Great White stalks lineup again! Water patrol boat surfs monstrous set! John John crucified by rookie!
J-Bay is killing me. Not just the late nights and having to watch all those perfect point waves, many going unridden. Not the drinking, the car smash, the spectre of the debt collector. It’s killing me that Nick Carroll is there and I am here and Chas thinks the reason I am here is because, “It is just as easy to flame-throw then sit at home and snipe without ever coming face to face with those you demean.”
I mad. He mad. And I got a bone to pick.
We are all of us weird little creatures, expert at self deception, but I honestly don’t believe my words demean. They may prod or poke but they are never cruel or malicious and I have faced those on the receiving end many times.
Does Chas think my skin so thin I couldn’t handle a few thin grins, sideways stares, name left off lists? My elbows not sharp enough to find a little room amongst earnest millenials with SLR’s in the press area, all wondering what glittering stop on their career will be next (this one being tepid, temporary and provisional) and how they’ll make payments on the 75k college debt?
Does he think I will break down in tears and not file when the man in the Biltong shop says, “Sorry Mr Shearer, no biltong for you today bru, you can eat dog caca, free”, be distressed if I need to find lodgings off broadway, maybe a short 10 mile jog into J-Bay each day? Who amongst us would be worse off with a little extra exercise?
What hardman amongst the Top 34 or their entourage would there to be scared of? Connor Coffin? Wilko? Even big blubbery Jordy or sobby Gabby? Maybe Charlie Medina might false crack you with a chair over the back while you weren’t looking, but no harm, no foul.
There would be only one man to truly fear and that is Kelly Slater who might loudly announce to everyone present with cold eyes and thin lips that I was a “kook who had wasted my talent.” That would be terrible but one would survive. I think.
And maybe, equally devastating, one might receive unsolicited writing advice from one Messrs Carroll Esq. “Son, your sentences are too long. It shows a disordered thought process and a lack of discipline.” One can always jump off a tall building if it gets too much.
No-one will talk to me?
Dear Chas, surely you have heard of the brilliant Gay Talese and his focus on peripheral characters whom only Talese would care about and who are far more interesting than the ones in the center. His profile on Frank Sinatra, the best feature ever published, was written with Frank giving him the cold shoulder the whole time.
Back to the action.
Were you watching last night when the shark scare closed the days play? Wonderful moments as the cameras went behind the scenes into the engine room of the comp and Julian Wilson, Jordy and Filipe got into earnest discussion with the commissioner Kieren Perrow. Poor old Jordy seemed a bit gormless but J-Dub sniffed an opportunity and put a nice little hustle on KP. There was talk of just finishing the heat but Wilson was pushing for a fresh heat, thinking he could hit refresh and blitz his opponents. I made a note.
“Be careful what you wish for Jules”.
What he was thinking he might get – blitzing his opponents at perfect J-Bay – and what he actually got. Thirty-five minutes of Filipe Toledo launching into a perfect air wind at J-Bay. Well, put it this way, it won’t make any sporting manuals in terms of winning strategy.
Filipe’s Ten with two stratospheric Oops made a mockery of yesterdays Ten-fest. Greatest ride in competition History? Maybe, maybe one of Slater’s freak show disaster to impossible tubs at Teahupoo might compete. But otherwise, Toledo is first amongst equals. He made the rest of the field look like “haggard masturbators*.” It was a total demisting of the window into the future.
A long, anti-climactic period ensued. Fanning knocked out Duru on the strength of one wave. JJF vs Owen was a fizzer and Jordy overpowered Connor Coffin with ease into a devil wind that refused to die. Wilson looked sharp and Bourez was beaten by his own equipment which skipped out when pushed in the bump and grind.
Short kip on the couch then, what? A resurf?
Jordy had made it clear he wasn’t chuffed on the morning’s reset clock from the shark interrupted heat calling it “poor form.” Isn’t he magnificent when angry? If he wins bring the tissues, floods of tears will saturate the landscape. Still, judges dry0-fucked the opening point spread. Connor should have had a nine-plus ride as well. That would have made the heat a contest, even allowing for Jordy’s next ten. Not to be.
Do you not care about Pro Surfing, find it boring, have no interest, zero, zilch, nada? I can relate. When I’m not thinking about it, it’s on another planet. But when I heard that faintest tremolo quiver in Joe Turpels voice as the ski’s raced up to Fanning and Medina in their quarter final, ”looks like we’ve gone on hold” (Turpel, again!)., it just concentrated the mind wonderfully, probably not as much as Mick Fanning, but how amazing, how insane.
Fucking submarine-sized White doing water patrol of the lineup. And Turpel could finally utter the word “shark”. Fanning, Turpel, White shark. Is there a better, more compelling lineup in world sport?
Could any world sport be more entertaining?
Three waves from Fanning. Three unforced errors to end a campaign where he never really clicked into gear.
Someone who did is Fred Morais. What a beast. What a monstrous beast. Wait, do they have beasts left in Portugal? Surely there must be a wolf still roaming the mountains. To combo John Florence who had three nine-pointers was yyuuuuuuuuuggge. Florence shook his head in disbelief in the lineup. He looked like a winner all event.
The claims, the surfing, the re-starts, the shark, the shark boat, the Toledo Super-10, the Jordy 10, the Morais comeback, lots to chew the cud over. Hasta manyana.
Imagine blowing up a tuna.*
*Via D. Rielly.
*Via Mick Fanning.