Gabriel Medina: the aerial teacher

The curse of the red jersey kept eliminating the biggest surf idols at the O'Neill Coldwater Classic, at Steamer Lane, Santa Cruz, California.


John John Florence is out of the 2012 ASP World Tour title race. The Hawaiian prodigy fell in the hands of Matt Wilkinson. There are only four surfers still battling for glory.

"I know I can get big scores out here and I kind of know which waves are good," Wilkinson said. "It's a really tricky wave and there are so many elements that can make a good wave bad. It was a relief when I got that 9".

Jadson Andre eliminated Mick Fanning in Round 2 of competition and would only lose to Taj Burrow. Fanning's ASP World Tour title run has been hampered. Raoni Monteiro took down Julian Wilson and Jordy Smith. He is the giant killer and now everybody fears the intrepid Brazilian, at Steamer Lane.

"I'm feeling good, comfortable and happy and I'm just thinking about going on there to surf," Monteiro said. "I'm just coming back from an injury. I spent three months at home and I feel like there's no pressure. I'm just thinking about surfing."

Gabriel Medina launched a massive full-rotation aerial, in the dying minutes of his heat, to best veteran Taylor Knox, in an intense Round 3 battle of power versus progression.

"I just knew I needed a 7," Medina said. "I saw the set coming and knew I was going to have a chance. I went for the air and made it, so I'm pretty stoked". "Before my heat I was watching the waves and I saw the lefts were pretty good, with a section at the end of the wave. The wind is good to do airs and I just went for it."


Kelly Slater and Joel Parkinson survived the blood battle. The Australian looked at home among the righthanders of Steamer Lane and displayed his signature forehand approach to top dangerous local wildcard Nat Young.

"It was pretty cool surfing against Nat (Young)," Parkinson said. "It's always good to surf against someone who has the whole beach behind them. I get to do it at Snapper, but it's nice to see someone else get it."

Kelly Slater narrowly beated Jason "Ratboy" Collins, before eliminating Dusty Payne. "There's a very good chance that I'm out of the race if I don't win a couple of heats here," Slater said.

O'Neill Coldwater Classic Round 3 Results:

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.83 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.17
Heat 2: Travis Logie (ZAF) 14.67 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.13
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.53 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 14.77
Heat 4: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.10 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.23
Heat 5: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.33 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.30
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.63 def. Nat Young (USA) 12.43
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.84 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 14.77
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.40 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 5.27