Is Australia losing its grip on world surfing supremacy?
IS Australia losing its grip on world surfing supremacy and in danger of being overtaken as the number one country in surfing?
Strangely when Australia dominated both the men's and the women's ranks in surfing, it was a foregone conclusion that we were the best in a sport that wasn't considered global.
Since the era of Kelly Slater, Andy Irons, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson, suddenly there is the Brazilian storm domination.
Maybe the world caught up learning from Australia's domination in sports such as tennis.
According Rabbit Bartholomew in a story titled "The Slump" by Nick Carroll, the younger generation have lost hope as there's not enough highly rated World Qualifying events in Australia.
Whether it is a lack of hunger or just being out-surfed, the world tour will continue to play out and its anyone's guess right now who will finish on top.
Australia's challengers Callinan, Wilson, Carmichael, Wright and Buchan have a month to prepare for the next event at Teahupoo Tahiti.
Brazil's two-time world champion Gabriel Medina is back with renewed vigour and confidence after smashing J-Bay and his fellow Brazilian goofy foot Italo Ferreira.
Held in pumping waves and a historical final between two backhand surfers, Medina rose to the occasion demonstrating he is back as a World title contender.
Thriving on hot chocolate drinks and croissants for breakfast, Medina might not be the prettiest surfer on tour, but he sure surfs harder and faster as does his compatriots Ferreira and Toledo.
Let's face it the Brazilians are the best surfers in the world right now and the Australians can learn much from their passion, hunger and getting the job done.
California's Kolohe Andino has taken the lead and is USA's only hope but will have to pull out all stops at the next event that favours Medina and Ferrier while Toledo is yet to shine at Chopes (Teahupoo).
Medina is notorious for fighting back in the second half of the tour. Last year he won Tahiti, Lemoore and Pipeline, short of an injury he will be a threat again.
Trailing in seventh position, if Medina gets on a roll like last year, the Brazilian will be hard to stop and a huge worry for anyone trying to overcome his tenacity and coldblooded killer instinct for winning at all costs.
Slater's exit at the hands of Italo Ferreira was painful. Cheyne Horan, a four times world runner-up, and nowadays super coach, spoke to the champ about the necessity of starting the heat with the first wave.
Yet the Brazilian got under Kelly's guard when the 11 time world champ tried to paddle Italo up the point and move him off the take-off spot.
When the sets arrived, Ferreira moved back to claim the first wave and then another backup wave. Kelly faltered falling on his first two waves.
Everyone knows that you can't do that as Slater lamented in the post interview. For Kelly to stay in the mix he must win at Teahupoo where he has dominated and then win at least two more events.
After Chopes, is Kelly's wave pool event and Medina is defending champ. Most people get bored out of their minds watching the mechanical wave peel off one identical wave after another.
After that it is the home run in real waves at France, Portugal and then Pipeline where Hawaii looms large as the World Title decider.