If you were to take just a casual perusal of the 2012 U.S. Open of Surfing men’s heat draw you might not immediately notice Heat 8 of the Round of 96. But upon closer inspection, you’d realize it’s a cracker.
Sandwiched snugly between heats headlined by WT seeds Bede Durbidge (Heat 7) and C.J. Hobgood (Heat 9), Heat 8 is clearly this year’s early round “Heat of Death.”
Taken in descending seed order, I offer to you this tasty chunk of competitive bliss:
–Taj Burrow, this perennial World Title contender really needs no introduction;
–Filipe Toledo, the young Brazzo is the defending U.S. Open of Surfing Junior Champ;
–Jack Freestone, the 2010 ASP World Junior Champion is Australia’s next Great Hope (see video below);
–Dane Reynolds, the man 11-time world champ Kelly Slater says is the best surfer on the planet.
Now, if I were to put it in layman’s terms, I’d say that heat is STACKED. But that still might be an understatement.
That’s a final, not a mid-day Round of 96 heat meant to matriculate high seeds through to their inevitable spots in the quarterfinals and beyond. Alas, them’s the cards that the Seed Gods have conspired to deal us, and we can only hope that fireworks ensue.
The surf forecast for the week is looking fairly bleak, unfortunately. Let’s all pray for some wind swell to pop (poop?) it up a bit. If you are fortunate enough to have a job and can’t make it down to HB Pier on Monday, tune into the webcast at approximately 11 a.m. to witness the Heat 8 Showdown.