And under such a wet sun and dishevelled sky!
Under a wet sun and dishevelled skies, and to the violin sob of a sturdy onshore wind, Carissa Moore won this year’s Rip Curl Pro. It was her third Bells win in as many years (the first time for a woman) and is her second win in a row this season, come to think of it, her third win in a row since last year’s event in Maui.
Oh, Carissa was highly polished. Forget the hiccups between moves and jump-y half turns that sting the viewer’s eyes.
Stephanie Gilmore was even more of a thrill to watch than Carissa, each turn as beautiful as the opening of a rare flower. When will the Gold Coast shaper Darren Handley swing back into vogue? Yesterday Mick Fanning appeared to swish along the raggy waves with a destructive and ravenous ease.
Highlights? Yeah, there were some. Here, take this from the WSL press release about the final.
|“Gilmore opened up strong in the Final, posting an excellent 8.77 for typically smooth and concise surfing, linking together a series of turns and backing it up with a 4.50 for the initial lead. The Hawaiian fought back with an 8.00 of her own to turn the heat and claim the lead, holding priority through the closing minutes and taking the win with just two waves ridden.Gilmore, the reigning WSL Champion, has rung the Bell three times. First she went back-to-back in 2007 and 2008, facing Sofia Mulanovich on both occasions. The pair matched up again in the Final in 2010 and Gilmore took the win. The runner-up finish for Gilmore today, her second of the year, sees her remain in second place on the rankings.“Every single year it gets harder and harder to win these events,” Gilmore said. “It’s a real testament to all the girls on tour and just how much work and time they put out in the surf. I’m really proud to make it to the Final.”
“Carissa is always a tough one to beat,” continued Gilmore. “We have had a great battle for the world title the last few years and every single heat with her is hard. Thanks everyone for coming to watch. I love this event, I love coming down here, rugging up and trying to ring the bell.”
Can you feel the drama?
But what do you make of it, this contest, with its two-week waiting period, that turned into such a melancholy waltz. Is it further proof that the tour must be cleaved in two again, between women and men, and that the numbers must be radically sharpened? A dozen or 16 men; six or eight women?
And is it right that Kelly Slater is forced to defend his great legacy in the worst waves the tour has since he first joined it 24 years ago? It ain’t right to watch the Champ jerking back and forth, moving his weight from one foot to the other, to try and gas a little speed on two-foot waves.
That kinda shit doesn’t do any of us any good.