No shortage of intrigue is left in the Nike Lowers Pro as the quarterfinals are set for Saturday. With a little bump in south swell filling in through the day, the waves continued to pump, and oh what an exciting day we have ahead of us. Here's the breakdown:
Quarterfinal 1: Jeremy Flores vs. Glenn Hall
In his morning heat Flores's run almost came to an end when he buckled his board. Normally this wouldn't be a huge issue, but he forgot his backup, and when he got to the beach he was handed former women's world champ Lisa Andersen's board, Roxy logos and all. He made it work and moved on. And Glenn Hall, going into this contest nobody would have put their money on the man known as "Micro," but he's been putting it together on his backhand all week, hooking solid, powerful turns in the pocket of the long, running rights. Nothing flashy, but definitely getting the job done. An Irishman vs. a Frenchman, this quarter's the battle for European supremacy.
Quarterfinal 2: Tanner Gudauskas vs. John Florence
Gudauskas and Florence have been on point all week. This will be one of those classic goofy-foot vs. regular-foot duals. Both possess a full arsenal of turns and airs, both have been consistent in every heat they've surfed, and either one could very easily go on to win this thing. Gudauskas has the support of the local populous, so maybe the hometown support gives him the edge. But then more and more Florence is proving to be a cold-hearted killer. He's unflappable, so even a frothing beach crowd's not going to distract him from what he needs to do.
Quarterfinal 3: Gabriel Medina vs. Dane Reynolds
A demonstration in progressive surfing if ever there was one, the only thing that could make this heat better is if it was a final. For not surfing contests this year, Reynolds looks remarkably sharp, and the variety of carves and airs he's been unleashing all week is unrivaled. But then the same could be said about Medina, except Medina seems to be much more comfortable above the lip than wrapping arcs on the face. He has every grab and rotation in the book down pat, but will that be enough to win? Better yet, does Reynolds care enough to push through into the semis and final? His surfing has been head and shoulders above most everybody else this week, but now he has to put it together for three consecutive heats ... a feat he was never been able to do in his years on tour.
Quarterfinal 4: Adrian Buchan vs. Patrick Gudauskas
Gudauskas was a minute away from losing to Mark Occhilupo in the last heat of the day, but he found a way to pull it out, which should give him some energy and momentum going into the final day. Buchan is as steady and consistent as they come, but like his brother Tanner, Patrick will have the support of the hometown fans. He's long overdue for a good result, and winning at his local break is in his sights.
Nike Lowers Pro Round of 16:
Heat 1: Glenn Hall (IRL) 16.83 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 16.13
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.70 def. Nat Young (USA) 16.30
Heat 3: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 18.73 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 6.90
Heat 4: John John Florence (HAW) 16.27 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 8.26
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.96 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 17.43
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 18.63 def. Granger Larsen (HAW) 16.47
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.94 def. Jay Thompson (AUS) 11.00
Heat 8: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 16.40 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 16.30
Nike Lowers Pro Round of 24 Results:
Heat 1: Glenn Hall (IRL) 13.43 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 13.10
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 11.93 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.20
Heat 3: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 14.23 def. Gabe Kling (USA) 11.77
Heat 4: Cory Lopez (USA) 14.87 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 12.43
Heat 5: Brett Simpson (USA) 15.50 def. Daniel Ross (AUS) 13.50
Heat 6: Dane Reynolds (USA) 12.00 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 10.17
Heat 7: Jay Thompson (AUS) 13.94 def. Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.50
Heat 8: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 13.10 def. Blake Thornton (AUS) 13.00