Hero to zero.
Professional surfing at its highest level was off today, providing millions of fans around the world a moment of respite, some precious seconds to gather thoughts and ponder what we have all witnessed and what we can hope to expect. Bad waves and at least three missed waves, per heat, all but guaranteed. Schizophrenia taking serious hold amongst the commenters.
Yesterday, after the day wrapped, for instance, Ross Williams, usually adroit in mind, was on the highlight show and began saying how lousy the waves were, ending with what a thrilling day of surfing it was.
Joe Turpel agreed, also speaking out of both sides of his mouth, and Megan Abubo agreed with everything.
The big note, I suppose, was that reigning champion Stephanie Gilmore lost to two youngsters and was booted from the competition altogether.
“It’s funny, I feel like I’ve gone from hero to zero,” she said afterward. “Surfing has a way of keeping you humble, that’s for sure. Caity [Simmers] did really well, she sat and waited, and got two really good waves. But that’s the sport, that’s the way it is, and there’s no better motivation than to have a shocker and want to come back better.”
The beauty is, that she sets up perfectly to make a mockery of the sport exactly like she did last year after barely sneaking into final’s day with the fewest points of all then running the table and winning it all.
World Surf League CEO Erik Logan and Chief of Sport Jessi Miley-Dyer seemed to love the scene, having invented it then pointing to the aforementioned millions of fans as proof in pudding. The newly appointed Khan of All Words, there on Lower Trestles’ cobbled stone to witness live, was lightly more circumspect, enjoying Gilmore’s moxie and mockery but feeling that Hawaii’s Carissa Moore had been brutally robbed.
Well, fans of mockery can certainly hope that Filipe Toledo ends in the fifth slot this year, opposite Gilmore, and the two of them dance to twin defenses of championships.
Chief Executive and Chief Sport fist pumping in the wings.