By the end of the Quarter Finals at the WSL MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, John John Florence is another step closer to winning the World Title. Florence won his Quarter Finals heat against Julian Wilson in an epic battle, with barreling conditions allowing both surfers the opportunity to dig deep into the barrels.
Florence had his game face on the moment he paddled into the lineup and set the pace with a 2.60 ride followed by a 5.67 tube ride. But Julian Wilson wasn’t gonna let it go down without a fight, He was able to top Florence’s highest wave score so far into the heat with his very own quick tube ride where he dug deep into the barrel earning a 6.67. He could have gotten a higher score had he been able to take off a few yards further from where he caught the wave.
But Florence was determined to win this heat and he answered back with a 9.30 following a deep barrel ride in a medium sized wave. His ability to touch the foam ball inside the barrel and his commitment to get deep into the tube that earned him a high score despite the medium condition. It was non stop action as both athletes have taken advantage of the waves. Wilson fought back with another 6ish tube ride but was immediately matched by Florence’s 7.60 ride leaving less than 19 minutes in the clock.
Wilson took off another wave with 6 minutes to go but he had to go for the pin drop seeing that the wave was closing out. That seals it for Florence, he will proceed to the Semi Finals, another step closer to his ultimate goal of winning the world title. He is set up to face Kolohe Andino who was already waiting in the Semis after eliminating Adriano de Souza in Quarterfinal heat 1.
This win now positions Florence two heats away from the 2016 World Title. If he wins over Kolohe Andino in their Semifinal heat, and if Jordy Smith fails eliminate Conner Coffin, Florence would claim the World Title. If Jordy Smith gets past the semis to join Florence in the Final and Florence wins the Final Heat, Florence will claim the Title becoming the first male World Champion to win the title before the season finale at Pipeline since Kelly Slater who did it in 2011.
If Florence fails to get past the semifinals, Jordy Smith would still need to win this event to be in an interesting three-man Title race, along with Gabriel Medina, at the Billabong Pipe Masters in December, the last Championship Tour event for the year.
Below are the 2016 MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Scores. The winners will be battling in a highly competitive Semifinals.
Meanwhile, here is another look at the noteworthy 10.0 ride by Jordy Smith in Quarter Final Heat 4 against Sebastian Zietz.
(See Video Below At 2:16:17)