Two-time World Surf League (WSL) champion Gabriel Medina snared a solid win in the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona, overcoming fellow goofy-footer Connor O’Leary in the slow, hightide conditions.
The Brazilian looked fast and sharp on his way to victory at Merewether Beach, crediting his current approach to his new coach Andy King.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” Medina said.
“I thought I’d try something different because I’m getting old.
“So, I’m here working with Andy.
“He’s giving me the confidence to do it, so that’s the guy I need on my corner.
“And, to have that knowledge of being a goofy and having experience here is a big advantage, so I feel good.
“He also pays lots of attention to boards and manoeuvres, which is interesting and helpful to me.”
Fellow Brazilian and 2015 WSL titleholder Adriana de Souza competed in his 500th Championship Tour (CT) heat on Thursday 8 April in the round of 32.
He celebrated the feat with a win over Jeremy Flores (FRA).
He’ll now advance to the round of 16, where he will match-up with Julian Wilson (AUS).
Last year, De Souza announced that 2021 will be his final year on the CT before retiring from full-time competition.
“I went into that heat trying to be as relaxed as I could,” he said.
“I’m not fighting for my points anymore, just for my best performance.
“My first few rounds were super tough and I had close losses so I analysed them at least 20,000 times to understand where I went wrong.
“In round two, I felt more prepared but this round I felt fully prepared.
“Jeremy Flores is such a great competitor and he really pushes me.
“We have had a long rivalry but a lot of respect for one another.
“I’m hoping I can keep these performances coming for the next few days of the event.”
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s round of 32 results:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.16 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.60
- HEAT 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.10 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.20
- HEAT 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.93 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 7.40
- HEAT 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.67 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 4.00
- HEAT 5: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 17.13 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 13.16
- HEAT 6: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.17 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.67
- HEAT 7: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.40 DEF. Crosby Colapinto (USA) 11.06
- HEAT 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 9.60 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.00
- HEAT 9: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.80 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 11.20
- HEAT 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.43 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.50
- HEAT 11: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.83 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 8.50
- HEAT 12: Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.74
- HEAT 13: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.50 DEF. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 10.40
- HEAT 14: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.84 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.37
- HEAT 15: Yago Dora (BRA) 12.84 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.83
- HEAT 16: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.23 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.56
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s round of 16 match-ups:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
- HEAT 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
- HEAT 3: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
- HEAT 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
- HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
- HEAT 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
- HEAT 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
- HEAT 8: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s quarter-finals match-ups:
- HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
- HEAT 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
- HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
- HEAT 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)