IT was a day of massive upsets in the Moche Rip Curl Pro at Supertubos, with Portuguese Wildcards Frederico Morais and Vasco Ribeiro producing stellar performances.
Giant-slayer Morais produced yet another huge upset today by eliminating Gold Coast surfer and current ratings leader Mick Fanning.
Morais launched his assault in the opening minutes of their exchange with a near-perfect 9.13, displaying his signature forehand power carves and combination snaps to top it off.
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“It’s amazing to win with good scores against Mick Fanning — I’m super stoked,” an emotional Morais said.
“Any surfer here would have been a tough competitor, but I’m feeling really good and I have nothing to lose. I just wanted to show how I surf. ”
Morais later went on to win his non-elimination Round 4 heat to reach the quarterfinals in Peniche.
Despite multiple efforts to get back in the lead, Fanning’s Portuguese campaign ended as the three-time WSL Champion could not find the waves he required.
“I was fighting for the inside and thought the set was done, but when I turned around, Frederico was on a dreamboat. He got that 9 and backed it up right away with a couple of 6s,” Fanning stated.
“I needed close to 16 points before I even stood up; but I put everything into it and I can’t be disappointed about that.”
Reigning World Junior Champion Ribeiro went on to defeat current WSL No.2 Adriano De Souza in the very next heat.
Unable to capitalize on Fanning’s early exit in Peniche, De Souza will need a big result in Hawaii for a shot at his first World Title.
Reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina advanced into the fourth round of competition, courtesy of a huge backhand full rotation on the buzzer against former QS surfer Caio Ibelli.
Brazil’s Filipe Toledo solidified his outstanding 2015 with an inspiring performance for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Current WSL No.9 Jeremy Flores collected one of the day’s highest combined heat totals, an impressive 17.26 including a near-perfect 9.43 on a long right-hander which the young Frenchman dismantled from start to finish.
Kolohe Andino has been leading the charge at the latest major QS events in Europe and carried that momentum into the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
The young Californian proved lethal in the clean shoulder-high surf, mixing powerful snaps and aerials to force Gold Coaster Bede Durbidge out of competition.
Brett Simpson 30, eliminated 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater in Round 3 with a solid display of powerful and progressive surfing to reach the fourth round for the first time this season.
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.70 def. Mason Ho (HAW) 2.76
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.06 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 10.43
Heat 3: Brett Simpson (USA) 13.54 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 8.06
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 16.67 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 13.17
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.00 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.60
Heat 6: Frederico Morais (PRT) 16.03 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.40
Heat 7: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT) 14.36 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 11.80
Heat 8: Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.43 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.16
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.26 def. C.J Hobgood (USA) 12.47
Heat 10: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.17 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.84
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) 13.17 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.10
Heat 12: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.67 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.87
Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.00, Kolohe Andino (USA) 18.00, Brett Simpson (USA) 17.57
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 14.96, Nat Young (USA) 14.50, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.43
Remaining Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Vasco Ribeiro (PRT), Keanu Asing (HAW), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Gabriel Medina (BRA)