Day Two of the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro presented by Corona saw corduroy lines of eight-to-ten foot swell marching into the reef at Main Break — it was still very solid, but under a blue sky and with light winds it appeared more manageable than the huge waves seen on Day One.
Florence Continues To Set The Standard
With overlapping heats running in the Men’s Round of 32, John John Florence continued to set the standard, with a turn only he can do, pioneered here and on the North Shore over a number of years.
Florance defeated Leonardo Fioravanti with a 16.04 heat total today, utilizing that searing carve through which he generates speed, rather than washing it off. It was first unveiled as far back as 2015, as has been improved on ever since.
"That turn definitely feels different to me, I think now I kind of have more of an idea of where I want to do the turns. A lot of it goes into body placement, where you place your weight, too," he told the WSL after his win.
"Every winter I spend at home …. We have like four different waves that are like this and I get to spend a lot of time figuring out how to do turns and harness that speed, because that’s the whole thing, you have so much speed, it’s really hard to control that," Florence said.
Fioravanti actually had the highest score of the heat, knowing he had to go all in if he was to beat Florence at Main Break, but he couldn’t find a second wave, while Florence, with the aforementioned turn, was able to convert waves that for others might have been 6s into 7’s and 8s.
Tube Masters Trade Barrels
Another blockbuster heat was local Jack Robinson up against Tour veteran Jeremy Flores. They’re two of the best tube riders in the world, and in their heat they both found hollow right-handers, trading off barrels and big turns with Flores eventually taking the win over the young Australian.
It was the best performance from Flores in a while, and it clearly felt good to be back winning in good waves. "I don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this," he said, "So these are the heats I have fun."
Conlogue Out In An Upset
One of the biggest upsets was Courtney Conlogue’s surprise elimination at the hands of Sage Erickson and Keely Andrew.
Conlogue is a former event champion and has been a standout in the freesurfs, but she struggled to find a backup wave.
That was despite logging a 7.27, the highest score of the heat. She kept searching into the final minutes, even taking one of the few lefts of the day, but it flattened out before she could fit a third big turn in.
Malia Finds Her Form
Meanwhile, Malia Manuel surfed one of the waves of the day after fully committing to a big end section hit, winning her Elimination Round heat against seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore and 14-year-old Wildcard Willow Hardy.
Manuel has been charging, surfing The Box before the event began and now surfing big Main Break, and she advanced alongside Gilmore, who is also still in the mix.
Ryan Callinan was once again strong on his backhand, as was World No.1 Gabriel Medina. Between the two of them they’ve set the standard for goofy-footers going right at Main Break. Meanwhile, defending World Champion Italo Ferreira — another goofy — also advanced to the Round of 16 with strong surfing in the strong offshore winds which he said made it challenging on his backside.
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