Bye-Bye Gabby, Bye-Bye Owen.
I clicked on this morning and got a nappy commercial. I think they are called Diapers in the US of A.
That was the first of many cognitive dissonances for the day. Cloudbreak was serving up another confusing mixed grill of over-cooked and under-cooked ingredients. Short-period waves that went nowhere, mid-period, west swell waves that closed out the lineup and the odd wide open one that steam-rolled the reef.
Not an easy read for anyone. The kind of surf that would see a boatload of aging alpha male dentists from Manhattan Beach back in the boat after one set to surf waist-high Restaurants. As a rec surfer you’d watch the boatmen deep-throat a few juicy peaches while copping donuts all day long.
Ace inexplicably dropped his bundle against the Italian Stallion, paddling around like a headless chook in the last ten minutes when he was well ahead. A series of blunders gave Fioravanti priority and he duly iced the heat for his first heat win of the year. It was a heat Ace should have won all day, every day.
Rosie spent most of the next heat between Kelly and Ethan Ewing bigging up Ewing, continually comparing him to AI. That hype eventually took on the dimensions of an entirely separate reality – Rosie’s World? – as Ewing surfed a heat I could’ve smashed him in. Kelly was just solid, without being amazing. It was a walk through for him. How did that idea that Ethan Ewing surfs like AI take hold?
And why did Volcom, flush with cash after the sale to Kering group, “let go” the Fiji comp after two of the most successful surf comps in history? Two thousand and twelve’s big-wave guerilla insurrection in twenty-foot tubes and Kellys 2013 masterclass back to back.
You’re flush with fashion cash and you let that go? Why?
Richard “Wooly” Woolcott, I spend the day trying to track you down without success. I know you are reading, so why did the Stone hit the eject button on Fiji?
Web journalism is a derelict little cubby hole to crawl down into. Web surf journalism might be the nadir of human creative endeavour. It could easily be. I feel like a turd for insinuating that Joey Turpel might shuffle off and be a coach and spare us the verbal treacle. And he did. But his absence got me thinking: about the lack of a distinct lexicon related to pro surfing. Joey was inventing that for us. For good or ill. The sled reset euphemism for shark attacks, the high-line wraps and other linguistic treats he laid down for us. For a sport supposedly rich with it’s own inpenetrable jargon the cupboard can seem bare for commentators supplying colour.
As Owen got obliterated on the shish-kebabs section going for broke on a final manoeuvre needing a nine, Rosie came up with this piece of gold. “There is a little poof of spit as he finds the doggy door.” No further comment.
But I’m overjoyed to report that Rosie Hodge has made an incredible contribution to the pro surfing dictionary of phrases. Sometime during the Ian Gouveia/O-Dog heat, a heat that supplied genuine drama as Owen got obliterated on the shish-kebabs section going for broke on a final manoeuvre needing a nine, Rosie came up with this piece of gold. “There is a little poof of spit as he finds the doggy door.” No further comment.
Excuse while I clean up this little poof of spit on my computer screen.
Ian Gouveia looked like Italo did a couple of years ago when he beat Kelly. Totally at ease, frothing. He beat Owen easily, really. Owen carried on the Aussie goofyfoot meltdown that Ace had started. He fell when he should have been standing and ended up pasted and bleeding. More cognitive dissonance.
It took the last couple heats of the day, with a few goofy foots led by Matt Wilko to really crack the day open. Wilko….sizzled.Then Italo stayed down the reef from Gabe Medina, destroying his tactical advantage and threading high tide shish-kebabs tubes all day.
Bye-Bye Gabby, Bye-Bye Owen. Weird though.
Barton asked Kelly about World Ocean Day, about what the ocean meant to him.
“Everything,” he said. But it didn’t ring true.
Not when you put Nick Carroll’s summation of the next moves for the WSL into the equation.
“This chunk of the main game is all about Kelly’s wave pool, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and the doors that the WSL board thinks will then open up to wave pools and associated events in both traditional and ‘new’ surf markets. By ‘new’ read places where there isn’t a surf culture yet – Korea, China and the like.”
So the ocean isn’t “everything” at all.
Even a day in Fiji at Cloudbreak now carries this haunting shadow with it.
What is the main game, if this ain’t it?
Outerknown Fiji Men’s Pro Remaining Round 2 Results:
Heat 2: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.66 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.33
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 18.43 def. Bino Lopes (BRA) 9.53
Heat 4: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.26 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.87
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.90 def. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 4.27
Heat 6: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.00 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.30
Heat 7: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 14.77 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.27
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 17.57 def. Nat Young (USA) 11.10
Heat 9: Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 10.74 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.10
Heat 10: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 15.10 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 7.13
Heat 11: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.00 def. Jack Freestone (AUS) 9.23
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 13.10 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.90
Outerknown Fiji Men’s Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 15.66 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 15.26
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.04 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.20
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 16.84 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 5.67
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.83 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.47
Upcoming Outerknown Fiji Men’s Pro Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Bede Durbidge (AUS)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS