- 10 April 2014 | Surfing
The Box delivered flawless barrels, as the 2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro decides the quarterfinalists at the iconic Western Australian slab.
Jordy Smith and Miguel Pupo became the first ever surfers to compete at The Box, with both taking heavy wipeouts while battling for a slot in the Quarterfinals.
Smith logged the first score of significance, posting a 6.33 for a solid forehand tube. The South African followed up with a mid-range score shortly after and placed the heat out of reach for the Brazilian goofy-footer.
"I've had zero experience out there and I didn't really have a great heat but I got it done. My energy is feeling really good and I can't wait to keep going. It was amazing and I'm glad I got the first win," says Jordy Smith.
The Box turned on for the clash between Josh Kerr (AUS) and compatriot Yadin Nicol. After a flurry of mid-range scores, Kerr split the heat wide open with an excellent 8.17 for a particularly deep forehand barrel.
Despite a comeback late in the heat, Nicol was unable to overtake Kerr's lead and finishes equal 9th at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Kerr will face current ASP World No. 1 Gabriel Medina in the Quarterfinals.
"The Box is actually a pretty easy wave. It's a short intense wave and you have to take off behind it and be fully committed. Once you draw the right line it blows you straight through," explains Kerr.
Conditions continued to fire at the Western Australian slab and Joel Parkinson celebrated his birthday and a place in the Quarterfinals.
Parkinson faced ASP Dream Tour sophomore Filipe Toledo and the pair spent 30 minutes exchanging barrels. Parkinson navigated the technical barrels with ease, earning an 8.17 on his opening ride.
While some doubted the Brazilian's abilities in the tube, Toledo quickly put questions to rest, responding with an 8.23 of his own, briefly overtaking the former champ for the lead.
The Australian answered back, however, earning the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.43, and a place Quarterfinals against Kelly Slater.
Slater, Filipe Toledo and Michel Bourez brought their distinct styles to the competition in Round 4. Toledo was first to score, locking in a 5.33 to take an early lead. Slater battled back however, securing a 5.60 score of his own.
The seesaw battle continued with an answer from the Brazilian, but Slater's final score of a 6.33 solidified his win and a slot in the Quarterfinals. Bourez went on to secure his own Quarterfinal berth after defeating Adriano de Souza in Round 5.
"I really felt totally relaxed out there and I didn't care if I won or lost because we're going to The Box," concludes Kelly Slater.
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Nat Young (USA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)