Jordy Smith makes final cameo, Gabriel Medina sad, John John's yanked knee finishes his Brazil campaign…
Sleep deprivation makes cats say crazy things. I woke up this morning thinking I might have over-egged the omelette last night re: Brazil but after watching a very, very anti-climactic Finals Day I feel very much soothed because Barton just wrapped it saying it was one of the “greatest events in pro surfing history.”
Yeah, but nah. Really, really one-sided affairs with Pip smashing all and sundry in surf half the size of yesterday.
Twenty two minutes to go and Filipe had a sixteen-point total against Fred Morais, for example. In the ensuing twenty-two minutes, in mostly closeouts with the odd “cute little barrel”, Fred racked up a three to answer back. Pip’s quarter-final against Kanoa looked the closest result on paper but was nowhere near, in real life. Igarashi found a one-pointer to back up a six. Pip smashed him with an eleven-point total.
It was shades of D-bah this year where the Finals Day was a major let down.
Why the unseemly haste to finish?
Plenty of days left in the waiting period and another swell cycle on the radar. Not enough scoreable waves in the heat was the major problem.
And no John John.
With JJF and Slater out I felt depressed.
Gabe Medina also very sad after being knocked by Kolohe Andino, funky little right hand semi-closeouts being not to his taste. He wanted “more fair opportunity”.
Fair call, yes?
Let the historical record state that this is the second time this year the call to run in sub-par surf has diminished the Champ’s prospects. Kelly had the Tour wrapped around his little finger for 20 years, calling off the Volcom Fiji Pro, June 10, 2012, to halt the momentum of a rampaging Medina and surf against him the next day in conditions that suited him more.
We remember Kelly.
Why can’t Medina be afforded a similar amount of latitude to call the shots?
Who has your favourite entourage on Tour? With Ross Williams disappeared from history I like John Johns minimalist one with his manager Brandon Wasserman, who looks like an extra from Interpol*. Jordy seems to be flying solo in Brazil and Gabe and Pip are obv’s rocking mega entourages on home turf.
Christian Fletcher deserves royalty payments today, if the straight wheelie air with or without a little tail tweak had been patented in 1989. Kolohe dropped one first in his win against Medina. Followed it straight up with a turn and rotation and a grinning death stare claim with an obvious contempt in his demeanour. That was a winning wave so the strong-arm tactic worked but where does he go next if he wants to make an emotional statement? A horses head in Pritamo’s bed?
Jords got the walk through in his QF with John’s dicky knee and had the semi against Kolohe wrapped up in the first five minutes. One cute little tuberide expertly threaded for an eight and change, one lofted alley-oop for a mid-seven and Kolohe was gone. He tried a little fightback with a slob grabbed rotation but all the insouciance of the quarter-final against Medina had evaporated into the crowd.
Christian Fletcher deserves royalty payments today, if the straight wheelie air with or without a little tail tweak had been patented in 1989. Kolohe dropped one first in his win against Medina. Followed it straight up with a turn and rotation and a grinning death stare claim with an obvious contempt in his demeanour. That was a winning wave so the strong-arm tactic worked but where does he go next if he wants to make an emotional statement?
A horses head in Pritamo’s bed?
Pip knocked one out in the final, second wave after a cute tuberide. With a mid-nine and then a blowtail the final followed the pattern of asymmetrical heats. Jordy was comboed in the first five minutes and never looked like threatening. Filipe alluded to personal problems in the immediate post-final presser, admitting it had been a “really hard year mentally.”
As a rebound from the debacle at the Box and with J-Bay ahead there couldn’t really be a better place for Toledo to be. Except it feels like deja vu all over again. Toledo untouchable in performance surf, the needle not really moving in heavy reef surf and Teahupoo and Pipeline ahead.
The best heat of the day was the semi between Carissa Moore and Steph Gilmore, not because the surfing was anything insane but because it was a tight contest that came down to a last wave Steph rode on the buzzer.
“Did she get the score Barton?” asked Bricknell.
“I feel, no,” said Barton trusting the best gut instinct in the booth. Which was correct.
Apart from wearing the insult from Kolohe’s grinning death stare it was an easy day for judges. Carissa bombed a set wave in the womens final, Sally tagged an end section after a clean entry and exit from a hollow section. The precedent for paying end section hits was well established which made for an obvious high-ball score on a winning wave.
Sally and Steph show the energy in Australian pro surfing is with the women.
Here is Filipe Toledo’s victory speech, never delivered, as written by his alternative speech writer, the noted Russia expert Lucky Al, who snapped off the fin on my surfboard I lent him. T
Take it away Filipe: “Thank you, thank you! Wow, you guys and girls! Wow, wow, wow! Thank you so very much. I am so happy and honoured to be here. This place, Saquarema, is so amazing. So amazing and beautiful! And you people of Saquarema are amazing and beautiful! The waves today were great, okay, but yesterday they were even better. Yesterday they were great! Did you see me beat Kelly Slater? Haha. This is a great surf spot! Thank you for letting us have this contest at your surf spot, surfers and people of Saquarema. I want to come back here all the time and surf and hang out. This is such a great place. Thank you, my fellow competitors. Jordy, please try to do better next time. Haha, it’s a joke. Kelly, you don’t have a next time. It’s not a joke. Smiley face. Gabriel Medina, I’m going to smash you in the face, this year is mine. Haha! Let’s party and have a good time everybody! Yeah woooooo!!!!
~Crowd goes wild~.
*The New York post-punk band, not the international cop organisation.
Oi Rio Pro Women’s Final Results:
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.64
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.57
Oi Rio Pro Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 7.63 DEF. Keely Andrew (AUS) 4.40
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.30 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.83
Oi Rio Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.17 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 1.20
QF 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.24 DEF. Silvana Lima (BRA) 6.46
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.33 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.04
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.90 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.66
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Final Results:
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.04
2 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.43
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.00 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.30
SF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.06 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.40
Oi Rio Pro Men’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.00 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 7.57
QF 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 13.17 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.83
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) DEF. John John Florence (HAW) INJ
QF 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.10 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.00
2019 Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (following Oi Rio Pro):
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 32,580 pts
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 31,175 pts
3 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 30,320 pts
4 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 26,845 pts
5 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 26,050 pts
5 – Caroline Marks (USA) 26,050 pts
2019 Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (following Oi Rio Pro):
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 32,160 pts
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 27,760 pts
3 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 27,195 pts
4 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 26,045 pts
5 – Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 24,705 pts