Easter Monday, and into round three of the men’s event, the point where it is time to get down to business. And down to business the top 17 surfers in the world got, even though Bells isn’t renowned as a high performance wave, the best guys raised the bar again.
In the first three heats conditions were a little cross shore, but Taj Burrow, the reigning champ Adriano De Souza and Adam Melling, all got through their heats in workman like fashion. Then it was as if a performance switch was turned on.
World number one Gabriel Medina turned up with his A-game and smashed Bede Durbdge with a 17.00 total heat score. It seemed to up the performance level and the folioing heats all went a little mental, John John Florence narrowly edged out Kai Otton, before Kelly Slater just beat wild card Glenn Hall in an incredible close heat.
The other standout performances were Jordy Smith’s win over Sebastien Zeitz, both riders getting nine point rides. The wave of the round went to Julian Wilson, who nailed a near perfect 9.93 with a sick combo of critical turns and a massive air reverse in the shore break.
So onto round 4, it’s all about three man heats and there are no losers. It’s fair to say that every single heat was absolutely stacked. In heat one Taj Burrow came up against arch rival Adriano De Souza, and fellow Aussie Adam Melling. Taj looked solid throughout, totally at home on the right-hander and sent the other two into sudden death round five.
Heat two was the heat, the best surfer in the world vs. a 12 time world champ vs. the current number one. For once John John Florence totally lived up to the billing, and he put on a display that even Kelly Slater in second or Gabriel Medina in third could come close to, logging the events first perfect 10.
Next up Joel Parkinson showed why he was world champ two years ago, unleashing a powerful display that neither Jordy Smith nor Owen Wright could cope with. FInally in the last heat of the day Mick Fanning, current world champ, looked to be getting back on form breezing through to the fifth round.
So in both the men’s and women’s event there are just 11 heats to go to crown a champion. The forecast is looking half decent for most of the week, so it could go at anytime, so tune in here – www.aspworldtour.com.