John John Florence overcomes injury to stay in world title race

After two straight days of nearly contestable conditions at Supertubos in Portugal, we have only six heats run, and nearly 15 hours of being “on-hold” to show for it.

Monday afternoon, Portuguese time, saw Round three of competition called into action briefly, before the plug was pulled just two heats in due to small surf. It was enough time for young guns John John Florence and Gabe Medina to take decisive victories over elders Travis Logie and Brett Simpson. John John, however, was battling more than just his opponent.

Two days prior, while surfing a deadly slab in nearby Ericeira known as “the Cave,” Florence was thrown on to the rocks after falling in a deep tube, sending him to the hospital with stitches needed in his head and cuts all over. “I’ve never hit the bottom that hard before in my life. Pretty scary at first but I healed pretty fast. Glad I didn’t have to surf a heat yesterday,” said Florence after his heat win.

Florence sits at fourth in the world rankings, and at this critical time in the year an early exit would have been a disaster for his title aspirations. Despite the pressure and injury, Florence was able to focus his energy to dispatch of his opponent with a textbook frontside air-reo.

With big swell and bad weather on the way to Peniche, the contest will likely be back on briefly tomorrow as contest director Damian Hardman will be trying to squeeze in as many heats as possible while conditions permit.

Heat 1:
John John Florence (HAW) 10.17 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 7.70
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.66 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 7.60

Heat 3:
Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 5: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 8: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)