Nine days left in the waiting period, what's the hurry?
The final presidential debate, and five heats of Portugal’s round two, in one night? Such drama, such insanity. What have I done to deserve this?
Seriously. Whatever it is, I’ll stop. Just, please, don’t hurt me again.
The debate… it weren’t great, not for America. Clinton called Trump a Russian puppet. He called her a nasty woman, then alluded he wouldn’t accept any election he didn’t win. Not great for democracy. Pretty in line with how a Russian plant would behave, though.
But I ain’t worried. Trump’s certain loss won’t lead to his followers taking up arms and taking the streets. Because they’re cowards. You’ve gotta be to truly believe you live in a world where you need an arsenal for home protection.
Kind of like all the dorks screaming about modern society stealing their masculinity. If you’ve gotta join a club dedicated to reinforcing your identity as a strong male you’re definitely anything but. Political correctness, or social marxism, or whatever term you’re using to denigrate evolving concepts of basic social decency, can’t steal your manhood. Nothing weaker than a man who feels threatened by strong women.
But we’re here to talk about surfing, aren’t we?
Let’s move on.
The WSL made a bad call. Terrible call. Worst call ever. It’s a disaster!
Penultimate event of the year, neck-and-neck title race. First three heats of round two feature the three surfers most likely to clinch the top spot. Why send them out into a closed-out wave catching contest? Nine days left in the waiting period, what’s the hurry?
Gigs says it’s no wonder people call it the Portugese Pipeline. Do people really say that? If so, they need to stop. That’s a stupid thing to say.
First heat of the loser round featured JJF and the wild card, Miguel Blanco. Scary to draw a local surfer in these conditions. On a day like this the win’s going to whoever gets the better waves. There’ll be no fifty/fifty split of ripping.
Florence hung on. Found an open right and got some hits in. Stroked into an okay left, boosted an air slightly past mid heat. Lucked into an open barrel in the dying minutes, solidified the lead he already held. Stays in first on the ‘CT.
Heat two saw Medina go on a wave catching spree. Twelve waves over a half hour. That’s some solid endurance.
Gabriel surfed well, like always. Found solid scores. Did one super cool speed snap to reverse. Landed fins first and slid loose for a while. Not one of his keeper scores, but the highlight in my mind.
Sadly for Callinan, Medina didn’t really win the heat. Callinan lost it. He found the best wave of the heat, a punchy overhead number. Hit it square, hard, then came unglued on the next turn. Total kick in the guts. You could tell he knew it. The section was perfect for a bash, could’ve added another point or two. Would’ve gotten the win, Medina took it by .41.
Best heat of the day was next. Flores came out of the gate on fire, stuck a knife in the throat of Wilko’s title dream. Hung it by its feet, drained the blood, chopped the thing to bits, fried it up for dinner.
But you can’t blame Wilko. He didn’t do anything wrong. When the surf is, more or less, garbage, and your opponent finds a highlight worthy barrel in the first couple minutes, there’s not a hell of a lot you can do.
Especially when Flores used that momentum to surf better than he has for most of this year. Backed up his early nine with a a three turn combo, the first two vicious vertical stabs, for a seven. Then immediately used priority to force his way into a backhand tube that, really, looked unmakeable.
It wasn’t particularly big, or open, but watching Flores rail grab pump through a tight fit is rad as fuck.
He put the Aussie in combo and left him sitting there for the next eighteen minutes.
I’ll hand it to Wilko, he didn’t surrender. With four and a half left he got a very good left hand barrel for an eight. Came unglued on his fall-from-the-sky end section floater attempt. Might’ve gone all the way to ten if he’d landed it.
Not that it would’ve mattered. Flores stuck to him like glue for the last couple minutes. Let Wilko have a nothing closeout, retained priority, and sent him packing.
I said it in my pre-event fantasy picker, “Flores either does very well, or very poorly.“ Looks like this event is gonna be the former.
Ribeiro/Wilson was boring. No other way to put it. Nothing but semi-closed out whompers. Both men were struggling to stick a single turn in before it shut down. Wilson won, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
Skinny Wilko looked so sad when Rosie interviewed him. Bring back chubby Wilko. He loved life.
I want to know what Mel was saying. Wilko ended his interview with, “Maybe something will happen, someone will get disqualified, and I’ll get first.”
Pete Mel loved it. “Ah, dude. That’s beautiful. Someone will get disqualified and I’ll still win. Wait, you know what could happen? John John or…”
… then they cut his mic.
What could happen, Pete? What could happen?!?!?
Final heat before they wised up and shut it down was Toledo/Melling.
The Llama absolutely steamrolled Melling. Started off the heat with a solid backhand barrel, came out and two turn combo’ed the end. 7.67. Followed up with a soaring blast off a lined up chest high right. Got the 7.5, buried Melling deep.
Filipe’s a dad now, which is a crazy choice when you’re on the road most of the year. Pretty hard to be present. Missed the birth of his first child!
I suppose it’s good to set a precedent. “This is all there will be, nino.” Or whatever nino is in Portugese. Internet says it’s menino. Maybe with a tilda? I don’t know how to type those.
That’s it for day two. Probably shouldn’t have run at all. But it’s much easier to point out failures than to actually find success.
At least they had the good sense to end things early.