Apparently, moving to San Clemente and having Lower Trestles as your home break and training ground pays off.
Two San Clemente transplants, Brazilan Filipe Toledo and South African Jordy Smith, met up in the finals at the Hurley Pro at the cobble-stone beach – but in the end, it was a day for the Brazilian storm to wave their flag proudly after Toledo joined the winners podium with fellow country-woman Silvana Lima, who dominated in the finals to take home the win in the Swatch Pro.
The two Orange County natives in the hunt for titles at Lower Trestles, Santa Ana’s Courtney Conlogue and Huntington Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi, had an early exit on finals day after not finding the needed waves in the fickle ocean that they need to advance.
The day started with the men’s quarter-final matchups, where Igarashi met up with Toledo, a re-match of a U.S. Open of Surfing heat where Igarashi was on the winning end.
This match-up would go to the Brazilian after Toledo opened with a big score of 7.83 and backed it up with a 6.50. With just two minutes on the clock, he put a stamp on his lead by scoring a 7.43 with a big air reverse.
Igarashi stumbled in the heat, wiping out on the wave that could have helped him catch up. It was a much different performance than the previous day when he ousted three-time world champ Mick Fanning and then eliminated Australian Julian Wilson on the final day.
But then, the ocean went flat. Until waves rolled in just after the buzzer sounded, seconds too late to allow Igarashi a chance to rebound.
The women hit the water for their semi-finals heat, with Santa Barbara’s Lakey Peterson going down to Lima.
Conlogue led most of the heat against Australian Keely Andrew. The local surfer posted a 6.17 and then got a 7.0. She kept busy taking smaller waves – in hindsight, her possible downfall, instead of being patient for bigger waves to post higher scores, she said.
Andrew only had a 5.33 and 4.73, but with just two minutes left on the heat, with priority, she caught a wave and released four big hacks, pumping her fists in victory at the end.
The judges awarded her with an 8.10 – enough to overtake Conlogue.
And again, the ocean went flat with bumps on the horizon arriving just seconds too late.
“In hindsight, I wanted to have a rhythm and not sit my heat away like I’ve done before,” she said. “You have to just live and learn. You can’t do anything of someone has priority at the end.”
Though it wasn’t the…