The highly anticipated Superheat at the J Bay Open wasn't entirely, well, super. With 15 world titles among them, Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning were touted as the would-be heroes of Round 4. But their heat was lacklustre. Medina and the somewhat grumpy Slater are in desperate need of a good result, with both once great surfers sitting in 11 and 12 on the leaderboard. Medina advances to the quarters, just picking up in the last 10 minutes, while Slater and Fanning are forced to surf in Round 5. No doubt, Slater is grumpier than ever, after receiving criticism for his high-priced clothing label too. What a day.
Julian Wilson will compete in Round 5 despite his top notch surfing of late, being defeated by Adrian Buchan, who goes through to the quarters.
Current leader Adriano de Souza pulled through with a tail-high reverse, sending Nat Young into Round 5. But he knows the dangers of competing against such high quality surfers. “It’s dangerous out there… I have to go heat-by-heat and day-by-day.”
Now, onto the surprise of the day, or perhaps the whole J Bay Open. Alejandro Muniz won a meet last month and this month already took down No. 2 Filipe Toledo and Taj Burrow, but today he went all out, posting the highest score of the day – 8.17. The wildcard will go straight to the quarters. He may only be a wildcard and injury replacement this season, but if he continues with this high standard, his chances are great for Tour inclusion.
There’s only one more day left in the allowed timeframe for this stop, so everything else is happening then, no matter what the conditions. As the saying goes, ‘Got no waves? Will still surf”.