Day 5, the day of the finals, dawned crisp, clear, and offshore. The swell also was still looking incredible, with perfect split peaks pushing through on the outside. The buzz on the beach before the start was nearly tangible due to the fact that every heat of the day was loaded with talent.
The morning started off with the ladies Quarter Finals, and Heat 1 was dominated by Laurina McGrath who took two nice set waves to post 7’s and 8’s with her committed and on-rail surfing. Rebecca Woods, who posted a 9.0 on her first ride, was left without a backup wave and was looking to be eliminated until she grabbed a little insider with under a minute left to make the turn.
In Heat 2, Melanie Bartels put on a riveting performance with a blinding array of cutbacks, floaters, and layback snaps to post a 9.0 and a 8.0, comboing the competition and taking 1 st. Carissa Moore looked likely to advance in 2 nd until she broke her leash and was forced to chase her board to the inside. Little Carrissa, after retrieving her board, did the rock dance through the cobble stones at amazing speed and made it up the point and out the back with enough time to get a scoring wave, but was unable to come from behind as Heather Clark slammed the door on her with a 7.33.
Heat 3 saw Silvana Lima dominate with an overall heat score of 16.84, posting nice scores with a series of snaps off the top.
Heat 4 saw Megan Abubo post a 9.17 a solid set wave but was unable to advance, as Kyla Langen and Jessi Miley-Dyer went to work in the last minutes and destroyed a few to take 1 st and 2 nd respectively.
The Men’s Quarter Finals went off just after 9:00, and almost everything that needs to be said about that round can be summed up in the name Timmy Curran. Just seconds into Heat 1, Timmy took off on his first wave, and proceeded to define progressive professional surfing. Transferring from a savage frontside hack, Timmy busted what may have been the largest air ever seen in competition at Lowers, rotating a huge one-handed grab and then dropping 10 feet out into the flats. Curran somehow managed to pull the bone-jarring-landing, and spun a foam climb 360 for the cherry on top. The judges gave him a perfect 10. “I was so surprised I made that thing,” said Curran afterwards. “When I came down I felt my knees buckle, but I was able to hang on and the judges gave me a 10. I think if I hadn’t been wearing booties I would have broken both my legs for sure.” Curran paddled back out after that first wave and proceeded to dominate the rest of the heat, posting high scores on his back up, and tearing several others, clearly having fun out there. Rob Machado looked smooth as usual, tearing on his forhand for 2 nd place.
While Curran’s performance left the rest of the Quarters looking somewhat anticlimactic, there definitely was some insane action and drama in the following hour. A nearly set-less Heat 2 saw David Weare take down the win, and Aussie Leigh Sedley advanced in 2nd despite the bets efforts of CJ Hobgood. Sedley, who was sitting in 3 rd in the closing moments, was working for a wave when Hobgood moved in to position for some defense. Leigh managed to somehow takeoff despite contact with Hobgood on the drop, and tore the wave to the inside for a decent score. The resultant interference call on CJ bumped him down chopping his score enough to allow Sedley, to advance. “I’m over the moon,” said the smiling and gregarious Aussie of amazing run into the Semis from the 2 nd round.
Eneko Acero posted an 8.6 with under two minutes remaining in his heat, Heat 3, to make the turn into 2 nd, and Pat O’Connell looked collected again today, surfing a pair of rights flawlessly to take the win.
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Local Chris Ward banked a pair of rights to take the top slot in Heat 4, and Adrian Bucham finished narrowly behind him in 2 nd.
Heat 1 of the Women’s Semis saw Laurina MacGrath hook a series of snaps to take the win with Rebecca Woods advancing to the final in 2 nd. Melanie Bartels looked likely to advance with an 8.5 on the boards, but Woods took her down in the final moments of the heat.
Brazilian Silvana Lima threw down in a big way in the 2 nd heat, posting a 9.5 to take the win with Jesse Miley-Dyer claiming 2 nd.
Heat 1 of the men’s Semis saw South African David Weare hold nothing back. Weare blew his tail out with several huge tail-slides, and hooked a trio of savage gaffs on his forehand to grab a 9.33 on his first wave. David was not to be caught in the Semis and took the heat. Machado grabbed the 2 nd place slot with an array of insane slams and a pair of nice foam climbs 360’s. Timmy Curran was going mental in the heat as well but was unable to, work out from behind an interference call he was hit with early in the heat. Timmy boosted several airs, one nearly as critical as the frontsider from this morning, but it was unable to produce scores high enough to advance.
Goofyfooter Adrian Buchan drove his way into the finals in the top slot of Heat 2, wrapping several cutbacks on his forehand and boosting a nice air on the inside. Chris Ward looked likely to claim 2 nd, but lost his board in the final 3 minutes of the heat, a turn of fate that opened the door for Pat O’Connell. Pat dropped into a wave at the horn looking to post a 7.67, and dug deep to edge out Ward garnering a 7.77. “I was really nervous,” said a relieved looking O’Connell, “but I saw one out the back that Adrian let me have. I knew I needed a good score, but by that last turn I figured it would be enough.”
The Women’s final was over practically before it began, Silvana Lima pounced on two set waves in the opening minutes of the heat to post an 8.67 and a 9.67, two scores that proved to be insurmountable for the rest of the pack. Draped in a Brazilian flag in the shorebreak a smiling Lima said was ecstatic nearly beyond words.
The Men’s final, like the Women’s, saw David Weare set the bar early on. Weare lofted a nice frontside air midway through his first wave on his forehand, landing and blazing down the line with several hooks to the inside for a 9.23. Weare then backed that score with a 7.83, a backup score that would hang in to narrowly hand him the win as Aussie Adrian Bucham came on furiously in the final few minutes. Bucham nabbed a right on his forehand, and refusing to go down quietly, blazed down the line for a 9.13 a score that was close but not quiet enough. Weare edged out Buchan for the win by a credit card thin margin of .16. “This has been like a dream day,” said Weare, “Every heat has been really tough but fortunately I got two good waves off the bat.”
At the close of a run of five long days of intense competition, the prestigious Body Glove Surfbout saw an international field claim the top slots. Silvana Lima from Brazil proved to be unstoppable for the ladies, and David Weare became the latest entry on a list that is topped with names like Slater, Irons, and Machado.