Jordy loses in round three; John John Florence soars into quarter finals.
Round two is the surf writer’s horror show. I could have kicked Trav ‘The Angry Inch’ Logie in the nuts last night when he ran the contest into round two but that feeling turned to deep gratitude when the contest kicked off again today 8.30am CEST, which is a terrible timezone for viewers either side of the Pacific.
Hence, Chas rings Derek. Skypes? Does anyone still Skype? Snapchat?
Hey Derek, France timezone sucks, get Shearer to cover it.
I’m the contract toilet cleaner of contest coverage. I get called in to clean up the messes no-one wants to deal with. Chas and Derek can sleep soundly at night knowing that in the morning, there might be a little mess to mop up but at least the dunny won’t be overflowing with unflushable turds.
Which is not to say France today was an unflushable turd. More a series of bloodless coups as the swell couldn’t quite find accommodation on the La Graviere sandbars and surfers schlepped around under delicate sunshine in curvaceous but soul destroying closeouts. Kind of the opposite to what French stud Andre Breton aimed for in his second Surrealist Manifesto: an attempt to liberate the imagination by the “long, immense, reasoned derangement of the senses”.
This was more a long, immense period of semi-sedation waiting for something to happen, knowing it would eventually but not knowing when and in the meantime having to settle for long stretches of mediocrity.
Italo got marooned in the lineup, going down to J-Flo with a super weird ending.
Owen pipped Stu K on the strength of one wave and Kolohe downed Bede.
It took the inscrutable talent of Miguel Pupo to finally crack the day open after lighting up two nugs in two minutes comboing Adriano. Inscrutable to me that he is not Top 10 surfer every year.
I carry the burden of a secret dread of a Jordy world Title. I don’t know why. Examining my heart of hearts I think it’s because he surfs worse now than when he came on tour with promises of an unfulfilled rivalry with Dane Reynolds.
And he’s never mastered heavy water, or even appeared to care. But I’d got my head around it based on performances in the post-heat pressers. The parables of Jordy Smith. The loaves of bread etc etc. No need to now. Marc Lacomare sent him packing with two solid tube-rides and Jordy’s world title goose is cooked.
You seen the YouTube clip of the German CoastGuard intern on his first day on the job? Check it here. Left alone with all the radar in the emergency room he gets the mayday call from a sinking ship.
“Mayday, mayday, can you hear us. We are sinking!”
“Hello, this is the German CoastGuard.”
“We are sinking!”
“What… are you sinking about?”
Somehow this cockamamie communication mix-up reminds of pro surfing, no?
With the top six let loose in Indonesian surf we might finally see the performances and the progression we only see as exception becoming the rule. Top six at time of writing is Jordy, JJF, Julian, Wilko, Owen, Adriano. Make it top eight and we get Filipe and Medina. Tell me that prospect doesn’t tantalise as a spectator.
What is pro surfing – Sophie, Joe, Dirk Z- thinking about? We know of one prong of the strategy, the wavepool, and that has commanded the attention of the surf world and rightly so.
The other prong of the strategy, the yang to that yin, being the Superbowl title showdown in the Mentawais has flown under the radar. That is red meat to the base.That prospect does excite the jaded freelancer. A turd I would gladly polish. With the top six let loose in Indonesian surf with an appropriate format we might finally see the performances and the progression we only see as exception becoming the rule. Top six at time of writing (Pre France-adjusted) is Jordy, JJF, Julian, Wilko, Owen, Adriano. Make it top eight and we get Filipe and Medina. Tell me that prospect doesn’t tantalise as a spectator. That it wouldn’t finally and irrevocably flush away the memory of a thousand unflushable round two turds and closeout contests.
Kelly gets the wildcard. That is only fair.
I am a warrior for pro surfing justice. I want a return on my spectating investment. I want the high, the refined and the metaphysical to triumph over the coarse and the corporeal. If that makes me an enemy of the people, then so be it.
John Florence and Ethan Ewing got a fresh clock after sitting motionless in a glassy ocean for 20 minutes. Counter-revolutionary forces in the judging panel refused a 10-point ride after John greased a buttery landing following a yuuuuggge backside rotation. Not, as Ronnie claimed, as good as Italo’s Gold Coast effort but easily the best controlled high air in 2017. A sign that John will not dish up conservative surfing in the home straight to the title. The second air was a flat spin Hail Mary and over-scored. But no harm no foul. It mattered not.
Nothing against snowflakes but I am a warrior for pro surfing justice. I want a return on my spectating investment. I want the high, the refined and the metaphysical to triumph over the coarse and the corporeal. If that makes me an enemy of the people, then so be it.
Fanning and Parkinson turned up the dial on classic QLD power surfing. More delight than derangement of the senses.
We’re into round four on a slowly dropping swell and gorgeous afternoon light. I meant to go up, up and away but I drank a big bowl of Kava and went…sideways… and fell into a K hole. Second day in a row France puts me on the canvas. We’ll have to hammer this out below the line. Where the real work gets done.
No, I’m back after a thirty minute nap. Fanning, Parko and Florence in silky soft focus french beachbreaks. Styles, techniques, generations.
Whatever WSL is sinking, France must stay.
Quiksilver Pro France Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 13.50 def. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 8.60
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.80 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.23
Heat 3: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.30 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.17
Heat 4: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.33 def. Frederico Morais (PRT) 9.60
Heat 5: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 14.33 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.73
Heat 6: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 14.10 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.00
Heat 7: John John Florence (HAW) 19.16 def. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 14.50
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.24 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.00
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.77 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.77
Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.90 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 8.53
Heat 11: Joan Duru (FRA) 12.63 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.27
Heat 12: Nat Young (USA) 14.73 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 14.43
Quiksilver Pro France Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.80, Owen Wright (AUS) 12.33, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.60
Heat 2: Marc Lacomare (FRA) 15.43, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.87, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.07
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 18.56, Mick Fanning (AUS) 17.03, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.37
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.43, Nat Young (USA) 11.33, Joan Duru (FRA) 8.67
Quiksilver Pro France Round 5 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)