In Heat 6 of Round 3 Nathan Hedge paddled into the first wave of a meaty set, got himself thoroughly barrelled and made the channel. Being the heart-on-sleeve frother that he is Hedgey then claimed the wave 1, 2, 3 times as he turned off the wave slowly losing speed while heading towards the flotilla.
Very next wave Gabs gets an equally good wave, also gets spat to the channel, and also claims it. Hedge gets 9.27, Gabs 9.77 but there's more than 0.50 difference in the wave.
Spotting Hedgey taking his time in the channel absorbing the cheers, Medina quickly glides over the back and cuts Hedgey off. It's an almost arrogant act, like flying out on the face to cutback and spray your opponent in the face, except there's a simple reason for Medina's behaviour: to regain priority. Despite catching the second wave Medina took advantage of Hedgey's tardiness and got himself out the back quicker. The young Brazo scored the priority and took the next set, scoring 8.93 and controlling the heat.
It's a harsh assessment but Hedgey lost priority for putting too much into his claim.
As much as Gab is far from my favourite surfer, it's that sort of hunger that's going to get him that world title.
Gotta admit I didn't really see the true meaning behind Gabs' quick flick off until now. He's a smart cookie.
Yep, exactly. There's a moment where Gabs is celebrating the barrel but he recognises Hedgey is lagging, so he quickly drops his arm and goes into competition mode. Imagine getting spat out of a huge Chopes barrel and having the presence of mind to do that?
Goes to show how hungry for success the Brazilians really are. If he wins the title this year, good on him, he deserves it.
I hope if he does win the title he gets the props he deserves from Aussies and Americans alike. The fella may be a little more choosey as we saw first hand at snapper and more recent at chopes (although no one can deny he didn't get a few bombs in that final), but he's smart, its a sport not a freesurf.............champions have been playing the game for eons............MP used to study the points guide to know how many flicks or turns to do to get the points he needed. In such a condition dependent and luck driven ''sport'' you'd be bad not to try and get the balance in your favour somehow.
Gabby will be incredibly hard to stop now. Good on ya fella.
Good pick up Stu. Slater/Fanning/Medina - what do they have in common? Competitive hunger and more world titles on the way. Success in life is 20% talent & 80% passion. Go Gab!
How was the claiming going on in the quarter, i think it was with Gabs vs Kolohe and the paddling up the reef! i was thinking, shit, just get on with it , that was absolutely farcical.... none of those waves were anything close to the bombs that jjf or Owen were nonchalantly shrugging off, and these two kids are trying to out -claim each other on 4-5 footers as if that's what is being scored! then in his heat against Bede , Bede just let's him go the first one and he gets a smoker and looks unstoppable. He seems to have the other surfers bamboozled as soon as the heat starts and it's certainly working for him.
Personally i thought good on him he's made the final surfing smart and dodging sets but then the bigger waves of Gabs in the final he was kinda poo- manning just gunning for the channel and they looked kinda awkward, (not that i would have gone but its my opinion). The competitive savvy of the little turd can not be questioned!
Begs the question is the leader of the world title race at the moment the best surfer?
Best competitive surfer at the very least.
Unless Gabs starts competing in the same sport as everyone around him ... He may win a world title or two , but unless he changes his tact Bruce Irons will be more fondly remembered for what he's done in the sport than Gabs .
I hope Ricardo , Carlos or some other Sth American charger will take him under his wing soon , and teach him to be a matador . Then I will keep watching the finals he makes . This is me trying to be inspiring not degrading . Amazing talent , lacks style , certain flow and nonchalant self belief .
Even Slater the king of the mind [email protected]#K didn't seem find his legs until late in the heat, same with Nat Young in Fiji final who i have never seen rattled previously! is it just Gabs wants it more than say Jules, Jordy, JJF or is there something else to it? and what approach to a heat against him could possibly work? matching his rate of annoying claims as Kolohe tried is obviously not the key!
I personally think if JJ had have surfed in the final rather than Kelly, the result would have been different.
But, as I mentioned above, Gabs surfed smart, made his waves and had a sound strategy. That's all he needed (that and a supreme amount of natural talent).
Tiger Papa Charlie must have been so proud.