Aquaman for the win. | Photo: @parallelsea

It’s (almost) on! Comment live, Margaret River Pro, Semis, Final!

Pour, yeah, another drink, this time we on…

Yeah, sorry about opening the door to the saloon yesterday, pouring the drinks and falling asleep, glob of snot on my cheek, a strong ammonia smell filling the room.

It seemed incomprehensible that, with the town rapidly emptying and the decorative bunting starting to be pulled down, the Margaret River Pro wouldn’t be wrapped in whatever the hell was hitting Main Break.

A dirty temptation, to be sure.

Thank god, I think, for Kieren Perrow, who would never give in to the devil that easy.

And, so, today, soon, three heats of women, three heats of men.

Slow, four-foot Margaret River.

I’ve adjusted my focus, slightly, and am now convinced John John will win a final against Kolohe Andino.

Tatiana, still, for the girls.

Women in the water first; John John and co in one hour.

Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
SF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)

Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

Watch here! 

From the Rags-to-Riches Dept: “Surfing and financial markets are more similar than they may seem!”

All you need to ride da bull!

Sometimes things pop up in my surf periphery and I think, “What?” Like surfing and financial markets being more similar than they may seem because I think, “How?” And this didn’t pop up in my surf periphery via The Inertia because that is not in my surf periphery but, real quick, have you been there lately? It’s absolutely wild. My jaw was honestly on the ground as I read through shameless VAL bit after shameless VAL bit realizing that surfing’s “core” is now so tiny compared to surfing’s VAL as to be more or less irrelevant.

Incredible and what a time to be alive.

But let’s get back to surfing and financial markets. I read the title “What can surfing teach us about risk?” And thought, “Nothing.” But then read.

Surfing and financial markets are more similar than they may seem. Both have their rewards: the rush of surfing a big wave, or the financial gains from a stock price jolt. But they can also be risky: the investor who is wrong-footed by a sudden move in the market can lose a fortune; the surfer who wipes out on a rogue wave can lose his or her life.

In recent years, technology, education and government regulation have helped make both surfing and finance less risky. That’s encouraged more people to get involved in both arenas. That’s not a bad thing, but in some cases it’s created the incentive for participants — both in the water and in the markets — to take even greater risks.

Today on The Indicator, what surfing can teach us about risk.

Would you like to listen and utilize your formidable surf skills to ride da bull market or even da bear market?

Here you go!

I'm perfectly convinced, in my own mind, that Kolohe Andino, pictured here, will win the Margaret River Pro. | Photo: WSL

Open thread: Comment live, Margaret River Pro, Finals Day!

Who's gonna snatch it? John? Caio? Brother? Julian?

Do you ever have premonitions?  I have many. Most are wrong, plane crashes, shark attacks etc, but I have ’em.

Today I see four surfers, John, Caio, Julian and Brother. They are in a sitting room together. One by one they  fade away except…


Kolohe Andino!

Yes, according to my penetrating spiritual powers, Kolohe will use the forces of his rail, as well as petty theatric craft, to beat Caio Ibelli in the final of the Margaret River Pro.

The waves are three-to-four feet.

Across the gender divide, the quasi-Brazilian Tatiana WW will win.

Do you feel it?

(Next call in one hour, eight am, Margs time.)

Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
SF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)

Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

Fame: Greedy dolphins develop ravenous hunger for the spotlight!


And of course you watched Conner Coffin’s magnificent dolphin dance a few days ago at The Box but did you read the mainstream media’s headlines? Oh, each was more superlative than the last and here is a sampling:

“Dolphins steal show with ‘insane’ scene at Margaret River Pro.” -Stuff New Zealand

“Are you guys FINished yet? Dolphins ride wave next to surfing star with Kelly Slater calling it the ‘coolest thing’ he’s seen.” -Daily Mail

“Oh my god: Surfing world left stunned by ‘insane’ moment.” -Yahoo Sports


Not one of them picked up on Longtom’s likely suggestion that, “Terrible, irrational but who knows those dolphins weren’t having a rape party and one of the damsels wasn’t trying to escape?”

Well, not satisfied with one day’s worth of headlines the greedy dolphins pulled focus yet again yesterday in Manhattan Beach, California (home to the World Surf League’s President of Content, Media, Studios, Merch and Bass Guitars Erik “ELo” Logan) and let us turn straight to Untied Press International for the latest.

A photographer at a California beach captured video of the moment a pod of friendly dolphins decided to join a group of surfers.

Robin Fenlon captured video Thursday when a group of dolphins approached surfers in the waves and spent some time mingling with the people as they sat on their boards.

Fenlon said the surfers were students on their last day of surfing classes.

“Some residents who have been here for years were like, ‘We’ve never seen anything like this,'” Fenlon told KTLA-TV.

Now, are the dolphins trying to tell us something or are they just a lot of dirty narcissists?

Also, was Conner’s dolphin ride really and truly the ‘coolest thing’ Kelly Slater has seen?

I find that very difficult to believe.

Extremely difficult as he has dated Pamela Anderson, Gisele Bündchen, Cameron Diaz among others.

But what is the ‘coolest thing’ you’ve seen?

I hope not dolphins.

If John John wins Margarets, what is the earliest a Title has been wrapped? He could wrap it up in Kelly's tub. According to Ziff a disaster. Not to me, I would love to see John completely set free. | Photo: WSL

Margaret River Pro, Day Five: Judging scale given sea burial! John John to wrap Title by Surf Ranch!

On a day that promised only disappointment after yesterday's theatre at the Box, we still managed to get our kicks…

In all the excitement after yesterday’s Box coliseum, I ended up on the wrong side of a minor local bender and thus felt doomed to suffer a major anti-climax today at four-foot Maggie River Main Break.

It ended up being an entertaining day.

Confusion and disappointment with the way the wonderful rigour of the new judging scale has been given a sea burial. What a wonderful walled garden Pritamo had created, a wonderland where only the finest and most rarefied of fruits would be adjudged excellent. A legacy to be handed down to future generations: to encourage the growth of the sport, and I don’t mean in the number of casuals watching but the actual quality of the sport itself, a headroom had been created to allow the truly excellent to be rewarded.

Now it’s gone.

Kanoa was awarded sevens for pure safety surfing. It was safety surfing the Pritamo reset was designed to consign to the dustbin of history.

“Where’s the major turn?” asked Barton.

There was none!

Thankfully, he lost to Ryan Callinan but it’s doubtful the seedy, weedy mess that now infests the garden can be cleaned up again and set to rights this year.

All that beautiful rigour wasted.

John John Florence surfed an incredible quarter-final heat against Italo. There was perfect dynamic-kinetic stability in his turns. He mowed down Italo, paddled him all around and hustled him into submission.

But a 9.23 for what were essentially three turns and a regulation close-out reentry. You think that 0.77 to perfection encompasses all that John John has to offer at Main Break?

Does that headroom offer sufficient motivation to draw out the best John has to bring? He is building to something special but where is the capacity to absorb it gone?

Yes, the clarity of purpose was there. Yes, there was no emotional confusion.

Pure presence, as Barton so lyrically waxed during a shark break.

The happy-dumb Spicoli media strategy was in full effect, John’s safe place. If he wins Margarets…what is the earliest a Title has been wrapped?

He could wrap it up in Kelly’s tub.

According to Ziff, a disaster.

Not to me, I would love to see John completely set free.

The day started well. Italo has his vertical turns back. He rode lots of waves and whipped Mick Bourez in hard offshore rights. His board towered over him in the presser and had a ton of leverage straight off the bottom.

For the opening turn of his opening wave Kelly looked like the best surfer on Earth. The best top turn on Tour. He fell on the closeout then slowly disintegrated.

It had felt like he had stemmed the flow of incompetent heats. He paddled for shit waves. Caio wasn’t amazing but you could feel the righteous anger in his surfing. He kicked out right in front of Kelly and invited Kelly into a paddle battle. An invitation the champ showed no interest in accepting.

It was a meek response.

What was that look on Kelly’s face? Was it guilt? Was there some sneaky internal acknowledgement that while Caio was holed up on the couch watching Game of Thrones Kelly was surfing in his Tub twice, once in May and once in September as well as taking on J-Bay.

A bit of a rort, as we say in Australia.

It was a strangely ill-formed heat from Kelly. It started bad, it was bad in the middle and bad at the end. Peppered with some lukewarm hustle that never found purchase. In that context, the arm wrassle with the little tow-headed grommy looked mean-spirited and small.

He could have let the kid win, surely?

Jack Robbo could not back up yesterdays dominance at the Box. His top turns were presaged by double and triple pumped bottom turns. He fell twice on opening turns on set waves. A CT skill-set has to bank two scores in a heat.

Kanoa Igarashi figured that out. Seth Moniz got on with the job and beat him easily.

Ryan Callinan was the polar opposite to Jack Robinson. Zero bobble or interruption to the bottom-to-top turn flow. Perfect linkage with huge firehoses of spray. It wasn’t mind blowing but it was enough to disrupt what should be a chapter in the surf coaches handbook titled “The Confidence of Igarashi”.

The broadcast was patchy.

All day, live action had been intruded on by ads.

During womens quarter-final four we cut into the live action with a 9.8 score next to Lakey Peterson’s name.

How? Why? Could you miss live broadcasting the best wave of the day?

Two turns. A brilliant two turns but 0.2 off perfection? If there has been a new directive from the judging panel then they should release a presser. If this is just a case of scale drift then Pritamo needs to rally the troops and pull the reins tight. That heat did give us the enduring image of the day: Lakey aiming up at Steph and Steph raising a hand in protest as she got her face showered in spray.

I must admit to feeling a little confounded and resentful at Caio Ibelli. Not because of his babe waiting for him on the steps, but because he robbed us of a Jordy/JJF Final at Bells in 2017 and I am worried he will do something to John when they meet in the semi.

I mean, beat him. And then John will get that hangdog look on his face and only say super-fun twice instead of three times and we’ll be robbed of greatness again.

Caio beat Jordy fair and square though. Criminally under-scored for a 7.43 and then in a final exchange he was adjudged, after a long pause, to have bested Jordy. The camera cut away from Jordy. We got no post-heat presser so were not able to ascertain if he had “worn the loss lightly.”

After Keramas, I would guess not.

We took a break while a shark cruised the lineup. The second time Kolohe has had a heat interrupted by evolution’s most successful predator.

When it restarted the waves were bathed in a golden light.

Strider stood on the stairs talking softly, reverently.

To be honest I could barely focus on the action.

I was dreaming of backlit lefts and bush chooks by the fire afterwards. Looks like Kolohe won then Julian after him. On a day that could have been as sterile and manufactured as K-Pop we still managed to get our kicks for free.

Margaret River Pro Men’s Round of 16 (Round 4) Results:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.74 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 12.14
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.67 DEF. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.40
Heat 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 14.50 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.26
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.16 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.77
Heat 5: Seth Moniz (HAW) 14.20 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 9.97
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) 15.26 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.73
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.27 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.70
Heat 8: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.57 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.07

Margaret River Pro Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.73 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.36
QF 2: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 15.26 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.25
QF 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.90 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 13.34
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.40 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.60

Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
SF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)

Margaret River Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.26 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.10
QF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 14.40
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.84 DEF. Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 8.50
QF 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 18.83 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.16

Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Matchups:
SF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)