With John John Florence Being Crowned the new Champion in the World Surf League, it would be interesting to backtrack his performance for the latter half of the year and how he made the ultimate comeback to win the Title.
After falling behind Matt Wilkinson by more than 10,000 points early in the year, it required the Hawaiian a huge amount of stamina and determination to get back on track. It can be recalled that Florence has suffered back-to-back losses in the early rounds at Bells and Margaret River at the beginning of the season.
Here is a list of JJF’s notable milestones throughout 2016 where he made things happen when it mattered most.
The Brazilian Breakthrough
Florence was aware he is in dire need of a huge result after the two early-round losses in prior events. John put on a determined performance at the Oi Rio Pro despite the fact that the swell was not cooperating. He was able to take crucial wins and eliminated his new found nemesis Caio Ibelli , who previously eliminated him in Bells and Margaret River events. He also defeated reigning World Champion Adriano de Souza on the way to his win in the Final heat against Jack Freestone.
John John Florence Winning Oi Rio Pro:
Sending Off Taj Burrow in Fiji
In the round three heat against Taj Burrow at Cloudbreak, Florence exchanged huge scores with Burrow showing off remarkable skills in backhand barrel riding. He was able to win the heat by a very small margin on his way to a good 5th place finish.
Florence Vs. Burrow at Fiji Pro:
Tahitian Duel With The King
In Teahupo’o, after taking the Yellow Jersey from Matt Wilkinson, John faced off with Kelly Slater , whom John considered as his mentor since he started surfing. Slater won his first world title the same year that Florence was born. The duo had a barrel after barrel battle showing remarkable performances between two great surfers from different generations in the Final Heat of the billabong Pro Tahiti. Slater won the event but Florence’s second place finish earned him considerable amount of points to help him get on track.
John Taking on Kelly Slater in the Final At Billabong Pro Tahiti:
Battle with Filipe Toledo in The “Heat of the Year”
John’s hard work in Quicksilver Pro France made his World Title win in Portugal possible. In what may be referred to as the “Heat of the Year”, Filipe Toledo and John John Florence went wild on aerial maneuvers. The two exchanged scores in their round 4 heat with Toledo winning the round with his perfect 10.0 full rotator ride. This did not rattle John at all, he made a comeback and eliminated Toledo in the Quarter finals en route to a solid Semifinal finish.
“Heat of the Year” Florence vs. Toledo
Perfect Win in Portugal
John John’s performance at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal was incredible if not perfect. He was consistent and posted big scores despite tricky conditions and made his way to the finals. Right before paddling out for the final heat, he was crowned the World Champion after Jordy Smith was eliminated by Conner Coffin. But he did not stop there, he continued his huge performance in the final round and ultimately bagged the MEO Rip Curl Pro 2016 title.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Finals Day Highlights:
Now that Florence is crowned Champion, the pressure is already off his back going into The Pipeline Masters in his very own home turf. But even while he already won nearly every contest on the North Shore, such as the Triple Crown or the Eddie, he was never able to win the prestigious Pipeline Masters Event, which will be the last stop of the World Championship Tour for this year. John has his eyes set on getting barreled in his backyard and is going in with big confidence and focus.
Will John John win the Pipeline Masters 2016?