Event favourite Filipe Toledo fell in his round three heat, to 29th rank Kanoa Igarashi after the pair collided rails and Toledo was slapped with an interference.
Filipe was not pleased and reportedly attempted to ‘storm’ the judges tower, although exact details of this alleged storming are unclear. The young Brazilian was immediately reprimanded and slapped with a event ban, seeing him suspended from Fiji.
My actions after the heat were unacceptable
“I’m a passionate guy and surfing is my life. After getting an interference in the third round I was very upset,” he told the WSL in apology. “My actions after the heat were unacceptable. After cooling down, I realised that I was not myself. I’m very sorry for my behaviour. I want to apologise to the fans, my sponsors, the media and WSL. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept my suspension. I am disappointed to miss the next event, but looking forward to returning stronger for Jeffreys Bay. Good luck to everyone in Fiji and thank you all for the continued support.”
“Unfortunately for Toledo, the penalties for that kind of violation are clear, and officials have little wiggle room. Toledo has been fined and suspended, and will not be allowed to compete in Fiji,” states the WSL article. “While both sides are obviously disappointed by this turn of events, the WSL is grateful that Toledo has offered his apologies to fans, sponsors and the WSL.”
“Filipe (Toledo) is a really good kid and an incredible surfer,” Renato Hickel, WSL Deputy Commissioner, said. “The WSL is very fortunate to have someone of his caliber on tour and he is constantly progressing the level of surfing in the live arena.
“It’s disappointing when we have to pass disciplinary action for any of our surfers, but that behavior is not acceptable for the sport. Filipe knows this and we look forward to seeing his talent back on tour very soon.”