At the onset of the Billabong Pro Rio the smart money would have been on Gabriel Medina. Coming off a huge roll at the start of the month at the Nike Lowers Pro where critics, pundits and fans were convinced they'd witnessed one of the most dominate performances in Trestles history, it was assumed he would be unbeatable back on his native soil, or salt water, if you will.
Oh but what an equalizer the ocean can be. Wildcard Peterson Crisanto, another Brazilian, stepped up and upset Medina handily.
"I knew that heat wasn't going to be easy with Gabriel (Medina) so I just tried to stay on the rights and try and find the barrels," Crisanto said in his post-heat interview. "I almost made the first barrel, but I made the second one, so I'm happy to get through to the next round. I just tried to stay relaxed and find the right waves."
To be sure, Round 2 was not easy for anybody, but rookies John Florence and Kolohe Andino rose to the occasion, and dodged an equal 25th place finish for the effort.
"It was a really hard heat and I was so tired," Florence said after his heat win. "We've been sitting around these last couple of days. There really haven't been any waves and then we were straight into these conditions."
In the tricky 4- to 6-foot conditions Adam Melling posted the performance of the round, going near perfect on one wave, earning a 9.67, and ultimately ended with a 17-point heat score.
"Adam Melling must have been surfing another break out there," said a befuddled Tiago Pires, who slipped past Kai Otton. "You get out there with the psych and I could not find the waves. There were lots of close outs and it was just really tough. I'm stoked to make it through though, it's my first time advancing to Round 4 this year."
After a long break things are finally rolling again, the surf's picked up and if what we've seen so far is any indication of what's to come for the rest of the contest, you're going to want to tune in.
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.40 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 6.40
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 8.70 def. Brett Simpson (USA) 8.53
BILLABONG RIO PRO ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.83 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 7.17
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.10 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.66
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 16.20 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 7.16
Heat 4: Heitor Alves (BRA) 6.00 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 5.47
Heat 5: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.83 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 7.46
Heat 6: Brett Simpson (USA) 9.33 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.60
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.00 def. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 2.64
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.36 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 7.97
Heat 9: Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.33 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 5.70
Heat 10: Tiago Pires (PRT) 10.90 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 10.20
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.16 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 6.50
Heat 12: Adam Melling (AUS) 17.00 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.26