|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
|Clean turns and open faces were not the norm in Itauna today.|
How tough were the conditions at the Saquarema Prime today? Well, when you consider that guys were winning heats with 10s and 12s, that should tell you something. And that's just the start of it, forecasts are calling for the surf to double overnight. 12-foot by dawn isn't unrealistic. The final day should be interesting ... I'm sure everybody packed their seven-foot pintails for Brazil, right?
From the onset of the day favorites were blown away like footsteps on the Itauna sand. Michel Bourez went down to Lincoln Taylor, Jadson Andre was carved apart by Cory Lopez, and then the upset of the day, Junior Faria opened up with a nine-point ride against Julian Wilson and never looked back. (Faria's singe-wave score would have been enough to win some of the day's heats). Then a little later in the day, in a rematch from the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro, Jesse Mendes went up against Tanner Gudauskas in a heat in which neither surfer's combined score broke single digits. Gudauskas won the heat at Lowers, but it was Mendes who edged out the California frother by half of a point.
On into Round 4 and Brazilian surfers played the home-court card well. Mendes, Willian Cardoso and Raoni Monteiro breezed into the quarterfinals, relegating the masses to the do-or-die Round 5. There are 12 surfers left in the event, five of them are Brazilians. They're joined by five Australians (Yadin Nicol's the only non-Brazilian to make the quarters thus far), and two hard working Floridians in Damien Hobgood and Cory Lopez.
Stay tuned for the final wrap-up tomorrow.