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Beach Grit

Day 2, Quik Pro: “Lakey Blew My Eyelids Back!”


by Longtom

…BeachGrit correspondent wanders into women's event. Loses the ability close eyes.

A garbage truck woke me in the dark so I got up, did 50 push-ups, drank an instant coffee black, no sugar and went surfing at Snapper Rocks. Only for research mind, as part of my demystifying campaign ’18.

Ordinarily, I don’t surf while covering a CT, Teahupoo excepted. I know Nick Carroll surfs a lot but I think it’s disrespectful to surf on the publisher’s dime. One day I’ll have to square off with Chas’ wife and explain why Chas needed to do split shifts at the Saloon to pay for me to go surfing.

I only had a blue Mick Fanning soft top on account of a hectic day yesterday. My industrial kava shipment from Vanuatu (totally legal) hadn’t come through so I was trying to tap my ADHD mate for some Ritalin but he was in Nimbin starting a new peoples bank to smash the Zionist Banking conspiracy and fuck driving to Nimbin on a rainy Sunday. It would have to be straight edge on a foamy. No leash.

The water was to die for, like a warm silk sheet. Insane, surreal, ludicrous crowd. Roughly 50:50 gender split.

I paddled straight behind the rock and started hustling around Fanning, just to see what that felt like. It felt good. Oh, of course there was the negative mental self-talk to deal with, “What the fuck are you doing out here next to Mick Fanning, beat it back to Bribie you kook, get back on the bus” etc.

A large, shambolic red-headed gentleman dropped in on Adriano De Souza and started screaming at him. Then shouting at Joel Parkinson. Apparently, they knew each other. The Ranga ended the dialogue by saying “just because you rip doesn’t mean you’re cool”. A Japanese sunrise threw golden rays across the lineup as a juvenile Australasian Gannet dove into the water a metre from me and emerged with a wriggling garfish in it’s beak.

A set wave reared up, mine! I put the head down and as it lurched saw Mick Fanning come in behind me and go. I almost Gabbied him comrades but grabbed the foamy, hit the brakes and got pitched over the falls, getting a beautiful bird’s-eye view of Mick bottom-turning up into the tube.

You think you are going to get a set wave behind the rock during a CT on a blue foamy? I’m here to tell you you won’t.

Nick Carroll in his unwritten best seller, How to be a Surf Journalist, Chapter 3 instructs that the point of goofing off and surfing on the publisher’s dime is not for the self-indulgence of a personal ride amongst the pros but to objectively analyse who is ripping. On this sage advice everyone pretty much looked like they do on the webcast and only one person really stood out for me. That was Italo Ferreira. Italo was taking the JJF at Margarets line, which is to draw the bottom-turn a little shorter off the base of the wave, getting the board up to the top with more speed and then unleashing devastating top turns. The rotational speed of Italo’s backhand top turns shocked me to the core.

Do you live in Wabash County Minnesota, like throwing gliders for Stud pike in Lake Pepin, root for the Wild and Vikings during season and personally know three people who mix their beer with opioids? Congratulations, you are the new WSL target market and now you have had surfing Snapper during a CT event demystified!

The demystifying campaign ended predictably. I finally hooked into a nugget with a wall stretched into Little Marley, got the soft top up into a high, fine trim-line and some non-pro thought, “I’ll have that one”. Dropping the shoulder I hit him at full speed, there was heavy contact. We both came up in the whitewater. He looked at me and I said “Wut!”.

He shrugged and paddled off, I swam to the beach.

Do you live in Wabash County Minnesota, like throwing gliders for Stud pike in Lake Pepin, root for the Wild and Vikings during season and personally know three people who mix their beer with opioids? Congratulations, you are the new WSL target market and now you have had surfing Snapper during a CT event demystified!

Womens surfing all day. Did you watch? Entertained? Me, muchly, richly and deeply. A few things stood out.
Writer Jen See observed a bad body issue vibe amongst Women’s Professional surfing; “hella anorexia vibe” in her words. That vibe was missing today, and for good I think. In its place, unabashed athleticism. The focus was not the derriere but the surfing, and the surfing carried the focus.


From the microcosm to the macrocosm Women’s Sport is in the ascendancy.

Lakey Peterson blew my tiny mind, once, against Carissa in round three, heat one, and then again in her quarter-final against Tyler Wright. She blew it with speed, aggression, repertoire and turn speed. The webcast tends to flatten but live and in the flesh her turns blew my eyelids back. I hope you reprobates watched.

I had a static picture of womens surfing being Steph, Tyler and Carissa and a big gap to the rest. That’s flat-earth thinking, no disrespect to Ol’ Willie Slater.

Malia Manuel, I thought she was a babe. A pretty gal who sold truckloads of Nike activewear and surfed well enough to be a tour backmarker. Completely wrong. In close to flawless performance waves against Tyler Wright she laid down the finest exchanges, maybe ever. Then repeated the dose against Carissa.

Both Carissa and Steph looked a little lost, under-cooked and guilty of poor wave selection.

A butch lesbian in front of me with “not all who wander are lost” tattooed on her calf was visibly upset when Steph got knocked.

Sixteen year old Floridian Caroline Marks threw salty shots skywards all day. Does it surprise a sixteen-year-old girl is on tour? Not me, because of my objective analysis this morning I was able to discern the warmup crowd at Snapper was at least half composed of sixteen-year-old girls.

Lakey Peterson did better power turns today, in front of a crowd composed of Brazilian girls with bubble butts and middle-aged Australian men with skin like papier mache, than in any men’s heat I saw yesterday.

Anyone who disputes has an insecure masculinity.


Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.06 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.10
Heat 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.33 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 11.16
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.40
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.17 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.80
Heat 5: Keely Andrew (AUS) 15.33 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.50
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.76 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.27

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.26, Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.76, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 8.64
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.96, Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.04, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.86
Heat 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.17, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.40, Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.76
Heat 4: Keely Andrew (AUS) 14.97, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.16, Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.53

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.23 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.67
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.83 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.60
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.57 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 13.77
Heat 4: Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.87 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.83

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 6: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs, Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 11: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 12: Jesse Mendes (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)