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A delayed start was forced on the competitors due to small conditions. But then spectators were treated to the most innovative surfing in New Zealand as the world’s elite surfers attacked the Gisborne waves on the 5th day of competition.
Honours were split between Australia and Brazil who each had three surfers progress through to the quarterfinals along with a surfer each from Spain and France.
The Australian’s applied the pressure early with calculated approaches, both Tom Whitaker and Adam Melling controlling their heats from the outset. Whitaker, who fell outside of the top 32 surfers half way through 2010, has found himself back contesting the ASP Prime and Star Series events early in 2011. Defending champion Stuart Kennedy also made it to the quarterfinals! But the Brazilian surfers exploded in the small beach break conditions using their natural flare, Thiago Camarao posting the highest heat score of the day - a near perfect 17.17 out of a possible 20 points to progress along with fellow countrymen Willian Cardoso and Miguel Pupo. Camarao was the star of the day busting several huge airs in a ‘highlights reel’ 30 minute heat.
With only seven heats remaining and the luxury of two days to complete the Gisborne O’Neill Cold Water Classic, the best possible conditions will be found to crown the O’Neill Cold Water Classic New Zealand champion 2011!
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