Watch the unparalleled adventure, competitive drama and athleticism of professional surfing, day seven, Rip Curl Pro!
Now that the heavy door of the Rip Curl Pro has closed behind us for the day, let’s attempt to compose a picture. No, wait, let’s employ the exuberant eloquence of the three-time Bells winner, three-times world champion, Mick Fanning.
“It was horrible, all the waves are six different waves in one. I was trying to figure out where to go. I was losing my mind.”
Kelly Slater, losing to Gabriel Medina said, “The ceiling was pretty low out there.”
Joel Parkinson, 2012’s world champion and also a multiple Bells winner, snapped at the shaper Maurice Cole mid-stairs, “That was hideous.” His 20-minute round elimination round five heat against Josh Kerr was half done and there hadn’t been a wave scored over 0.87.
Josh Kerr volunteered this observation, “It turned into the windsurfing league not the world surfing league.”
Ross Williams, meanwhile, was no victim of bashfulness. “Jadson nearly squeezed a ton of lemonade out of that lemon”
I should fancy that many criticisms will be made today of the Rip Curl Pro, yet today produced a wonderfully dramatic effect. Perhaps a little too fascinating. Earlier today, the WSL released a press release declaring it the “most exciting time in the history of surfing!” (Click here!).
The press release came despite Snapper being run in two-foot waves and, now, unrecognisable Bells. There’s the possibility that the first four events will be held in the crummiest waves ever seen in pro surfing since 1985 or thereabouts.
But I understand the condition of the world. Slicing the tour back to a manageable 12 surfers and separating men’s and women’s events is too radical. And so we have these unwieldy events, these determined but ultimately doomed spectacles that require one week of waves to cut through the 34 men and 17 women, both with multiple losers rounds.
It’s a bloody muddle. But I like the bitter and I like the sweets.
Tell me you won’t be tuned in tomorrow in the drum-throbbing darkness, fidgeting, waiting for the call.
Mens quarter-final heats: (Editor’s note: Likely winners have been italicised.)
1. Adriano v Gabriel (Brazil v Brazil) 2. Owen v Josh (Australia v Australia) 3. Jordy v Mick (South Africa v Australia) 4. Filipe v Nat (Brazil v USA)