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A new shot was fired in the war of the wave pools, as another faction – this one led by former world champ Mark Occhilupo – looks to win the battle for wave-hungry hearts and minds.

According to Fox Sports Australia, Brisbane startup Surf Lakes has plans for a multi-break surf park, differentiating their technology from Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool and Perth-based Wave Park Group’s “The Cove” by seeking to offer a variety of waves.

Occy, meanwhile, has joined Surf Lakes as both a financial backer and advisor. The company also told Fox Sports Australia that with the help of the former Teahupoo champ, they’ve designed a wave capable of breaking similar to the perilous reef pass. Sending six- to eight-foot tubes across a 60-yard pool, already nicknamed “Occy’s Peak” by Surf Lakes – if genuinely viable – would be a game-changer.

While construction of a testing and demonstration pool is said to be underway, Surf Lakes, unlike its competition (The Cove, Kelly’s Wave Pool), has not provided any visual evidence to verify the company’s technological capabilities – just a few photos of waves of unknowable origin and size, and an artist’s rendering of Occhilupo purportedly surfing his namesake freshwater peak.
During his Sunday heat at Cloudbreak, Michel Bourez revealed an updated version of a long-lost backside stalling technique once popularized by Aussie goofyfooter Neal Purchase Jr., who was renowned for his backhand tuberiding at Kirra back in the 90s and 00s.

Purchase was an early advocate of using every imaginable body part for stalling purposes, including hands, butt, and even his back foot. Though a long and lean fellow, he put himself into pretzel positions to stay cleanly slotted in even the smallest of tubes.

Bourez, however, used an updated version of the technique on a Cloudbreak bomb, utilizing his entire back leg behind the tail of his board.

He used the trailing leg as both anchor and rudder, somehow balancing just with his front leg on the board. It allowed him to stay deeper in the tube and was critical to scoring a 9.17 for the wave which led to Round One's highest heat total.
The world's best wave riders continue to shine in the blue barrels of Cloudbreak. The iconic left-hand break delivered perfect six-to-eight foot cylinders, as the athletes fought for a place in Round 3 and 4.

Italo Ferreira took down Medina and put the former world champion in a surprising position in the overall rankings. Gabriel is 10th and will not climb the leaderboard with this result.

"That was amazing. In the last few waves, I was just getting good barrels and feeling no pressure. I am so happy to be back again. I am just enjoying myself and catching good waves," said Ferreira.

But Ian Gouveia, a Championship Tour rookie, will not forget this event. He defeated Owen Wright and advanced through to Round 4.

"I am super stoked to finally make Round 3 and go to Round 4. It is an amazing feeling to be here at Fiji and to beat Owen. He is probably one of the best surfers out here," added Gouveia.

Kelly Slater was able to eliminate Ethan Ewing from competition and is happy to get his chance in Round 3, in a contest sponsored by his clothing brand.