Life is f*cking crazy. In a matter of mere seconds, your whole world can turn around – sometimes for the good sometimes for the bad.
Filipe Toledo experienced this mercurial unknown today and, unfortunately for him, it wasn’t the good kind of unpredictability. In his Round 3 heat at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Toledo drew event wildcard, Mason Ho. The conditions weren’t epic, a little warbly, scattered peaks, but there were definitely some gems. And in one of the lower scoring matchups of the day, Filipe went down to Mase.
Mason got a 5.00, a humble score when guys like Kelly and John John were dropping high 9’s, but that was enough to hold off Filipe, whose highest wave came in at a 4.67. In the dying seconds, Filipe only needed a 2.27 to overcome Ho’s combined total of 6.93. A smaller wave came in. Filipe dropped in backside at Pipe. He pulled under the lip. Traveling through the curtain, but not exceptionally deep. And he got spit out. The score came out at a 2.00, a mere .67 short. It seemed like a low score from the judges, but I’m not here to make bold and caustic accusations. Leave that to the Internet trolls.
With Filipe out of the World Title race, that leaves Mick Fanning, Gabriel Medina, and Adriano de Souza. It was tough blow for the young Brazilian to take, especially after having the season of his career, winning three Tour events and loudly establishing his place as one of the world’s best with his freakish progression. But his fierce competitive drive aside, the kid’s got virtue; he’s no sore loser.
“I’ve had a lot of fun all year fighting for the World Title,” Filipe said in a post-heat interview. “I had my chance but it didn’t happen this year. But next year, I’ll be back even stronger.”