World Champion Mick Fanning facing off against Rip Curl teammate Matt Wilkinson.
A former two-time Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach winner, Fanning wasted no time in the bout, lacerating a long righthand wall in the opening seconds to high score with a 9.67. Fanning followed up with another impressive display for a 7.27.
Wilkinson possessed opportunity on his backhand, but ultimately failed to answer his teammate.