• April 23, 2024 7:04 PM


After seven huge days of surfing that began with 144 competitors we are now down the to the final eight in the blue ribbon division here at Manly.

The Men’s Quarter Final match-ups include some of the big, established names – all guys with World Championship Tour experience.

No. 1 event seed Julian Wilson, continues to blaze through the draw. Wilson has barely put a foot wrong. Today the world rated #6 nailed a couple of massive inverted, frontside air reverses to register one of the highest two-wave combined heat totals of the round. Wilson scored a super impressive 18.27 points out of a possible 20 and he needed to – against the defending finalist, Evan Geiselman, Wilson was always going to have to surf a tight heat.

Geiselman is so good in small waves, his score of 17.50pts would have seen him progess from every other heat of the round. A tough loss for the American …

Wilson is pretty clear with his intentions, he wants the title!

“I’m here because I want to win,” Wilson said. “I want to start winning events. I had a really consistent back half of last year, but didn’t get a win and I just want to get that ball rolling early this year. It takes a few years of travelling on the ASP World Tour to get comfortable with everything like boards, where to stay and the rest. It’s really hard to get on there and start winning right away. I’m coming into my fourth year now and I feel a lot more comfortable about what I need to do to be ready for every event.”

Also looking super sharp is Frenchman Jeremy Flores. This guy spent much of his teenage years living in Sydney, Australia so the conditions at Manly are something he is very familiar with. Today Flores disposed of another experienced campaigner, Heitor Alves of Brazil.
Picking a winner is always a tough ask at surf competition, but as a perennial top-10 finisher on the WCT Tour, you’d have to expect Flores is a favourite on the final day. He’s got the moves, he’s got the experience, he’s got the determination and he sounds pumped!

“These are the best waves all week, it’s small but rippable so everyone is really excited,” said Flores. “I’m really happy to be into the Quarterfinals, lately I haven’t been at my best in these sort of small waves, so to make some heats at this event is good for my confidence. Manly has been really fun, with the music, the skating, the pro junior surfing, it’s sick! I like the vibe here.”

Similarly matched to Flores in these beach break conditions is Brazil’s Adriano de Souza. Physically, de Souza is one of the smaller surfers on tour, but his repertoire and precision make him on of the best. Like Flores, he is incredibly experienced (he’s won World Championship Tour events and has the distinction of being the first-ever Brazilian to lead the World Title rankings) and he is beyond determined to win.

De Souza eliminated Aussie Mitch Coleborn today and will surf in the Quarters against Hawaiian goof-foot and fellow WCT surfer, Fred Patacchia on Sunday.

“I’ve had a lot of hard heats, but I’m just surfing and doing my thing and it’s working,” De Souza said.

California’s Pat Gudauskas was one of the other standouts. Patty G had a tough opponent in the form of Japanese teen, Hiro Ohhara. 17 year-old Ohhara is definitely one of the rising stars from the land of the rising sun – last year he distinguished himself by reaching the semis of the world junior championships in Brazil – the best result ever for a Japanese contender. But today Gudauskas locked in the fifth highest heat total of the Men’s event – 17.20pts, sending Ohhara packing … Pat will meet another super experienced Aussie in the Quarters, Bede Durbidge.

Here’s the top eight heading into the final day. One of these surfers is going to be crowned the 2014 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing Champion!

QF1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
QF2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs Tomas Hermes (BRA)
QF3: Fred Patacchia (Haw) vs Adriano De Souza (BRA)
QF4: Pat Gudauskas (USA) vs Bede Durbidge (AUS)

QF1: Carissa Moore (Haw) vs Leila Hurst (Haw)

QF2 : Georgia Fish (Aus) vs Maud Le Car (Fra)

QF3 : Alessa Quizon (Haw) vs Nage Melamed (Haw)

QF4 : Nikki Van Dijk (Aus) vs Malia Manuel (Haw)