Saturday, June 25, 2022 |
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It’s going to be three straight events into the third round for Sebastian Zietz. The Kilauea product put up the highest heat total of the second round to edge France’s Jeremy Flores at the Billabong Rio Pro in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
Not quite as lucky were both Kauai wahine still in the Rio Women’s Pro. Malia Manuel and Tatiana Weston-Webb had successfully reached the fourth round but were eliminated in their head-to-head heats, each taking an Equal 9th finish.
The men got the go-ahead to put the second round in the water, though it was tough conditions for Seabass and everyone else trying to move on. Flores showed off a great turn off the lip on a late drop to receive a 5.50 from the judges and take the lead about 10 minutes into their heat. Zietz responded in kind and found a left with a short, clean section for two snapping turns that warranted a 7.00 from the judges to move back in front. He propelled further into the lead by getting an 8.23 on just two turns, showing some snap with his board as he torqued the fins both times for big numbers.
Flores needed an 8.77 to move back ahead when Seabass improved upon his 7.00 with a four-turn right. Making the best of a left with three snapping turns, Flores earned a 7.77 that got him a bit closer, but he would still need a 7.94 with seven minutes remaining. As the two competitors sat on their boards in what appeared to be a massive wave pool, Zietz snagged the one big wave with priority and Flores watched the clock run out, falling 15.70 to 14.70.
Seabass has now made the third round in three consecutive competitions, though his reward this time will be a head-to-head match up with Oahu phenom John John Florence. Florence won his opening-round heat to advance directly into the third round.
Defending world champion Mick Fanning saw his event come to an early close, when he was knocked out by Brazilian wild card David Do Carmo. Oahu’s Freddy Patacchia had a hard-luck heat, equaling the score of Brazil’s Alejo Muniz at 13.83 apiece, but Muniz had the high single-wave score to keep the lead and move on.
Some round three heats to keep an eye on are Felipe Toledo taking on Bede Durbidge, Michel Bourez facing Adrian “Ace” Buchan and Kelly Slater hoping to put down the upset minded Do Carmo.
Before the men’s second round, the women first tested the waters and completed their fourth round, which was the final stop for both Kauai women still alive in the event. Manuel was first up against Oahu’s Alessa Quizon, who had never beaten Manuel in three previous heats. This time, the outcome was different and Quizon got off to the quick start, something Manuel has typically done in her 2014 campaign. Quizon picked up an early 7.67 on a two-turn right, and after falling behind on a pair of medium scores from Manuel, she moved well ahead with another right at the 10-minute mark that earned a 7.27. Manuel was in need of an 8.94 and she stayed patient with priority, but her one go teetered out after one good turn and Quizon held on for the win.
Manuel came into the event ranked sixth on the World Championship Tour, but this was the first time she has failed to reach the quarterfinals in 2014.
For Weston-Webb, her first ever WCT event came to a close in a loss to Australia’s Nikki Van Dijk. It was a good debut for Tati, who is hoping to work her way into becoming a full-time world tour competitor in 2015. After topping Bianca Biutendag in the second round, her heat with Van Dijk was a struggle. She paddled for a number of waves but just put together a two-wave total of 6.43. Van Dijk’s 11.17 score puts her in the quarters for the first time this season. She will take on defending Rio champ Tyler Wright when action resumes.
The other three quarterfinal matchups see Quizon going against fellow Oahu native Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson taking on Pauline Ado and Sally Fitzgibbons facing Oahu’s Coco Ho.
Live action can be seen on Oceanic Surf Channel (250 or 1250) and results are available at aspworldtour.com.
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