Taj Burrow's last ever heat! Wilko hangs on to ugly yellow jersey!
Round three of Fiji. Kind of bumpy in the morning, cleaning up through the day. Mix of bad and spectacular. Medina started out the day with fire. Caught a million waves. Found some pits, shaved ’em good.
Poor Banting. So humiliating. We all have off days. Doing it on camera’d be the worst. As out of the groove as Medina was in it.
Life’s the worst. Explode your knee rookie year. Come back the next and eat a pile of third round exits. Mr. Paisley Pottz pointed out that our fave polite waiter spent the lay-days on the mainland. Doing his own deal.
Indicative of a poor mental state? Need to get away from the anxiety? Maybe just bored as hell sitting on a white sand beach staring at nothing. I know it sounds dreamy to those of you who’ve never, or rarely, done it. But that shit gets tiresome quick.
Next two heats slowed down bad. Bourez handed Igarashi another early round exit. Payne took out Toledo while the ocean refused to cooperate.
Slater on fire, looking like himself. Guess it just takes good surf to keep the best surfer ever interested. Good bye Jordy.
Conner Coffin fucked up bad. Totally rookie mistake. Had the win in the bag, ate an interference. Uncle Wiggly’s post-heat interview was classic. He’ll take the win. Do better next round.
Things started heating up again during the heat with the lowest combined height measurement.
Keanu dodged a barrel bad, made up for it by going balls to the wall at the next gnarly section, air dropping into obliteration. I dig the diminutive Hawaiian, and he surfed well, but he got seriously upstaged by De Souza. The Brazilian took the win easy, started showboating towards the end.
All I can think of is how funny they’d look, one on the other’s shoulders, trench coat, trying to sneak into an R rated movie.
Italian Ferrari struggled against an in-form Jug Handles Andre. Started to find his feet midway through the heat. Big barrel to deep fading cutty. Earned an even 9, not enough for the front spot. You could see the fire catch as he took a full speed exit from the ski.
Wasn’t enough. Jadson used his priority well. Chased Italo around the lineup, snagged a decent one in the closing minutes. Ferrari forced into a hail mary floater that would’ve been great if he hadn’t come unstuck. Instead he got hammered, took the set on his head, said “Sayonara.”
Kerr/Flores. Two very good backhand barrel riders. Watching Flores from the channel at solid Pipe was one of the most entertaining sessions I’ve seen first hand. But Kerr’s on my fantasy team, even though Rusty tried fucking with us over the whole in competition IV use deal.
Kerr grabbed the lead early with two solid barrels. 7.33 and 6.67. Judges being niggardly with the excellent scores today. Good to see. Leave room for improvement, rather than get excited and paint yourself into a corner.
Flores played catch-up the entire heat. Great barrels, gorgeous backside carving cutbacks, still couldn’t do it. Last second ride made for a bit of a nail biter, but not really. Great ride but not enough.
White Lightning v Melling. I know I’ve harped on it, but it’s fucked that the WSL is allowing Fanning a just-for-fun year. Give him a sabbatical, that’s great. But allowing him to cherry pick events, and guaranteeing an injury wildcard for next year, reeks of favoritism. “You’re a draw so we’ll bend over backwards to accommodate you.” Anyone else blows off shitty events ‘cuz they aren’t feeling it they get fined. But not Mick. He even gets seeded as though he’s on tour, rather than a wildcard. Which is what he is.
Been waiting eagerly for Taj versus Double-J Flo. Best barrel rider in the world. Much loved hero on his retirement swing. Sure enough, JJ pulls into a keg on his first wave, gets an 8.17. Full speed jet assist dismount out the back. I hope everyone starts doing them. They look fun, and someone will eventually mistime it for a spectacular disaster. Taj added an, in my opinion slightly over-scored 8, to his previous 2. JJ came right behind with stylish dreamboat arm drag. 6.17.
Taj answered with a gorgeous 9.2. Long barrel, linking turn to turn to the channel.
Back and forth beauty.
The crowd was on Taj’s side, but Florence was amazing.
Last heat of Burrow’s career, and it was the kind of heat that’s worth waiting for. The kind that salves the sting of the countless hours wasted. A magnificent display of wave riding ability. 18.76 for Florence to 18.6 for the guy with the bad haircut who’s probably shit-can hammer wasted right now.
I had to do a radio show so I missed the next two heats. I got to talk about illegal TVRs and how people can screw over the landlords!
Ace Buchan beat Pupo, which is great for my languishing fantasy team. Then Wilko beat Muniz to hang on to his ugly yellow jersey.
But JJ and Taj! Amazing! Magic! Sensual! Velvet! Goodbye sweet man! Fare thee well!
That’s it for the day. If anyone on Namotu is reading this, I got a $50 bounty on a picture of him passed out at the bar.