Filipe piteous, CJ resurrected, Taj uninterested, Gabriel trampled…
When destiny knocks the nail in the coffin of a failed world title campaign it is seldom long before she knocks in the last. Who could ever have pictured Gabriel Medina administering such a poor defence of his historic world title?
You would never have thought that this handsome boy could wear a look of such astonishment, dismay, piteous injury!
And that ain’t all. Dane Reynolds swallowed his chin and charged Filipe Toledo like a bull. He knocked his wind out completely. I like to watch the way a surfer runs to the water’s edge and paddles out to see if he’s jacked up and ready to fight. Dane kinda waddled down to that lil gap in the rocks where you paddle out and I was worried he might be maltreated by Filipe, especially considering the game Filipe demonstrated in the freesurf sessions. But there’s a change in Dane, and you could see it in the way he recovered out of one turn – an almost top-turn to face-plant – and the way he grimly crouched over his connecting turns as if he was Kolohe Andino in his NSAA prime. Once his opening passages were complete, Dane’s natural nervousness vanished and he cavorted as if it was 2010 and he was again equal fourth in the world.
Kelly Slater hemmed in Matt Wilkinson, even if his sails did hang like dead snakes. Have you ever seen a frontside air landed by…sheer will?
Joel Parkinson lost again and Taj Burrow seemed entirely over the whole business, as if it took an effort of unbelievable will to paddle out into the crummy, onshore waves.
Maybe more tonight!