Oh it really is something…
For the first time in over a month my house is empty. No guests, no dog sitting. Just peace and quiet.
Still managed to get upset. Bordering on full-blown rage explosion. So I self medicated with beer and pills and fell face first into blissful emptiness while the ladies event ran.
Woke up to a storm of hyperbole.
“Heat of the Year?” asks the WSL.
Was it? Better take a look.
Busy day in baguette land, yesterday. A shitload of heats ran. High scores abound. Too much to go through point by point. I don’t feel like typing three thousand words. You don’t feel like reading them.
Instead we’ll begin by skipping ahead. Heat two of round four. John John and Filipe and Stu Kennedy. It’s what everyone’s talking about!
Stu’s been having a very good year. Bede Durbidge’s bad luck has only spelled good things for the young man. Playing spoiler against the top dogs. A semifinal finish on the Gold Coast, quarters at Trestles. Currently sitting above the cutoff at nineteenth, he has every right to be proud of himself.
But he had nothing against the on fire pair of blonde headed local boy and skinny South American camelid. Who would?
Was it the heat of the year? I guess, 2016 hasn’t been the best year for pro surfing. But if you put it up against true magic heats it falls a little flat.
John John started things off with a nice little tube ride. Of course he found it, that’s what he does. I’ve seen the kid get a four second barrel at one foot Ehukai. He’s a sorcerer when it comes to finding cover.
7.33 for that one. 7.67 for a grab rail left green room shortly after. Solid lead, great position. Given the fact that it’s been hard for the boys to find gems all event you’d’ expect that to be an easy win. When he dropped the low score with a 9.07 slash to frontside grab rev to flats.
I feel sorry for John John’s joints. Better start stocking up on Glucosamine. Which I don’t think really works. But I once read that Danny Way swears by it. Way’s got the most fucked up knees on Earth, I figure he must know a thing or two. Placebo effect or not.
But you’ve gotta hand it to Filipe, he doesn’t roll over. Stu Kennedy was looking like a baby bunny caught between two ravenous pitbulls, but the Llama found a great backside pit, whacked it on the way out, dug his way out of the combo situation.
John John answered back with a very good backside reverse followed by two more backside taps. Judges gave him a 9.4. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very good wave. But it once again demonstrated the problem with repeated high scores. John John can do better. Much better. Only leaving .6 for improvement puts the other competitors in a bad spot.
Filipe’s heat winner being a case in point. So high, so long. Lofted that full rotation into the breeze, stomped it perfectly. Skaters’d call it bolts.
Filipe couldn’t resist the urge to claim it. Hands of his head. Yippee! Totally totally totally understandable. If I landed something like that I’d follow up by exposing myself to the entire beach, burning the board, then never surf again. All downhill from there.
But he landed in the perfect spot, perfectly centered, and there was another section coming his way. Filipe remembered to drop his arms and hit it at the last moment, but in a perfect world he’d’ve bent his knees and used the section for another soaring trip above the lip.
And if he’d done it? No where to go.
I’m not saying it was the wrong score. It was not. But they need to find a way to deal with situations like this, should they rear their ugly heads. A ten needs to be surfed perfectly. Quitting before the wave is done is not perfect.
I favor docking points for claims. They’re out of control. Justified or not, premature celebration is a bad habit in sports. If I were his coach, or father, or whatever, I’d read him the riot act, even though he won. It ain’t over ’til the hooter sounds. Shouldn’t stop trying for even a second, no matter how pleased you are with your performance.
Dialing it back to round three…
It was nice to see Asing beat Buchan. I like the little Hawaiian. Seems like a nice guy. Always an underdog, can’t help but rooting for him. Fun way to say it, I’m aware of the differing definitions.
Surfing’s Rodney Dangerfield did his usual thing, sent Connor Coffin packing.
Filipe’s third round heat showed he’s on point to win this fucker. Huge alley oop for an 8.6, top to bottom combo number for a 7.33. Cathel was surfing well, hardly handed Toledo the win. But there’s only a few guys who can touch Filipe when he’s on his game.
Igarashi is out in round three. Saw that coming. Poor kid.
Freestone flailed. Kolohe paired an overscored 8 with a nice boost frontside rotation to take the win easily.
Wilko’s out. And his early season dreams of a title are more or less dead. Very common curse. The dude’s who come out firing in the early events rarely manage to maintain that momentum through the course of the year.
Perrow called the day at the end of round four. Cited tide change as the reason. Off ’til tomorrow. Hopefully more fun surf on tap.
Not so stoked to see John John’s facing ADS in round five. The former is the better surfer, the latter the better competitor. Might be a great match up. Might be a tactical battle the blonde kind can’t overcome. I sure hope that’s not the case. We all want Florence to take the title this year. If for no reason other than that it’ll be fun to watch the Brazilian internet contingent lose their collective mind.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Keanu Asing (HAW) 14.50 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.40
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 14.50 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 12.80
Heat 3: Matt Banting (AUS) 9.16 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.80
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.93 def. Davey Cathels (AUS) 14.53
Heat 5: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 11.06 def. Nat Young (USA) 10.76
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 16.80 def. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.50
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.34 vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.90
Heat 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.23 vs. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 10.90
Heat 9: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.93 vs. Jack Freestone (AUS) 8.83
Heat 10: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.43 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.93
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.67 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.66
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.60 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.43
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Matt Banting (AUS) 14.43, Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.76, Adriano De Souza (BRA) 13.53
Heat 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.50, John John Florence (HAW) 18.47, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 12.03
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.17, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.13, Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.74
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 15.50, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.30, Julian Wilson (AUS) 2.33
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)