Hawaii’s male pro surfers did not score high enough to move on from the third round of the Corona Bali Protected, the fifth stop on the World Surf League Championship Tour, which continued today in clean 3-to-5 foot surf at Keramas in Bali, Indonesia.
Reigning, two-time WSL Champion John John Florence was eliminated at the start of the day by rookie Jesse Mendes of Brazil in Heat 1.
Mendes boosted a massive, backhand air-revere, barely hanging onto the landing, and riding out to get rewarded well above the requirement. Although Florence had two more shots at turning the tide, he was unable to snatch the lead back and was eliminated. Mendes advances to the fourth round and guarantees himself the best result of his rookie year so far.
“I knew against a guy like John John (Florence) I would have to go big to get the win,” Mendes said in a news release. “Somehow I stuck the landing but then almost fell again and was just hanging on hoping to get up and when I finally stood up I was just like ‘thank god’ — so stoked. I feel blessed to be on this tour and to be at this event in such a beautiful place with great people. It feels amazing to make that heat.”
Hawaii’s Ezekiel Lau went up against Michel Bourez of Tahiti in Heat 2. Both surfers had their opportunities as perfect tubes rolled nonstop through the lineup, leaving the pair to trade barrels, followed by powerful hacking turns. In the end, it was the Tahitian surfer who came out on top, courtesy of an 8.67 score for one of the biggest and longest barrels of the day.
Bourez said he had injured his foot while surfing this morning, possibly stepping on a stonefish, but that he powered through the pain.
“Ezekiel (Lau) is such a good surfer, I am stoked that I was able to get some good waves and take the win,” he said.
Hawaii surfer Keanu Asing of Honolulu was also defeated in the last heat by Filipe Toledo of Brazil.
CORONA BALI PROTECTED MEN’S ROUND 3
>> Heat 1: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.34 def. John John Florence (HAW) 11.37
>> Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.17 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 12.97
>> Heat 3: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.00 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 10.37
>> Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.40 def. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 8.83
>> Heat 5: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.84 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.40
>> Heat 6: Mikey Wright (AUS) 12.27 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.83
>> Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.70 def. Michael February (ZAF) 9.44
>> Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.04 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.50
>> Heat 9: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.36 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.00
>> Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.30 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 10.10
>> Heat 11: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.13 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.46
>> Heat 12: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.43 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 8.43