SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. -- If ever there was an example of why it is so important to win those no-lose Round 1 heats, Monday at the Hurley Pro was it. As the south swell diminished throughout the day, conditions became considerably tricky and wave selection was even more important than usual for the guys who lost in Round 1 on Sunday and had to surf in Round 2 on Monday.
Most visible of these casualties was John John Florence, who fell victim to the mushy conditions as he couldn't find his rhythm on the flat-faced waves. Of course, the fact that he warmed up for the competition at Tavarua's barreling Cloudbreak in Fiji certainly didn't help him prepare for the smaller waves at Trestles. Alejo Muniz, who's still riding high from his U.S. Open victory earlier this summer, took advantage of the situation, picking up two good lefts to put Florence on the ropes and ultimately out of the event.
"I'm riding the same board since the U.S. Open and I've been riding it in the last two contests," Muniz said. "It's a great board. I had an injury in the Azores and I didn't think I'd be able to come here, but everything went well with the MRI and the physio. I'm still surfing with pain, but my board is working amazing and I'm stoked."
And fresh off his win at the Billabong Pro in Tahiti, Ace Buchan's luck ran out against an in-form and very hungry Patrick Gudauskas. With his parents, brothers and the local cheering section on the beach, Gudauskas put on the kind of show on his home court that he's been hankering for.
"That Round 2 heat's been tough for him the last couple of years," his younger brother Tanner said. "It's good to see him break through and start getting on momentum."
Another local boy who made good was Kolohe Andino, as he blasted past Matt Wilkinson in the final heat of the day. Andino has felt a lot of pressure to do well at the Hurley Pro, and after giving away his Round 1 heat yesterday, he surfed with more purpose and grit on Monday. Even in the early morning as the contest was on hold and waiting to start, Andino was in the water, warming up and putting everything into his turns. It was obvious from first light what he had on his mind today.
Sebastian Zietz was another standout, demonstrating that he can surf all conditions from two-foot Lowers to twelve-foot Pipe. Zietz has a great board under his feet and looks quite capable of upsetting the top seeds if he gets the opportunity.
"I was super bummed in Tahiti and I didn't really trust my instincts," Zietz said afterward. "I'm going back to the old school and trusting my instincts. I'm hoping to get a result here and I love Trestles. It's been a big part of my career. It'd be great to get a quarters or semis and I've got a good small wave board."
There are rumors of a small bump in the swell over the next few days, which means we could quite possibly see the Hurley Pro run all day Tuesday and finish on Wednesday.
HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES REMAINING ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 5: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.10 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.10
Heat 6: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.67 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 11.97
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 15.80 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.83
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.50 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 12.37
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.67 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 9.14
Heat 10: Fred Patacchia (HAW) 17.43 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.74
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.37 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 11.00
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.33 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.00
UPCOMING HURLEY PRO AT TRESTLES ROUND 3 MATCH UPS:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 5: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 9: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)