In their Hurley Pro Round 3 heat at Lowers, both Adriano de Souza and Filipe Toledo literally went wave for wave all the way to the final moments. The pair ended the heat two identical scores posted: 8.77 and 7.90. So what's a pro to do? The ASP has a rule for such a scenario.
Where heat scores are tied, the tie will be split by:
A) Counting each surfer's best counting wave score.
B) In the event that the tie cannot be broken in this manner, the tabulator would then count the best 3/4/5/6 waves etc., up until the tie is broken.
In the end, de Souza's third highest wave, a 7.8, was higher than Toledo's 6.83, giving Adriano the win.
This isn’t the first time the countback rule has been invoked this year. At the Billabong Pro Tahiti, Kelly Slater and John John Florence posted identical 19.77 heat scores in perfect Teahupoo conditions. In that case, Slater took the win because his best counting score was a perfect 10 compared to Florence’s 9.90. In the case of Toledo/De Souza, it took counting back all the way to each surfer’s third score to break the tie.
Watch Toledo’s highest-scoring wave, an 8.77: