World champion Mick Fanning was caught in a Brazilian onslaught as South Americans stole the show in the world surfing tour event on the Gold Coast.
Fanning was surprisingly eliminated by Brazil’s Gabriel Medina in Tuesday’s quarter-finals at Snapper Rocks before Medina’s compatriot Adriano de Souza doubled the dose to beat 11-time world champion Kelly Slater.
Medina will now meet two-time Quiksilver Pro winner Taj Burrow in the semi-finals while 2012 world champion Joel Parkinson is in the other semi-final against de Souza.
Fanning was in a philosophical mood after his quarter-final loss, beaten by Medina for the second time in the day after the Brazilian defeated him in an earlier three-man fourth-round heat.
“It’s one of the hardest Snappers we’ve had to contend with, just with what wave is doing what,” Fanning said.
“I felt like I was building pretty good. I did some surfing that I was really happy with.
“Everything’s feeling good. It was just really tricky out there with waves. You just go ‘oh well’ and move on to the next one.”
Fanning appeared to be on course for the semi-finals before Medina pulled out the ride of the heat to score a 9.40 and snatch the lead, eventually taking out the heat by 1.83 points.
Slater was more disappointed after his loss, saying a gruelling schedule involving three 30-minute heats had taken its toll.
“I never really felt on today. I was pretty tired. By the end of that heat I was pretty beat,” the 42-year-old said.
“Three heats today and I didn’t really eat much. I had a lapse in concentration there, usually I know what I need to do at any point in the heat but I probably made too many mistakes in that one.”
While his rivals struggled, Parkinson was in fine form, scoring a 9.00 and an 8.93 to move into the final four at the expense of another Brazilian in Miguel Pupo.