In a conversation in the water at Uppers last week one local guy asked another local guy, "What are the two most common languages spoke out here?"
"Easy, English and Portuguese," was the reply.
And true to form, every surfer that advanced out of Round 2 of the Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro today was either American or Brazilian by birth.
Under a breathless, blue bird sky, competitors enjoyed small, but contestable surf, and capitalizing on some native knowledge, Tanner and Pat Gudauskas, Kolohe Andino, Bobby Martinez and Taylor Knox teed it up for the Californians. Tanner, who's still slightly nursing an ankle injury, clocked in the highest single wave score of the event up until this point, a 9.63, and the highest total heat score, a 17.70.
"That wave just lined up all the way through," he said after. "It was a great little runner and I just kept looking over my shoulder and taking it straight up. I'm just stoked to be in the water again."
CJ Hobgood and Cory Lopez were the lone East Coasters to advance, and from the 50th State of the Union, Joel Centio, Dusty Payne, Mason Ho will be joining their fellow countrymen in the next round.
Meanwhile, here come the boys from Brazil. Jadson Andre did Gudauskas one better when he recieved a 9.87 for three turns and an air for one wave, and tallied a robust 18.47 in his Round 2 heat. Quiet, young World Tour rookie Alejo Muniz made short work of Dane Reynolds and his "Neck Beard" in the second to last and most anticipated heat of the day. The waist- to chest-high wedges suited his show-up-and-blow up approach perfectly. He jumped ahead early and never looked back. Also worthy of note, Gabriel Medina logged the second highest heat score of the round with a 17.60. More seasoned journeymen Heitor Alves, Jesse Mendes, Willian Cardosa and Junior Faria also moved on.
It certainly wasn't by design that things shook out this way. Surfers from France, Japan, Reunion Island and other less primetime locales all had a chance, but more than anything it was competitive savvy and the ability to pick the right waves that carried people through the event today.
Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Round of 48 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Centeio (HAW) 14.67, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 14.67, Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.80, Aritz Aranburu (EUK) 10.56
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.60, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 13.50, Daniel Ross (USA) 9.20, John Florence (HAW) 4.19
Heat 3: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 17.70, Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.53, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 14.10, Pablo Paulino (BRA) 13.50
Heat 4: Dusty Payne (HAW) 12.33, Bobby Martinez (USA) 13.77, Kai Barger (HAW) 12.33, Granger Larsen (HAW) 10.03
Heat 5: Heitor Alves (BRA) 13.84, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 10.17, Masatoshi Ohno (JPN) 9.53, Pedro Henrique (BRA) 9.03
Heat 6: Taylor Knox (USA) 13.87, Mason Ho (HAW) 12.60, Hizunome Bettero (BRA) 11.83, Tom Whitaker (AUS) 10.10
Heat 7: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 15.77, Junior Faria (BRA) 11.43, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 11.17, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 9.20
Heat 8: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.67, Cory Lopez (USA) 14.07, Nic Muscroft (AUS) 9.47, Dane Reynolds (USA) 2.70
Heat 9: Jadson Andre (BRA) 18.47, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.80, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.10, Austin Ware (USA) 11.90
Nike 6.0 Lowers Pro Round of 96 Results:
Heat 17: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.67, Damien Hobgood (USA) 8.96, Gelnn Hall (IRL) 8.90, Messias Felix (BRA) 7.50
Heat 18: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.67, Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.27, Brent Dorrington (AUS) 13.10, Neco Padaratz (BRA) 7.83
Heat 19: Lincoln Taylor (AUS) 9.19, Austin Ware (USA) 9.10, Gabe Kling (USA) 5.60, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 2.63
Heat 20: Kai Otton (AUS) 13.57, Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.70, Roy Powers (HAW) 8.27, Charles Martin (GLP) 6.20
Heat 21: Tonino Benson (HAW) 15.67, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 13.67, Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.87, Yuri Sodre (BRA) 8.57
Heat 22: Thiago Camarao (BRA) 15.67, Adam Melling (AUS) 13.73, Stu Kennedy (AUS) 12.13, Ben Dunn (AUS) 10.35
Heat 23: Tim Reyes (USA) 13.33, Heath Joske (AUS) 9.63, Leandro Bastros (BRA) 7.83, Yadin Nicol (AUS) 4.33
Heat 24: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 13.10, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.00, Jack Freestone (AUS) 12.50, Jonathan Gonzalez (CNY) 10.67