John John Florence (HAW), Nat Young (USA), Adriano De Souza (BRA), and Taj Burrow (AUS) are all through to the semi-finals of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
Margaret River was cranking on Day 4.
Thanks to a solid run of swell that co-incided with the start of the waiting period, there hasn’t been a break in the action since the event kicked-off on Wednesday. The difference on Day 4 was that the action was focussed solely at Margaret River’s main peak and not across the bay at The Box. There was still plenty of juice in the swell, but conditions settled sufficiently for main peak to be lined-up and clean. Powerful, bowling rights in the eight to ten-foot range were on offer.
And there was some good surfing today, with John John starting slow but eventually blowing up in the opening heat of Round 4. Those carves, my goodness! The Hawaiian repeated that pattern in his quarter final against wildcard, Jay Davies (AUS), only getting into rhythm halfway through the heat but finishing really strong.
JJF, revved up and carving hard.
Nat Young was another who excelled in today’s conditions. None of his opponents had an answer for his powerful and precise backhand blasts.
After hammering together the event’s highest score on Day 3 at the main peak – 19.50 out of 20.00pts – Kelly Slater was looking a likely winner of the Drug Aware Pro; whether it was contested at The Box or main break. The 11-time world champ did win his Round 4 heat to jump to the quarter finals, but he struggled to keep his rhythm in his match-up with Adriano. The Brazilian answered back stronger to each of Kelly’s opening rides, and as the heat end drew near he had his opponent in a combination situation. Kelly managed a strong score on his last ride to finish the heat still needing an 8.61.
There were some big lefts too and Taj Burrow ripped either way.
Taj Burrow, meanwhile, was scoring eights with apparent ease on the big and bowly rights. Surfing within himself, the West Oz local hardly put a foot wrong as he advanced to the semi-finals ahead of Julian Wilson (AUS) in the quarters, after having previously beaten Julian and Adriano in Round 4.