"It looked like Occy had eaten half of him and spat the rest out."
You got your sea legs on for the fifty-year storm, comrades, or as Kelly called it, “the twenty-year storm from Point Break”?
Getting that so wrong must have made a mid-level marketing exec in the Santa Monica high tower cry after the blizzard of hype unleashed over the last 24 hours.
Beautiful, beautiful hype and has put me in the most positive frame of mind imaginable.
Go elsewhere if you want to read negativity; this will be pure positive vibration. Even scratching the opening sentence, “Sage Erickson is not a CT surfer” does not bother.
A “full reset” was in the works according to Luke Egan.
“A different event” in the view of Peter Mel.
And that is the truth.
Somehow, this event is stretching out across a Biblical timescale and Kieren Perrow seems as cool and insouciant as a Spanish matador as the end of the event window scuffs the dirt.
The luxury of overlapping heats must give the illusion of endless time.
Tomorrow will likely seem another event entirely as the fabled fifty-year storm arrives.
I know the talk is of Carissa Moore and Steph Gilmore but my gal is Lakey Peterson, and I think she can bring the best bottom turn/top turn combination on Tour into the vortex tomorrow.
She will not, as Rosie said, “make a meal of it”. That faux pas was even too much for Ronnie.
At some point during the Caroline Marks heat the conclusion became inescapable: she is the Number One ranked Female Surfer on Earth and I cannot watch her surf. Her turns look over-coached and formulaic and she makes the very act of surfing look difficult and awkward. Four-foot Bells Bowl made a lot of the ladies look less than stellar.
“We’re gunna feast on it Rosie,” he quickly corrected.
Did you watch the women?
For some reason I seem to have lost the capacity to enjoy it. Women’s pro surfing that is. Not that much of a mystery.
At some point during the Caroline Marks heat the conclusion became inescapable: she is the Number One ranked Female Surfer on Earth and I cannot watch her surf.
Her turns look over-coached and formulaic and she makes the very act of surfing look difficult and awkward. Four-foot Bells Bowl made a lot of the ladies look less than stellar.
Kelly beat Julian. It’s far more accurate to say Julian lost the heat – so badly you’d almost call for an investigation – than Kelly won it. You were rooting for Kelly? Me too.
Maybe I’ve just been spending too much time at the Pass watching leashless vixens glide on longboards, taunting impotent Dads in the shorebreak.
Kelly beat Julian.
It’s far more accurate to say Julian lost the heat – so badly you’d almost call for an investigation – than Kelly won it.
An appreciative crowd had gathered to show Kelly the love that was absent from the Gold Coast.
You were rooting for Kelly? Me too.
The waves slowed up. A restart was in the offing but Kelly caught a dribbler up near Rincon. Went a wave under priority. Three turns, one flubbed and fell off on a cutback rebound. A mid-five.
Julian failed three rides in a row.
Kelly’s best wave featured a bogged first turn that he turned into an awkward slide which segued into a weirdly caught bottom turn into two more clean turns. His board looked chattery, catchy and unreliable.
He later admitted that he “surfed nervously”.
Somehow, those two very ordinary waves were enough to put Julian into a subtle combo. With eight minutes to go it was time for Kelly’s much vaunted strategy game to come into play and he squeezed the life out of the rest of the heat.
That sent Pottz and Joe into a froth and they had basically granted him his Twelveth World Title by the time the hooter sounded. If he paddles out on one of those chattery plastic paddle pop sticks tomorrow he’s gunna get slayed.
Granted, he has to be the main pitch man for his board label but surely for the love of God there has to be an old Merrick circa 2006 they can paint up with a Posca pen for the rest of the event?
Ageing is such a strange beast.
“People don’t like seeing old people on screens,” said fifty-two-year-old Stephen Malkmus, former front man of slacker rock band Pavement, “facts are facts”.
It was my first thought after seeing a wiry, wizened old man hopping across the face on a Black Beauty. Followed by “Who shrunk Tom Curren?”
It looked like Occy had eaten half of him and spat the rest out.
The famous style, last seen so elegantly threading J-Bay, was almost entirely absent.
Occy was still Occy, thank God, the equally famous jawline expanding precipitously over the bull-like physique and threatening to over-topple the Occ on his first few waves.
It was deluxe viewing for the connoisseur: Kelly in the booth with an $84 OK fishermans beanie* (superfine Merino, organic cotton blend) along with Ronnie and Luke. Best commentary ever.
Tom got weirder than weird on a skimboard and everyone clapped along. Occy did the best turn of the heat, with the truly beautiful thing about it being the lead-up high-line. Post-modern pro surfing has relied on the tweak and extra pump at the bottom of the wave, a constant bugbear for aesthetes who value a pure line.
Occy added the tweak to the high-line, generating an effortless acceleration. The resultant backhand blast got the plaudits from the pundits but it was the set-up work that was sublime.
As for Tom’s skimboard surfing I simply don’t know what to think…. maybe someone from Santa Babs can chime in.
All this abundant time that KP had to play with seemed to evaporate at high-tide Winkipop. The swell had a few goes at filling in, without much success.
Lanky Aussie goofyfoots like Ryan Callinan and Jacob Willcox had the most success being able to fit the vertical backhand hook into what Luke Egan described as a “shorter distance of time.” Quite right.
Willcox, like Heazlewood, and even R-Call to a lesser extent, seem to come from this mould of under-the-radar pros who have been around for ever, over-looked and now are here on the scene fully formed as CT level pros.
Filipe and Ciao had the heat of the day. Filipe, many cuts above the level so far on display and under-scored, skipped out to a big lead. A wave with perfect flow and variety was discarded by judges.
Ibelli fought back gamely, in the words of the italian writer Roberto Calasso, “He has no style of his own, but uses every style”. The clock ticked down and Ibelli could not surmount the score required.
Seth Moniz will win rookie of the year. Furthermore, and this will offend some readers, but the diminutive greenhorn, with his flawless top-to-bottom repertoire and glue feet, is a replica Adriano De Souza with Hawaiian style. He easily accounted for Mikey Wright, who hasn’t looked right at all so far this season.
A shorter distance of time. A perfect zen koan for the day.
Nonsensical and yet perfectly understandable.
We are still only halfway through round three, can you believe that?
Tomorrow, I think, will be very entertaining. Worth getting stocked up for.
Whatever Tom Curren smokes; I’ll take that if it’s OK with you.
*A real Irish cable knit 100% merino wool beanie available for $24.95 from the Aran Islands.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round 3 (H1-8) Results:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) 11.84 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.20
Heat 2: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.97 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 11.67
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.43 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 11.83
Heat 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.50 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.76
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 13.07
Heat 6: Seth Moniz (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Mikey Wright (AUS) 8.50
Heat 7: Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.24 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.20
Heat 8: Deivid Silva (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.87
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Remaining Men’s Round 3 (H8-16) Matchups:
Heat 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS)
Heat 10: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 11: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 13: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 14: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 15: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 16: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach Men’s Round 4 Matchups:
Heat 1: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 2: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Seth Moniz (HAW)
Heat 4: Jacob Willcox (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
Heat 5: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3
Heat 6: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3
Heat 7: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3
Heat 8: TBD Following Conclusion of MR3