"Jack Robinson was eliminated by a minuscule 0.59 points. Tell me the scoring is consistent enough for such narrow margins of victory…"
More on poetry, you say?
Just a pinch then.
I told the class an anecdote yesterday to precede our discussion about the impulse to create. Poetry’s a tough sell to teenagers, you see. Tough sell to anyone, really.
A little anecdote can let you into a story when you don’t quite know where you want to go or how you might get there.
I told them how I was compelled to write things down from the moment I knew how to form letters. I couldn’t help it. I was always scribbling little drifting couplets for no-one to see. My formative experiences of music were all about words, I spent hours studiously copying and deciphering lyrics. I covered my school jotters with memorised verse and chorus, metre and rhyme.
Seven heats in the round of 32 were completed today. If there were stand out moments I didn’t see them. But I’m willing to be convinced that my apathy was unwarranted or unfair. Come ahead.
Filipe looked ominous as expected in conditions where only he can manufacture speed and verve and make sub-par waves look acceptable.
Morgan Ciblic was pipped by Connor O’Leary by 0.07 points despite doing the smoothest backhand surfing I saw all day. No hitches in his bottom turns, no re-adjustments or wiggles, just clean transitions.
0.07 points? Justify that, WSL.
Jack Robinson was also eliminated by a minuscule 0.59 points.
Tell me the scoring is consistent enough for such narrow margins of victory and I’ll laugh.
We’ve complained about scoring recently, as we always do, but only because it’s been mildly comprehensible. When the waves are consistent and demand to be ridden in similar fashion it’s easy for us to compare and contrast. But when surfers are forced to hunt for scraps and random peaks then approaches diversify. In this situation it becomes farcical to send surfers home on evidence of fractions of arbitrary points.
Fittingly, I’ve just tried to watch the replay of Ciblic vs O’Leary and the screen goes black after the first minute or so. Technical glitch or Stalinist erasure?
In conditions like today the scoring becomes too alien to be controversial. Or perhaps for any of us to really care if it is.
Except, of course, those of us who’d bet heavily on Barron Mamiya and Molly Picklum. Both went out today. Maybe they deserved to on the strength of one scrappy heat, though certainly not on talent. This is not a new problem, but it is still to the detriment of the competition and our entertainment.
Is Jack Robinson just a less talented JJF? He attracts many accolades but seems some way from proving his competitive chops at this level.
We were spoiled for waves in Hawaii. We knew that was a danger but perhaps couldn’t accept it. Regardless, it’s an omen that has come home to roost in Portugal like a grim, black bird.
At times today the waves looked fun, for you or I, perhaps. Not for the world’s best surfers in the world’s most mediocre waves.
In these conditions it’s a total lottery, and that doesn’t feel right for this level of competition.
It’s supposed to be the highest level of professional surfing, yet you’d be forgiven for feeling it’s not only unfulfilling, but gutted and hollowed.
Perhaps I’m just sore at bets gone awry.
I’ll correct myself there, I am sore at bets gone awry. But I’m sorer at the fact that what lies ahead makes it almost impossible to chase my losses.
It comes and it goes, I suppose.
Joe Turpel reminded us today that it was “interesting how years come and go”.
Sure, Joe. Time as a construct is fascinating.
Lots of surfers have noted how at home they feel in Portugal.
I’m not entirely sure where this comes from other than maybe some backhanders from the mayor of Peniche, but I’m glad they’re having fun outside of surfing, because it’s about to go onshore and get a whole lot worse.
I dealt with intermittent toothache today. I woke with a dull ache at three am and it came and went throughout the day. As the pain subsided a little this evening and the darkness folded in I went for a run.
I ran on the banks of the River Tay, the longest river in Scotland and the largest in the UK by volumetric discharge. Members of a rookery cawed through the dusk. Snowdrops lent luminosity to the trail ahead.
The banks of the river are home to an arboretum of rare and spectacular trees: giant redwoods, Douglas fir, Japanese red cedar, noble fir, European larch, western hemlock, English oak… Some of them are 400 years old. How stoic and dependable they seemed. How self-contained, resilient and powerful. After the shaky uncertainties of the day I felt deeply drawn to them, envious, even.
Fishermen in tweeds idled the outboard of their wooden dinghy against the flow. I had passed the same men and others earlier, but there was nary a twitch of line nor stir of salmon for any of them.
Is a passion still worth your time if you don’t get a chance to perform?
What if the conditions for success are mysterious and perhaps even down to chance?
And how about being forced to do it in front of an audience for points and your livelihood?