It’s a funky wave and a cool trophy, but it’s not a great event this year for Kauai’s three pros on the Championship Tour. Tuesday was a lay day for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach but the quarterfinals are set for both the men’s and women’s sides of the draw.
Tatiana Weston-Webb had the best week of the Kauai trio and she’ll take an Equal Ninth for her run to the fourth round. It seemed as though her event may last a bit longer during a very close heat with Courtney Conlogue. The two went back and forth and Weston-Webb held the highest single wave score with a 7.33, but she needed a 6.11 backup to move into first. At the five-minute mark, Tati got into a wave that allowed for a big opening turn, but flattened before she tagged the lip a second time, then cut a pair of carves on the closeout. The way the heat and the day had been scored, it seemed good enough to move back ahead.
The judges didn’t see it that way and the score came in at a 5.93, just shy of the number needed. Conlogue held on for the 13.44 to 13.26 win and a spot in the quarterfinals. Tati has been involved in plenty of close heats during her young CT career and this one didn’t go her way, but she’s still five for five when it comes to reaching at least round four.
Manuel’s contest was more abnormal for her. For just the second time in her last 12 events, Manuel was eliminated in round two. She went head-to-head with Alessa Quizon and came up just short. Both had to battle the white water and make the most of not much. Manuel fell behind with just under 10 minutes remaining and needed a 6.00 to move back ahead. She showed patience and flow on her next effort but became unstuck at the end, probably costing her the requisite score. A 5.67 came through and Quizon held on for a 13.33 to 13.00 win.
Quizon was eliminated in the fourth round by Johanne Defay for an Equal Ninth result. It’s the first time in five events that Quizon has made it past round two, so it was a real change of fortune for both she and Manuel, who will garner an Equal 13th throwaway result.
Carissa Moore and Coco Ho will represent the Aloha State in the quarterfinals. Both avoided the fourth round by winning their third-round non-elimination heats. Moore will take on Defay and Ho will face Conlogue. Sally Fitzgibbons will face Lakey Peterson and Stephanie Gilmore will face Tyler Wright in the other two quarterfinals.
All five Hawaii men were knocked out in round three, including Kilauea’s Sebastian Zietz, who took on current rankings leader Filipe Toledo. Zietz, who had topped Italo Ferreria to reach round three, put up a pretty good display but really stood no chance against Toledo’s performance. The Brazilian went to the air twice, earning excellent scores both times and putting Seabass into a late combination. Zietz ended up on the short end of an 18.57 to 15.10 scoreline.
Keanu Asing, Freddy Patacchia, Mason Ho and John John Florence also all lost in the third round.
The quarterfinals will pit Gabriel Medina against Adriano de Souza, Owen Wright against Josh Kerr, Jordy Smith against Mick Fanning and Nat Young against Toledo.
Action can be seen live on Oceanic Surf Channels 250 and 1250.