Heartbreak comes in many forms. For Julian Wilson it arrived as a last-second tube by John Florence on Tuesday at Billabong Pro Rio. In Adriano De Souza's case it was the fact he lost with a perfect 10 in his scoreline.
On a day best described as feast or famine, Wilson had it figured that his round four win was a lock. In fact, he'd already come in when Florence took off on a thick, frothy wave at the horn and came flying out. Relegated to round five, Wilson would fight his way back, and will now, coincidentally, face Florence in the quarterfinals.
"I couldn't get a good wave and dug my rail a lot at the start of my heat," Florence said afterward. "That one good barrel came through and I was just trying to figure out what the conditions were doing. I was searching for any kind of peak and couldn't find one, then I got the wave at the last second. I'm stoked to make the quarters here in Brazil. For me to be able to make quarters here is amazing."
Mark Occhilupo claimed it was one of the best heats he'd ever seen, but perhaps he should have hung in the commentator's booth for another 30 minutes, because the Kerr-De Souza exchange that followed took things to the next level. De Souza opened with a 10-point tube ride, claiming it all the way down the beach. Kerr countered with a combined 17.84-point heat score and edged out last year's champion.
"I saw Adriano's wave go down and we were sitting in a different spot than everyone else," Kerr said. "We were getting 9s and 10s and I feel bad for Adriano (de Souza). I wasn't expecting a little backdoor shootout and I'm stoked to get some good waves."
Then as the contest transitioned into round five, Joel Parkinson got into the act, posting two nine-point rides, and ultimately handling Jordy Smith with ease. When asked about a potential rivalry brewing Parkinson remarked, "We don't talk about it, but we just keep catching each other. We've had three events and it's four times that we've surfed against each other and it's been back and forth."
Other notables on the day include Alejo Muniz, who along with De Souza is one of two Brazilians left in the event. They find themselves on opposite sides of the draw, which means a they could potentially meet in a final the locals would love.
"I got booed running down the beach before my heat," Kerr joked about the support the fans have for their surfers.
Based on the forecast the final 3½ hours of the contest will be completed Wednesday. If Tuesday was any indication, it should be interesting.
BILLABONG RIO PRO QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS:
QF 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
QF 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
QF 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 5 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.33 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.00
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.00 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.20
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.43 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.77
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 12.73 def. Taj Burrow (AUS) 7.90
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.40, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.67, Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.50
Heat 2: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.90, Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.43, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.73
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 17.73, Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.50, Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.20
Heat 4: Josh Kerr (AUS) 17.84, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.10, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 5.97
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 17.37 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 6.33
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.00 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4.17
Heat 5: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.34 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 8.50
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.07 def. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 12.67
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS) 14.50 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.70
Heat 8: John John Florence (HAW) 16.23 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.14
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.90 def. C.J. Hobgood (USA) 8.94
Heat 10: Josh Kerr (AUS) 10.73 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 7.33
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.33 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.17
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.10 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 11.77