Coverage team and booth showing clear signs of fatigue and disinterest. How's your interest? Waning? Waxing?
Last leg of a four leg Aussie tour. How’s your interest? Waning? Waxing?
My sense is that instead of gaining momentum, which was clearly on the ascendancy when John was on the rampage at Margies, the League is sputtering.
Fatigued athletes, a dearth of storylines now that the front-runners are moreorless set, most of the mid field is “safe” and we are already turning to the backmarkers to focus on who will make the cut.
Relegation to the QS is going to be an ugly prospect.
Jessi Miley-Dyer was adamant today was the best day of the waiting period so there wasn’t really any choice in the matter to run a full day of over-lapping heats, with very mixed results.
On the men’s side there were 261 rides over 16 heats. Four of the 261, or 1.53 per cent, were excellent. Even if judges were a little stingy, and sometime cuckoo clock crazy with the scoring, it wasn’t a day to write home about.
“Hard to surf,” said Medina after a comfortable but unconvincing win over wildcard Kael Walsh who went out with the ill-advised game plan to try and beat Medina in the air. Brilliant game plan.
Feels like half the field at this event are wildcards. Most are gone. Taj went without a whimper the other day for a dead last place, calling his performance embarrassing and kyboshing future invites by claiming he “doesn’t enjoy the feeling of competing anymore, it’s actually horrible”.
They should give him a slot in Mexico and see how he goes.
It’s not a world-class wave, despite Turpel calling it “flawless on the rights and lefts” and it’s not the “everyman” beachbreak the WSL likes to use as justification for running at crap surf locations.
Strickos is a tricky as fuck reef that is pounding the hapless backmarkers. Jordy got through, and with a favourable run home through the Tub, Mexico, Brazil and Tahiti (semi-favourable) will lock down a top five spot.
Ryan, Griff and Kanoa all lost, which probably shunts away all hopes to push in.
It’s having a queer inverse effect on drama having this year come down to a Final 5. As we get that group locked in, it’s sucking away the drama of the back half of the Tour. You can feel it here in Rotto. Surf Ranch will become even less compelling.
All that will matter will be a couple of results.
We’ll tune in for Barra if it pumps and for the novelty, likewise Tahiti.
Rio?……hhhmmmm, not so much.
Julian, sitting back at 17 and Owen, even further back at 28, got through. You’d think that would put them on a path to requalify, at the least.
From there it’s irrelevant whether you are 15 or 6.
The coverage team and booth was also showing clear signs of fatigue and disinterest. Ace Buchan called in and Joey Turpel got completely lost in an intense emotional whirlpool of admiration for Ace and extreme empathy over his injuries. Which is great, except over-lapping heats were in the water and the booth lost complete touch with the coverage.
Morgan Cibilic and Silva were in the water. Morgs took it at the death. Did judges get that right? They seemed to overcook late hits, same as they did with Leo against Ryan Callinan.
Filipe was up against wildcard Liam O’Brien. Liam had a 14 point heat total and not a single ride had been called while Turpel languished like a dying fly in the syrupy sweet mess of emotion caused by the dying of Ace’s career.
It was beyond amateur hour, more like some kind of surreal parody of sporting coverage performed by sophomores and bar flies.
Liam was flogging Toledo, surfing the way I imagined Ethan Ewing was going to surf when he came on Tour. Very tight. Very whipped out turns with more release than is now fashionable on tour.
He let Toledo swing at plenty without trying to play strategy but when Toledo’s best wave was only given a 6 when he needed a 7 it was obvious judges were feeling short changed.
Jack Robinson, gone. Results for the Australian leg: three second last places (17th), one 9th. He’ll requalify on the back of Pipe and Teahupoo but the small wave game needs a lot of updating.
Ethan Ewing, gone. I honestly don’t get the hype. Fanning said he was going to be Top 5 this year and challenging for a Title. Aussie results: three second last placings (17th), one 5th. Will struggle to requalify. Ewing is 22. Still young, but not really.
The problem: weak heats, bad wave selection, lack of big turns, no risk.
Jack Freestone, ranked 28. Gone. Well beaten by Yago Dora. Aussie leg results: Three second last places (17th), one dead last place (33rd). May requalify based on Tahiti, Mexico and Rio.
Connor O’Leary, ranked 31. Through. Finally a dominant performance against a rampaging Kanoa Igarashi. Spiked a couple of solid lefts in maybe the days stand-out performance. Kanoa was cruelled on the best wave in the heat, a very low-balled 6.83 for a huge blast and corked air.
Mikey Wright, ranked 34, just above Kolohe Andino. Through.
I believe Griff Colapinto beat him today but judges pushed him through. Two late, awkward ill-timed hits on a left gave him were over-compensated by the panel. That was the most important heat of Mikey’s year. Still a slim chance for requalification.
He claimed to feel “no pressure” after the long string of failed results; it being just “it is what it is”.
I guess while the cheques are coming in, then there’s no need to panic. Maybe someone on his team could word him up about life in the big bad world when the boss man don’t give a fuck about the mullet.
Or maybe the old man can teach him how to clean the pipes.
Mikey’s Aussie leg results: two last places, one third last and still going here.
Four Brazilian goofy-foots in the round of 16; the biggest heat on paper would be Medina vs Owen in Heat 5.
If Owen can get through then he’s back on track.
For Medina, another win and he’s in cruise control until Trestles.