2007 Boost Mobile Pro Day 3

CONDITIONS: 2-3 foot clean peaks
NATURE'S CALL: Better on Saturday
PREDICTIONS: Dane and Jordy final?

Dane Reynolds handed Mick Fanning his worst result in over a year on the Fosters WCT
Just like yesterday, sixteen heats were run, but only three mattered. Sound harsh? Consider that the normally exhaustive ASP daily press release even failed to mention anything that happened in anything besides heats 8, 9 and 13. Why? Let's just say it's quite a day when two wildcards take out Mick Fanning and Andy Irons and hardly anyone is surprised.

That's because Dane Reynolds and Jordy Smith are here and they're ready. Dane was ready enough to demolish world number 1 who was having the best year of his career, while Jordy didn't seem to break a sweat while putting the hurt on a three-time world champ trying to make another title run. The Reynolds/Fanning heat was decided in the opening two minutes when Dane scored the first right of the day and went to work. The result – a 9.93; and the scary part – he did it surfing at {{{80}}}%. "I didn't really do anything special on that one," he said. "I just fit some turns in without forcing anything." Fanning tried to battle back, but after Dane backed it up with a 7-something which featured the best surfing a human can possibly do on a one foot left, he was left scratching his head and wondering, "What the hell happened to this kid since I smoked him here last year?"

"The first wave he got, that was the heat right there," said Mick, who gamely stuck around to do interviews after the loss. "His heat strategy has really wised up."

Next was heat 9 where a now salivating Kelly Slater took control against Rob Machado in a wave-starved heat. "Now it's time to go to work," said Kelly. Could it be that Slats has found contest motivation for the first time in nearly a year? Uh oh.

Then it was Jordy's turn. The big kid put early pressure on AI with a few man-sized hacks on a decent sized left. AI responded quickly with a series of vertical slams before lifting into a crazy air – and falling – in the shorebreak. "Andy didn't need to do that," said Kelly, who was mind surfing the heat from upper duck. "He thinks he needs to go bigger than he does." Jordy then slammed the door by stomping the landing on a big air reverse.

So that was the dramatic underdog stuff, but the day was filled with heats were favorites were taken down by upstarts. Defending champ Bede Durbidge lost to Neco Padaratz who is a terror in small lefts and Bruce Irons suffered an unlikely thrashing at the hands of Rodrigo Dornelles (pronounced Hoe-dreego Dor-nei-chee in Brazil). Jeremy Flores and Josh Kerr also looked like danger men by posting come from behind wins over Royden Bryson and Mick Campbell.

So now Kelly looks over a Round 4 leader board landscape that's bereft of all top ten names except for his own and he likes what he sees. Dane and Jordy have just made pro surfing interesting again. Will it be interesting enough for him to give another hard run at the title this year and stick around for one more?

Time will tell.

Jordy Smith capitalized on his former Billabong teammate Andy Irons
(1st advances to Rnd 4; 2nd finishes =17th)

Heat 1: Troy Brooks def. Dean Morrison
Heat 2: Chris Ward def. Raoni Monteiro
Heat 3: Pancho Sullivan def. Ricky Basnett
Heat 4: Neco Padaratz def. Bede Durbidge
Heat 5: Rodrigo Dornelles def. Bruce Irons
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores def. Royden Bryson
Heat 7: C.J. Hobgood 1def. Adriano de Souza
Heat 8: Dane Reynolds def. Mick Fanning
Heat 9: Kelly Slater def. Rob Machado
Heat 10: Frederick Patacchia def. Adrian Buchan
Heat 11: Taylor Knox def. Victor Ribas
Heat 12: Josh Kerr def. Michael Campbell
Heat 13: Jordy Smith def. Andy Irons
Heat 14: Ben Dunn def. Kai Otton
Heat 15: Shaun Cansdell def. Bobby Martinez
Heat 16: Tom Whitaker def. Leonardo Neves

(1st advances to Quarters; 2nd finishes =9th)

Heat 1: Troy Brooks v. Chris Ward
Heat 2: Pancho Sullivan v. Neco Paearatz
Heat 3: Rodrigo Dornelles v. Jeremy Flores
Heat 4: C.J Hobgood v. Dane Reynolds
Heat 5: Kelly Slater v. Fred Patacchia
Heat 6: Taylor Knox v. Josh Kerr
Heat 7: Jordy Smith v. Ben Dunn
Heat 8: Shaun Cansdell v. Tom Whitaker