France is real good when it's good. But it sure ain't when it ain't.
Day three, round two, of the Quiksilver Pro France started on a sour note. Event went mobile, the site moved to La Graviere. Which I fully support. Massive logistical feat, great to see the WSL is willing to put in the effort to find superior surf.
But it was the wrong call. La Graviere was lined-up shit. Event on hold, mad dash back to des Cul Nus.
Not gonna throw stones. I’m sure certain people were feeling sick to their stomachs. Super bummed to roll the dice and lose. But everyone makes mistakes. Can’t fault someone for trying their best. I appreciate the attempt. Truly.
The day was decent. A few nice moments. Some interesting drama.
Wilko/Duru was a great way to start the day. Bit of a slow start. Some morning sickness to deal with. But it cleaned up, and the pair was ripping.
Duru had the heat in the bag. Solid surfing, good wave selection. His only fault was his second scoring wave. Could’ve dropped a big score, but surfed slightly off balance. Timing was a bit off. Cost him the few tenths of a points he needed to win.
Wilko scraped through by the skin of his teeth. But not because he surfed poorly. His second scoring ride, a lipslide float to cutty to layback finner slash, was a thing of beauty. Dropped the contest robot facade for a moment. I honestly thought it was a little underscored. The layback was challenging as all hell, real risky maneuver.
Judges dropped the ball towards the end. Took an eternity to drop a score for Wilko. Turned the exchange into a gut wrenching nail biter. Unfair for the guys in the water. Momentum is a real thing.
But they got the score right, gave Wilko enough to get through. Keep his title campaign alive. And that’s all that really matters.
A second round loss definitely sucks, no matter who you are. But Duru should be feeling pretty good about himself. Guy’s got some real potential. I can see a ‘CT career in his future.
Callinan/Jordy was a back and forth battle. Smith surfing well, Callinan on point. Hard to tell who’d get the nod. A lot on the line for Jordy.
With 2:45 left the South African had the win clinched. Callinan stroked into a shitty closeout, opened up with a standard backside top turn. No way was he getting the score.
Then he flowed off the bottom into a hideous backside fin drift reo. Came down fins first, spun it around, tossed the Medina Urkel claim. Grabbed Jordy’s title campaign by the dick, then kicked it square in the teeth.
Up next was Slater v Leo Fio. Turpel called it a super heat. Hyperbolic designation. A legend against a rookie ain’t hardly that.
But in the end he was right. It was super. Super fucking boring.
Uncooperative ocean. Slater and the WOP struggling to manufacture scores.
It got a little interesting toward the end. Fio snagged two solid waves and did his work. Ended one with an acid drop onto dry sand. That was a cool way to potentially kill a board during a heat. Kelly butt bombed onto the ground himself. Looked like it hurt.
The high point was Jordy’s post heat interview. He was upset. Understandable. He was also absolutely dripping sour grapes.
Ryan’s a great surfer. I think he just kinda tried his luck on that last move. And, um, nine times out of ten he probably wouldn’t’ve made it.
Ouch. Proof is in the pudding, Jordy. Looked like a clean make to me.
Leo Fio beat Slater again. Crazy. Slates closed the show with an I-give-up chop hop.
I nodded off while Parko and Banting faced off. The waves weren’t great. Both guys struggled to force something.
The legend led until the last five minutes when Banting managed to grab two of the better ones and link together a few turns. Made it to round three, something he’s only managed in half the events this year. Might have something to do with how he throws his hands over his head almost every time he does a turn. Whack-ass style. I don’t like it.
Julian knocked out Flores. Then the frenchman stormed the judges tower and set it aflame.
Not really. But here’s a serious question.
How the fuck was Flores’s second wave a 4.1? He did a cutback, hit the whitewater, bogged out the back. That makes no sense at all. Seriously. Am I confused? Did I miss something? Can someone enlighten me? Is it a fucked up prank? Are the judges just trying to mind fuck Jeremy?
Flores is funny. He really comes across like a prick, but I can’t help but love the guy. Probably because I once watched him surf scary Pipe one time from the safety of the channel. He put on a clinic I’ve never seen the likes of before or since. And he speaks his mind. Gotta love that.
If so, it worked. Flores went meltdown. Flailed on his next nine waves. Except for a 3.43 that was miles better than his 4.1.
He kept it calm, relatively, during his post heat interview. Flores is funny. He really comes across like a prick, but I can’t help but love the guy. Probably because I once watched him surf scary Pipe one time from the safety of the channel. He put on a clinic I’ve never seen the likes of before or since. And he speaks his mind. Gotta love that.
Filipe Toledo shook off whatever was bugging him yesterday. Surfed as well as we all expect him to. Best of the day. Aggressive turns. Sliding fins. Big spray. Total commitment. He ran down Alex Ribeiro like my old neighbor’s shitty chihuahua. That bitch would open her gate and let the little fucker out to shit in my yard every single fucking day. Damn thing would bark and snap at us. Bit my own idiot pooch on multiple occasions. He didn’t mind because he’s a total moron.
Didn’t stop until I told her I was gonna kill the fucking thing and bury it behind my house, then deny it when she called the cops.
I wouldn’t have, really. I love dogs. Even shitty ones. You can only blame the owner.
Bourez/ Muniz saw more sub par surf. The Spartan did an admirable job of applying power to weakness, but Muniz milked his last two waves all the way to the beach. Good heat strategy on a day like today. Mid-five and a mid-six. Nothing flashy, but Alejo deserved the win.
It’s been a shitty year for Freestone. Missed two events because of injury. Second at Rio, but nothing substantial other than that.
Luck was on his side today, he got the winning end of a total robbery. Both of Kerr’s scoring rides, a 4.5 and 4.8, were light years better than Freestone’s first 5.93. Jack tapped it twice, then fell. Makes no sense. The judges must be drunk. Or blind. Or busy sucking each other off. Or some combination of the three.
Seabass/Melling was boring. No choice but to make the best of what they had. Best turn of the heat took place at the beginning of Zietz second scoring ride. Big sexy gouge. I liked it very much. He fell on his next turn, but it was enough to get through.
At one point Ross Williams and that other dude were discussing Fanning’s “semi-hiatus” year. Alluded, once again, to the fact that the WSL had promised him on of the two injury wildcards, despite the fact that Bede broke his pelvis and Wright crushed his brain. Those are real injuries. Fanning’s situation is special treatment. I do not like it. That’s not how sports work. Everyone has personal struggles. Everyone.
But not everyone has been bumped by a shark during a heat. Bigger draw equals better treatment. They need to add that shit to the rule book.
During heat ten the judges took a break from watching, drove to Uncle Wiggly’s hotel room, then robbed him blind. Conner Coffin surfed well, sure. Definitely won the heat. But he got a nine for a line of identical backside whacks, Dantas only got a 6.93 for an honest to gosh fast runner tube ride. Stupid stupid stupid. If Coffin’s was a 9, Wiggoly’s was a 10. Which wasn’t enough to win, but it sure would be nice if the scoring made a lick of sense.
Same old song, I guess.
Kennedy outpointed Payne without doing anything great. Highlight was Rosie towering over Coffin during his interview.
Igarashi made it into round three again, sent Jadson packing by surfing the way Kanoa does. Which is safely. Which is why he’s only made it to round four once this year.
Pottz said it himself, unintentionally damning with faint praise.
That’s Huntington beach surfing, right there. The ability to surf a closeout well. That’s what Kanoa can do.
You know, maybe they need to stop applying ‘QS results to ‘CT ranking.
And that was it for the day. I haven’t checked the swell forecast, but I hope there’s something coming down the pipe. ‘Cuz France is real good when it’s good. But it sure ain’t when it ain’t.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.56 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 14.33
Heat 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.26 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.83
Heat 3: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 13.26 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.16
Heat 4: Matt Banting (AUS) 11.50 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.74
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.00 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.43
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.67 def. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 7.60
Heat 7: Alejo Muniz (BRA) 12.00 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 11.33
Heat 8: Jack Freestone (AUS) 12.36 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.30
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.60 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 11.34
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) 16.33 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 12.60
Heat 11: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 12.00 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 10.50
Heat 12: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.43 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.17
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 5: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) vs. Nat Young (USA)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 12: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)