Champion questions judges after Aussie scores nine in Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach
Reigning Bells Beach champion Filipe Toledo says he is struggling to understand the judges’ scoring, despite securing a narrow win over Australian Jordan Baker to move into the semi-finals.
Baker celebrated after he completed his best surf of the quarter-final in the dying seconds, before Toledo had one final chance to put down a figure to improve his score.
Reigning Bells Beach champion Filipe Toledo says he feels confused about the judges’ scoring.Credit: WSL
The judges gave Baker a nine, meaning Toledo needed a 6.91 to regain his lead and progress into the final four at the Rip Curl Pro. He completed a good surf in the dying seconds, before both surfers faced a long and nervous wait for the final scores, only for Toledo to get a seven and claim the heat by 0.1.
Toledo, the reigning world champion, admitted he was frustrated after finding out Baker had been given a nine.
“I’m fine, I’m a really emotional guy,” Toledo said.
“The last two heats that I turned on the last few seconds, I needed a score and that was all good. But this heat, I just felt that I was winning by far, and then he got the nine that I’ll have to watch again.
“Nothing against ‘Jacko’, I love the guy, we have a good relationship, and we’re always hanging out. It’s just the scoring that I don’t understand sometimes.
“I didn’t have the score before I surfed my last wave, so I just surfed the best I could. Two big turns and a rotation at the end and one little turn, I thought, this is at least 7.5, and I needed a 6.9, and they gave me a seven. I don’t know what’s the go, I don’t know what they’re trying, but we’ll just keep scoring and surfing and doing my best, that’s it.”
Earlier, Toledo scraped into the quarter-finals at the death with a last-minute win over Jordy Smith.
Toledo tapped his wrist, calling for the clock with 70 seconds left in his heat, only to put up a 7.17 to eliminate Smith in ninth place.
Toledo will meet Australian Ethan Ewing in the first semi-final, in the same fashion as last year when Toledo eliminated Ewing in third place before claiming the Bell.
Meanwhile, Ryan Callinan will take on John John Florence in his first semi-final appearance at a WSL event since 2019, after defeating Griffin Colapinto in their quarter-final.
Both Australians will go into their heats as underdogs, given the experience of Toledo and Florence.
Florence’s run to the semi-finals was a lot cleaner than Toledo’s, with the 2019 winner at Bells knocking Australian Connor O’Leary out at the quarter-finals in comfortable fashion.
The women had not entered the water on Tuesday morning, but their quarter-finals are due to start just before midday, with four Aussies remaining in the final eight of the women’s draw, including Stephanie Gilmore and reigning Bells Beach champion Tyler Wright.
The finals will be held on Tuesday afternoon.
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