Unlike darts, where a bullseye is a bullseye, surfing is subjective when it comes to determining a winner and loser.
Of course, there are heats where one surfer clearly dominates and the result goes without question, but every now and again you get that one that leaves fans arguing long after the champion is crowned.
Jordy Smith’s Round 5 heat against Julian Wilson was one of those. Ask half the crowd who deserved the heat win and they’d tell you Jordy. The other half would say Julian. In the end the nod went the Australian’s way by a fraction of a point.
Julian Wilson grabbed the win against Jordy Smith in a close Round 5 heat.
Check out the replay of each of their top two scoring rides below and see if you can tell who deserved that spot in the quarter finals. The judging criteria is open to interpretation, so that complicates things. But that’s the beauty of surfing – one competitor’s flow is as rad as the other guy’s sheer power.
Perhaps it should be split into weight categories, like boxing?
In the quarter finals; reigning champ, Adriano De Souza, lost in a tough battle with Taj Burrow; John John Florence defeated Kelly Slater; Julian Wilson put the result beyond doubt against Joel Parkinson; and Mick Fanning beat the last remaining goofyfoot, Owen Wright; to advance to the semi-finals – which were moved around the corner to Winkipop.
It was there that John John Florence’s run in the competition was ended by the experienced and fired-up Taj Burrow. But not without the Hawaiian using his elastic limbs and incredible balance to complete a twisted air that had us clutching our own fragile knees.
Like a gymnast, is John John Florence.
Mick Fanning came out on top in the second semi-final against Julian Wilson. The reigning world champ put together the highest heat total of the day to book his spot in the final with confidence on his side.
The final was a close match-up between Taj Burrow and eventual champ, Mick Fanning. The scoreline could fool you into thinking it was a one-sided victory for Mick, but the Western Australian was in with a fighting chance until the dying moments.
Earlier in the heat, Taj had ripped apart a Winkipop wall for the final’s highest single wave score (9.63pts), leaving him requiring just a 7.20 to get his hands on the famous Bells trophy. A priority mistake in the final few minutes allowed Mick to grab control of the heat, which left Taj watching the seconds tick down without a chance to catch the winning wave.
When Mick Fanning is focussed, the reigning world champ is hard to beat.
In the Women’s division, Carissa Moore extended her lead in the world rankings by clinching her second consecutive trophy at Bells Beach. It’s also her second victory of the season and opens up a gap at the top of the Women’s World Tour ratings. After an excellent start to the season, Bianca’s 9th place finish at the Rip Curl Pro sees her drop out of the Top 3 and into 5th spot.
Carissa Moore, on top of the world.
The World Tour now heads to Brazil for the Billabong Rio Pro from 7 – 18 May.
Check out heat reviews, results and photos from the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach on www.aspworldtour.com.