Italo Ferriera wins, world title goes to Pipe etc.
I had to laugh the other day. Chas did it, he always makes me laugh. Not on the Grit, but in Penthouse magazine. He was being interviewed spruiking Cocaine +Surfing, A Love Story. Running the line that surfing is a curse, a dangerous, difficult addiction that ruins lives etc etc. I know there is a clear line here, between those who think thus and others like Nick Carroll and me who think surfing is no drama, and in fact, quite a blessing.
Chas gets it ass backwards in my opinion. The curse is not surfing, but surf-writing. That’s the dangerous addiction, the slimy little hole to curl up and masturbate in. Tedious and brief is how S-Town’s John B Macklemore summed up life. He might have been summing up the “careers” of surf writers. Tedious and brief.
Two hours sleep, twelve hours driving and I got home and the beloved had the car packed.
“Whats going on?” I said.
“We’re going to Iluka, our anniversary. Remember?”
My blood froze.
“But, but I’ve got Portugal to cover”.
“You fucking dumb arse, fuck Portugal!”
So here I am, in the Iluka pub, Ipswich dogs on one screen, Wentworth trots on the other, and a whole heap of ‘splainin to do in the morning.
Travis Logie puts the finals on hold at six until seven, seven until eight, eight until 9.30. 9.30 until 10.15. 10.15 until 11.30. 11.30 until 12.15. There might have been more calls. Four quarters, a semi and a final. How could surfing ever be this much of a ball-ache? Tedious and more long winded than the Old Testament.
The pub shuts and I’m driving around Iluka backstreets parked up next to asbestos fishing shacks like a crackhead. A gaggle of drunk chicks stagger past screaming 4 Non Blondes What’s Up at the top of their lungs.
I text my lady: Late start, home by three am.
She texts back: Fuck this shit. Ring Derek and pull out. Give him his money back.
I text back: Can’t babe. Already spent it before I got it (sheepish emoji).
Only two questions remain. Can Medina win the event and will Julian fall to Duru in the Quarters? In my dirty little black heart I want Wilson to fall, Medina to win. Get some sort of climax to justify the sleep deficit and marital strife.
Italo smashed Bourez in QF1 in fluffy head-high surf, a redux of their Keramas final.
Kaipo called Medina’s performance in QF2 relentless. There’s no better word for it. He took to the air every wave. Every single one made. 100% make rate for most of a half hour heat with the World Title on the line. Judges seemed sleepy and unresponsive. There was confusion expressed by Fanning in the booth over the numbers. He called the low-balling by the judges this year “disheartening”. Medina ground ahead. Flat, fast spins with perfect landings, corked tail-high whips. Finally on wave 11 he fell on a backflip attempt. Heat analyser will not do it justice. It was an insane performance. It rendered Wilkinson mute. Medina called Wilko’s attempts to play “mind games” on Insta “pretty funny”.
Ten minutes passed in the Wilson/Duru QF with the ocean unresponsive, still in recovery after the Medina onslaught. Duru laid down the first scoring track at the half way point. A flat seven for a well surfed but forgettable right. J-dub threw forced airs into the wind with no luck, then went to meat and potatoes. No dice. Duru lanced another small right and that was it. Wilson out. My heart soared.
Crunch time in the Medina/Italo semi. Medina had promised an air show and that was what was delivered. Every wave. Pump, pump, punt. After a semi like that and France the Air Show concept has to be put back on the shelf. Completely redundant. Medina held a solid lead after greasing a slick alley oop. I desperately wanted Gabby to bring it home. Not to be. Italo launched a very lofted full-rotation reverse into the breeze for a 9.3 and the heat. We go to Pipe. Boo hoo.
The hate against the WSL on Facey was astounding. The call to run was impugned. The boggy Facebook feed drew rage. It put the WSL in full defensive mode. Trav Logie was called upon to justify the call. Kaipo implored peeps struggling with the Facey feed to go back to a desktop and watch on WSL.com. Fine if you can. Not that easy parked up in a back alley in a small fishing town watching on a phone.
Correct if wrong but when Erik brings in a premium direct-to-consumer experience, or whatever the latest business buzzwords are for pay per view, won’t the whole despised, disastrous Facebook deal have to be nixed? There can’t be a person alive amongst the 4 billion on Planet Earth who’ll stump cold hard cash for a boggy facebook feed.
Right? It’s possible at 3.30am I may not be seeing the full picture clearly. Feel free to correct.
Can’t tell you exactly much about the Final between Italo Ferreira and the giant killing Joan Duru. I noted the Facey live audience went from a more or less solid 14K to 9K and change, then magically Italo was being chaired up the beach, the winner, in a soft Portugese evening light. I must have passed out, again. Three tour victories for Italo. If not for a couple of dubious judging decisions he’d be in the race. As Fanning noted, surfers have been mystified by some of the calls.
Nothing easy about it. I feel like a whore whose done too many hard tricks. Fuck Europe, Fuck the WSL and if anyone offers a surf writing gig kids, just say no. It’s the biggest evolutionary cul de sac God ever invented. If you see a surf writer standing on the Pacific Highway outside the Iluka turnoff help a brother out, would ya. For the love of God.
See you at Pipe.
World title scenarios:
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson & Filipe Toledo will need to finish 1st;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson & Filipe Toledo will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.
2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,190 pts
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 51,450 pts
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 51,450 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 43,070 pts
5 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,570 pts