John John Florence: flying for a Perfect 10

Taj Burrow, John John Florence, Joel Parkinson, and Mick Fannning are in the Quarterfinals of the Rip Curl Bells Beach 2014.

Burrow used his 16 years of Dream Tour experience to defeat Adriano De Souza and fellow Australian Adam Melling. Burrow timed his wave selection perfectly, netting the two top scores of the Heat, 8.07 and 7.50 for a series of fins-free turns and cutbacks.

"I love Bells, it feels great to be through to the Quarterfinals. The waves here have been really good and I’ve managed to get on a bit of a roll that hopefully I can keep it going," says Burrow.

In the most highly anticipated matchup of the day, John John Florence was explosive in his win over 11-time world champion and four-time event winner Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina.

Slater was first to enter the race with a powerhouse move that netted 8.93 on his first ride, but it was a short-lived lead for the American as John John secured his victory when he dished up a monster front-side 360 aerial, scoring a Perfect 10, the the first of the 2014 season.

"I got that first wave and forgot about the nerves. I took off, I saw the section coming and just flew to the air, the wind caught and spun me around perfectly," adds Florence.

Joel Parkinson faced a fierce battle against an Jordy Smith and Owen Wright. Parkinson was quiet for the first half of the Heat, letting Smith clock an 8.17 to take an early lead.

It didn’t take long for Parkinson to answer back, maintaining his composure to show off his signature rail-work and net a pair of strong scores in the tricky conditions.

With both Smith and Wright unable to produce any further magic for the judges, Parkinson emerged with the victory and a spot in the Quarterfinals.

"In most of the events I've surfed so far I've taken a while to get into the rhythm, but I love the Bell and I'm three Heats away from it. Three more wins, six more waves, I’m just going to keep it simple," says Parkinson.

Mick Fanning used his electric and lightning-fast brand of surfing to easily out score Fredrick Patacchia and Julian Wilson, who will have to battle for a Quarterfinal berth in Round 5.

"John John’s air was truly amazing and he deserves to get the first Perfect 10 of the year. It’s good to bounce back from a slow start and post some big scores. It feels great to be in the Quarterfinals, especially against the calibre of guys that are already there and in Round 5," concludes Fanning.

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 5 Match-ups:

Heat 1: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 4: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)

Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Round 4 Results:

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.57, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 10.90
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 18.00, Kelly Slater (USA) 16.53, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.17
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.66, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.00, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.20
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.34, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.17, Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.54