It's a dream outside lane run for Morgs at a dream location. The draw could not be more favourable for him.
Let me make two t’ings perfectly clear before laying out Morgs’ pathway to victory, why Nick Carroll is full of caca, and why Morgan Ciblic is the World Champ we need this year.
First, in the same vein that Kelly Slater is the smartest guy in any room he finds himself in, I am the biggest Medina fan in any given situation.
Second, I loathe the accidental champion.
I believe that is a Derek Rielly line and a lot of people don’t realise how Ol DR is the iron fist in a silk glove when it comes to management of his surf writing team*. A real Stalin. As I recall DR sent me a text maybe three or four am one night just to check I was on the tools and it contained that deathless line: I loathe the accidental champ.
Which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Worst days of my life watching Fred Morais beat JJF at J-Bay or Keanu Asing win the French Pro in the shorebreak.
I want the best being the best or GTFO.
That said: it’s a dream outside lane run for Morgs at a dream location. The draw could not be more favourable for him.
The first scoring ride of the day will be the most crucial of the day for him. If judges dictate that Aussie blue-collar progressive power** surfing is in the good to excellent range then the rest of the day essentially unfolds on terms he has already set.
If they low-ball three big turns and a close-out smash then he’s cooked from the beginning.
He gets past Connor Coffin.
Toledo panics. Tries to play Aussie surfing power games, falls on an air.
Sits and waits like an Easter Island statue. Gets beaten with two mid sevens.
Italo feels his manhood very much threatened by this insolence. Falls on three massive airs. Lands a sketchy one for a mid-six. Ciblic rides set of the day for an easy win.
Gabe is now what is known as cornered rat- rata accorolada in local parlance.
“I do not like this format, it is unfair,” starts to ring in his ears.
This is the most unfair manifestation of the format.
A guy who a year ago was on the beach with a t-shirt trying to get a signature off Medina now about to challenge him for a Title that according to 40 years of Pro Surfing dynamics should already be his.
This thing fucking with Gabe, pride.
Medina hustles, gets physical and earns an interference.
Heat One lost.
Heat Two, Gabe goes massive and falls, unstoppable Ciblic wins World Title.
Ridiculous. Peculiar. But perfect in the context of a Sporting Governing Body whoring its credibility out on the most sexless, boring reality show in human history.
There are many objections to this pathway to victory.
Nick Carroll, in a summation for Surfline, said many things including this: “I haven’t seen any indication this year that anyone in the field can take them down in a best-of-three match up, whether it be Lowers or anywhere else”.
To which I would reply, did he not watch the Olympics? Gabe choked two heats in a row.
Did he not see Surf Ranch where he folded in the Finals against Toledo.
Gabe is eminently beatable, especially at a wave where he has such a poor record.
Carroll then played the fatigue card as a major factor. To which I would respond: there is no location on the planet kinder for multiple heat surfing than Trestles.
No current, no big paddling, no crowd, long waits for sets.
The average ride at Trestles is between 13-20 seconds with most being between 15-17 seconds long. Morgan, like Jordy Smith and Mick Fanning, catches few waves in a heat (three or four on average).
When you do those sums, a minute of surfing in a 30 minute heat, he could get the job done with five actual minutes of exertion over the day, with tons of recovery between rides.
This is not Pipeline or Cloudbreak where a single wipe-out saps the tank.
Certainly not a combat sport, as Carroll clumsily compares it to.
If a surfer of Morgs calibre can’t surf five minutes in a single day then the whole concept of surfer as elite athlete is an absurdity.
It’s just a silly piece of nonsense, like The Ultimate Surfer.
Two set waves per heat, expertly ridden, will get the job done. No need to reinvent the wheel either, as Carroll insinuated.
If judges score eights for big turns in one heat then they’ll score them eights all day long.
Morgs can do it on the left as well, as we saw at Narrabeen.
One of the more absurd outcomes of this glorious path coming to fruition is a better future for Pro Surfing.Elo and the Woz are playing with fire double dealing the Australian taxpayer by going all in on the Ultimate Surfer, trashing the integrity of the QS system that has been funded by the Oz govt for years.
You don’t fuck around with the main squeeze, as Amy Winehouse counselled: you keep your dick wet with your same, safe old bet.
If the scorned Aussie taxpayer turns their back on the Woz it’s game over.
I don’t think Elo realises that.
A Morgan Ciblic victory ensures another decade of clean funding down the Pipeline.
It keeps pro surfing dreams alive on the Island Continent and enrages an entire nation, thus ensuring a better 2022 than could have possibly dreamed of in the Santa Monica high castle.
Please tear this logic to shreds, I would very much like to hear the counter-arguments.
My Final Call: Italo Ferreira for World Champ.
*Very much justified in this case.
** No oxymoron