This was difficult to watch. I don’t blame Slater for hanging in Australia and catching up with Surfheater for the highlights. Round 2 started off on Wednesday morning but was called off after 4 heats. The biggest upset was wildcard Yago Dora taking down #5 ranked Kolohe Andino in the first heat of the day.
Round 2 continued Friday morning with marginally better conditions. They also seem to be rushing to get out of Brazil, as they ran 5 heats of Round 3 as well. The waves are reminding us of Huntington Beach. There is nothing worse than HB. If conditions don’t improve we might just take a spring break and see you in FIJI.
#1 and #3. Connor O’Leary. 9.20 and 9.0
Connor O’Leary came out of nowhere this year with a technical backhand attack, taking equal 5th in the first contest of the season. He owns 2 of the top 3 waves of Round 2, a 9.20 and a 9.0 both with lightning quick backhand blasts. He threw away an 8, the kid was ripping. We are interested to see how he handles the barrels of Fiji. Oh Fiji. Can we fast forward yet?
#2 Yago Dora. Heat 1. 9.10
This was the first heat of the day. Yago brought the early morning crowd to its feet when he fires one at Kolohe. He starts off with a quick cutty, then a vertical snap and then unleashes a full rotation air for a 9.10. He backed up the 9.10 with a 5.17 to take down Kolohe. Right now, Yago is our favorite to win the OI Rio Pro. The kid has got nothing to lose.
#4 Caio Ibelli. Heat 7. 8.70
Caio Bella Ibelli, coming off a 2nd place finish at Bells, puts together an extremely underwhelming 8.7. At best this looks like a 6, and we would have subtracted 2 for the lazy claim.
#5 Owen Wright. Heat 2. 8.50
Owen Wright, one year removed from a brain injury, is the feel good hit of the summer. He had to sit out all of 2016 and came back and won the first contest of 2017. He backed it up with a 5th place finish at Margs and a 9th at Bells. Good to see the guy ripping.