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Beach Grit

Day 3, Quik Pro: “A Sour Soviet Mood!”


by Longtom

Round two was terribly dull. Goodbye John John. Joel P gives a little dazzle.

Stumbling into Ross Williams on the path between Greenmount and Snapper I intro’ed myself as Steve Shearer writing for BeachGrit. He said, “Uh huh.”

Big man in the flesh, over six foot, Dad bod.

I asked him if I could chat to him about his coaching of John John 2018.

He said he wasn’t doing any media and I said, “Uh huh.”

“Any changes to the formula,” I pressed.

He said, “Nah”.

The reticence I believe was due to the arctic camo and syphilitic skin cancers up in his grill.

“What about boards, putting more volume in made a massive difference last year, any changes this year?”

“He’s a big dude,”he said. “Still growing, so we need to keep evolving the equipment.”

It was a low-energy exchange and it left me worried about John.

There is a growing trend in him towards philosophicalism, a character flaw I am well acquainted with. Anyone seeking self knowledge via a surfing competition is prone to wandering in a wilderness of delusion. That is called, in the school of Surf Journalism I subscribe to, as The Kelly Error.

John did start low energy against Mikey Wright. He got his head held underwater in the opening exchanges by the Australian mullet and ended up getting his arse well and truly beat by the wildcard.

Gabby played rope-a-dope against Leo slipping away from expected confrontation and laying hammer blows on smaller waves, drawing the pity of Ronnie Blakey who called the wave Gabby surfed a “poor thing.”

The bigger showcase was the judging signal laid down by new Head Judge Pritamo Ahrendt. It was a major and much needed correction of Porta Era over-scoring. Leo threw a technically perfect tail high throw and got a 3.77. It would have got a high six under Porta. In the rush to establish the scale Medina was probably underscored, especially in the context of a day of mostly mediocre round two surfing.

Wilko choked against new rookie Michael February. For perfect two-to-three-foot rippable point surf it seemed incredibly easy to get lost out there. I’ve long thought incumbency is as much of a hindrance as a help at Snapper and Wilko proved my point.

I needed some expert advice to find out why and sought the counsel of Irish Super Strategist and Coach of the most lethal team in pro surfing history, Glen Micro Hall.

Once again I intro’ed myself and we shook hands. Little man, clean cut, ripped. Shaved down if I’m not mistaken.
“Glen”, I said “Why are Wilko and other top seeds finding this lineup so hard to read? There are good waves everywhere out there.”

“I don’t know,” he said.

“Any theories?”

“Nah, not really.”

Is that not core business?

Do coaches not collect their ten percent to figure this shit out? Or am I reading this wrong?

There was no question of rookies over-respecting incumbents and the day was looking tedious until Parko took the water behind the rock against Pat Gudauskas. In the last two days I have seen hundreds of waves spit their guts out after barrelling from behind the rock. And not one pro surfer has paddled over and caught one.

Parko threaded one, then two, then three. Putting the big swinging top turn carve on the end for emphasis. The only waves ridden in two full days of mens competition that reached into the eight-plus excellent range.

Objectively analysing the crowd using scientific transects and language detection I estimated the official language of QuikPro as Portugese. Lots of gals, lots of brown guys. Not White Australia at all. A gal in front of me and Jazzy P swooned and dropped to the floor in the Corona Pavilion. Two babes in front swivelled bottoms slowly from side to side like honeybees at the hive. The air was thick with the chemical smell of sunscreen and human pheromones.

A cadet surf journalist interned to me by Derek Hynd asked me if I had any advice and I said, “The best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink but the best way to deal with a hangover is to have another one.”

“Jazzy P, have you got your hands on the BG purse strings, I need another Corona.”

M Rod was the only other pale sun to shine on a dull day when anticipation of much greater things to come infused the day with a sour, Soviet mood emanating from judges, surfers, fans, coaches and surf journalists alike.

Round two. We should all write a letter to the Commissioner and ask them to drop-kick it off a cliff.

What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.

Cyclone 13P named by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre in Honolulu is bearing down on the QLD coast and on track to deliver a finals finish at Kirra if WSL can play their cards right. If, comrades, they had run overlapping heats today they could’ve been in a go position to pick the eyes out of what may be a small window of cyclonic opportunity and enlivened an otherwise dull day.

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Mikey Wright (AUS) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 10.76
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.00 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 7.90
Heat 3: Michael February (ZAF) 11.03 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.97
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.40 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 10.07
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.03 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.67
Heat 6: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.67 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.80
Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.16 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.90
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.60 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 8.86
Heat 9: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.90 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.83
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.20 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.60
Heat 11: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.93 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 12.17
Heat 12: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.74 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.13

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 8: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 11: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)

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