On June 8, 2012 the Volcom Fiji Pro was called off for the day because the waves were huge and unruly. After the call was made to call off the contest, the wind direction changed, the tide dropped and the waves turned into absolute perfection. In a stroke of genius, the guys at Volcom decided to put Slater in the commentating booth and live stream the free surf.
Slater was frothing for the full 30 minute webcast, which you can see below he talked about the decision to call off the contest.
A lot of people were complaining that the contest wasn’t on. It was very difficult. The waves looked amazing and the pictures looked perfect but it’s a different situation when you are out there. Now, it’s a completely different story. It’s one of the best big wave days of all time. This is a day to be remembered in the history of surfing. -Kelly Slater
Take a look at the video below and witness surfing history.
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.
We scoured the heat analyzer to bring you the top 5 waves of the Oi Rio Pro at Saquerema, a shifty, backwashy and powerful beach break. There were four heats run of Round 2 and we will cover those when Round 2 is finished.
#1 Julian Wilson. Heat 12. 9.77
The backwash was wreaking havoc all day in Brazil, catching seasoned vets off guard and leading to dig rails up and down the beach. Julian, in the last heat of the day, took advantage of the backwash with a perfectly timed closing maneuver that utilized the backwash to propel his fins out the back.
#2. Yago Dora. Heat 6. 9.27
Brazilian wildcard Yago Dora takes to the air for a 9.27 but failed to secure a victory of John John and Miguel Pupo in Round 1. The 20 year old Volcom rider hail mary’ed this backside rotation and claimed it in true Brazilian fashion before laying down in the whitewash.
#3 Felipe Toledo – Heat 7. 8.93
Felipe Toledo won this contest in 2015 and has been surfing out of his mind as of late. On this right hander, he channels his inner Taylor Knox, laying down two man turns before a quick snap and a tag on the finishing section. He advances to Round 3 with the heat win over rookie Ethan Ewing and Portugal’s own Frederico Morais.
#4 Joan Duru. Heat 9. 8.87
Rookie Joan Duru, the power surfing rookie Frenchman, was battling against fellow rookie Connor O’Leary and 17 year tour veteran Joel Parkinson for a chance to skip the dreaded round 2. He got the bulk of his points on the end section of this wave, critically blasting a backhand attack. The 8.87 gave him the lead for the heat. Check #5 to see if he kept the lead.
#5 Joel Parkinson Heat 9. 8.53
Parko needed a 8.04 with less than 2 minutes left. Joan Duru had the lead and 1st priority when Joel took off on a crazy little lump of ocean, faded into it and set up an inside drainer for an 8.53 and the heat win. He’s been doing this for 17 years folks. A true legend.
How’s this little exchange? Adriano De Souza chucks an air kinda like Strange Ben surfs…raw, powerful, a little stiff! Start stretching Strange B.
Then comes Zeke the Hawaiian Freak out of nowhere with a little slash and burn agriculture approach. Yew!
Felipe wins the heat. Looks like his power surfing is getting better. Onto Heat 4.