California’s Timmy Reyes has been crowned the 2014 Mr Price Pro champion, after defeating Dream Tour surfer, Matt Wilkinson, in the Final.
Timmy Reyes, triumphant.
The final day dawned a chilly one on the east coast after a South West buster pulled-through on Saturday afternoon. It kept the crowd numbers down for the early heats, and those that had ventured down to watch the action were wrapped-up snug.
Good-sized sets in the 4ft-plus range were coming through consistently, but the combination of the still-to-high tide and conditions that hadn’t quite settled after being torn to shreds the day before were making things difficult early on. The scores for the first two heats are indicative of that.
Although impressive, Filipe Toledo on the face isn’t as unbeatable as Filipe above the lip.
In the first Quarter Final, Portugal’s Tiago Pires got the better of Brazilian, Filipe Toledo, who up to that point had been the surfer of the contest. It was a major upset and proved that today was a whole different ballgame to the bowly, air-friendly conditions the rest of the week had experienced. Without the onshore blowing, Filipe’s aerial threat was nullified and Tiago took advantage.
The second Quarter-Final didn’t feature much worth mentioning. It was the start of a perfect day for Timmy Reyes though, as he dismissed one of the underdogs of the event, Dillon Perillo, by doing enough in a low-scoring affair.
Jadson Andre fought back strongly near the end of Quarter Final 3.
The tide dropped some more, which raised performance levels in Quarter-Final Heat 3, and Jadson Andre almost clawed his way to victory with two waves ridden in the last two minutes of the heat. But Australian, Adam Melling, had already done the business earlier in the match-up, which put the Brazilian in a combination situation. Another surfer known for his air game eliminated.
The last quarter final featured two Australians, Jack Freestone versus Matt Wilkinson. The conditions suited Wilko’s backhand and he was able to generate more power and precision through his lip-blasts. An incredible backhand bottom-turn, one of the best in the business, set Wilko up for these big hits and gave him the edge over his younger compatriot.
Matt Wilkinson was tearing it apart on his backhand.
By the time the semi-finals hit the water, conditions improved further and it was Tiago up against Timmy in Heat 1. Timmy took an early lead with a couple of small scores, but Tiago bit back halfway through to put himself in first with back-to-back mid-range scores. Failure to finish his rides solidly cost the Portuguese surfer though, as Timmy rode a long right-hander to score a 6.83 to snatch back first place and take the heat win.
Our money was on Matt Wilkinson to take the second Semi-Final (and the title at this stage, as he was looking like the man to beat). Wilko started the heat against compatriot, Adam Melling, with a 5.68 to take the early lead, but it was a magnificently surfed right with sixteen minutes remaining that put the heat out of Adam’s reach. Two massive hits on a dumping set netted the goofyfoot an almost perfect 9.90 score. In a combination situation, Adam did manage to claw his way back into the heat with a solid 7.33 and just five minutes left on the clock. However, it wasn’t enough, and the match-up wound down with Adam still requiring an 8.25 to advance.
Adam Melling’s surfing was tight and snappy, but it wasn’t sharp enough to advance.
Then it was time for the final. Timmy built house in the opening minutes to take an early lead, but Wilko bust the door wide-open with a massive 9.20 with 13 minutes remaining. The ball was in the Australian’s court following that big score, but Timmy, needing a 7.54 to re-take the lead, hooked into a running right-hander with seven minutes remaining. A series of critical turns completed with total control were rewarded with an 8.27 by the judges. This handed the 2014 Mr Price Pro victory to the Californian – his first professional win for a decade.
Asked at the prize giving if he was eyeing-out a return to the Dream Tour, Timmy replied, “I’m taking it one contest at a time, one heat at a time. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a long year.”
Timmy’s surfing was top-class all week.
“This is definitely the biggest win I’ve ever had in my life,” continued Timmy. “It’s been so cool to get the support from the locals. Thank you, guys!”
And with that came a champagne shower, and Timmy and Wilko both toasted their performance with a big mouthful of their well-deserved champagne.
Check out Captain Kai‘s video highlights from an entertaining final day:
Go to mrpricepro.com for all the results, video highlights and more.