The best was saved for last at the Quiksilver Pro on Tuesday, with South African Jordy Smith facing a very fired up Joel Parkinson in a crucial Round Five match up at Snapper Rocks.
Both men entered the Quik Pro at the top of their game, looking very much like the world title contenders we expect them to be. Their match was immediately being billed as the first clash of the titans this season, with potential title significance not lost on anyone.
In the early going Jordy unleashed a flurry of fresh-looking lines on smaller waves, while Joel went barrel hunting up the point and threw down some of the hard carves that make Parko Joel Parko.
Both surfers were carrying 9s in their pockets toward the end, but Parko maintained a slim lead on the strength of his backup wave. As the clock ticked to under 80 seconds remaining a small grower slid directly underneath Joel, who had priority. He was busy looking out the back for a larger opportunity, one that might help him seal the deal, when all he needed to do was keep Jordy from standing up.
Jordy pounced on the little double up, hammered away at the wall in front of him, and stole the heat from Parko, advancing to his 10th quarterfinal in the last 11 events.