Slater and Kerr battle into third round
Reigning world champion Kelly Slater overcame a stomach bug to book his place in the third round of the Volcom Fiji Pro where he was joined by injured Josh Kerr.
Slater, who was forced to withdraw from the previous tournament in Brazil due to a lacerated foot, lost his non-elimination opening round heat to world number 62 Mitch Coleborn on Sunday and was forced to surf again to stay alive at the meet.
“I’m not feeling quite 100 per cent,” the 11-times world champion said after beating local surfer Isei Tokovu.
“I didn’t feel great yesterday and my legs were still a little shaky. It’s no excuse for the round one heat because Mitch was totally in tune and just schooled us out there.”
Kerr initially feared his tournament was over after sustaining a suspected grad two ankle ligament tear in Sunday’s opening round.
But the Australian, who was told he faced two or three months on the sidelines, battled through his match-up with veteran Taylor Knox.
“I was worried because the doctor told me my ankle recovery was eight to 12 weeks out,” the world number three said.
“It feels super tender and I’m having non-stop work done. It’s really taped up and I don’t have much mobility with it at the moment.
“I got bounced up in the barrel and that didn’t feel very good but I’m happy to get through that one.”
Brazilian teenager Gabriel Medina scored the event’s first perfect 10 for a long forehand barrel as he cruised to victory over fellow rookie Yadin Nicol.
“That was sick,” the 18-year-old said. “I’m stoked to get that 10 and make the heat.
“I’m having a lot of fun. I didn’t know I was going to make it on that one and I just went for it.
“This is my second time to Fiji and I heard there is a swell coming. I think it would be fun if they ran at Restaurants too.”
Two round two match-ups are yet to be surfed as the swell dropped late on Monday. When action resumes on Tuesday morning, Bede Durbidge will face Adam Melling in an all-Australian clash while Kai Otton, also of Australia, takes on Raoni Monteiro in the final heat.
Volcom Fiji Pro round two results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.90 def. Isei Tokovu (FIJ) 6.10
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 12.66 def. Willian Cardoso (BRA) 8.07
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.00 def. Taylor Knox (USA) 8.56
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.57 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 7.50
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 13.67 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.54
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.67 def. Yadin Nicol (AUS) 9.37
Heat 7: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.96 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 15.76
Heat 8: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.04 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 16.23
Heat 9: Tiago Pires (PRT) 11.00 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.93
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) 12.40 def. Travis Logie (ZAF) 12.20
Volcom Fiji Pro remaining round two match-ups:
Heat 11: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Volcom Fiji Pro round three match-ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 3: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 5: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Mitch Coleborn (AUS)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Heitor Alves (BRA)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 10: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD