Jack Robinson wins Sunset Beach Pro
In reprise of Australia v Japan's Pacific War, Jack Robinson beats Japanese surfer Kev Igarashi in final at Sunset Beach Pro.

In savage reprise of Pacific War, ANZACs Jack Robinson and Molly Picklum storm to victory at Hurley Pro Sunset Beach!

Australia über alles.

The sun rose on Sunset and revealed almost perfect surf. Biggish and clean groomed by offshore winds. There were sixteen surfers left in the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, eight men, eight women and they got right after it, women first as is polite.

Molly Picklum started things and chewed through Lakey Peterson and Brissa Hennessy on her way to the final.

Kanoa Igarashi, as it happens, kicked it off for the men and ate Seth Moniz and Jordan Michael Smith on his way to the final.

Molly Picklum met local girl done good BettyLou Sakura Johnson and took her down, without stress, in order to become a back-to-back Sunset winner alongside Layne Beachley and others. The highlight of the day, maybe the event, though happened the heat earlier when the New South Welshwoman smacked the lip so critically that the famed Hawaiian Water Patrol was forced to treat multiple aneurysms in the World Surf League booth.


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Igarashi was not so lucky, coming up against a “cat-like” Jack Robinson, who had been surfing “loosey-goosey” all day.

Jesse Mendes said it best: “When you prove your ground here in Hawaii it is where people start most respect you.”

Jack Robinson had Igarashi in a soft combination at the halfway mark though the Japanese star broke it by surfing on point.

No overcooking.

A magic recipe.

It didn’t even begin to matter. Jack Robinson’s very next wave was a double barrel with monster hacks thrown in.

Joe Turpel said, “The ocean is part of Jack Robinson’s body. He feeds on mana,” while the Hawaiian Water Patrol cleaned its aneurysm equipment and rushed back to the booth.

As the World Surf League had run out of Yeti coolers, Jack Robinson was rewarded a 9.87 and not a 10.00. The two judges who awarded him a perfect score likely receiving harsh tongue lashing from the accounting dept.


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Igarashi entered a hard combination.

And stayed there.

Australia over Japan-adjacent in the Pacific Theater.

Complete, and proper, recap tomorrow.

Filipe "Rocky" Toledo (pictured) at bite-sized Teahupoo.
Filipe "Rocky" Toledo (pictured) at bite-sized Teahupoo.

Hopes build for greatest ever sport story as timid champ Filipe Toledo declares he will “focus a lot on the Olympics” during mental health break!

Roping dopes.

I’m telling you, I called this thing and long before the two-time, and sitting, world champion Filipe Toledo stunned surf-watchers by bowing out of the 2024 Championship Tour due “mental health.” I said, and I quote, “What if the Brazilian flyboy, universally recognized as the globe’s best small wave surfer though also bigger-wave-over-reef coward, is making a play to be the greatest sport story of all-time thereby forcing internet technicians to eat a lifetime of crow?”

Well guess what.

It’s happening.

Toledo, of course, announced his break after an embarrassing Lexus Pipe Pro performance that saw him refusing to give effort on a large-esque day. The aforementioned internet technicians lit him up, he angrily declared that he didn’t need to prove anything to anyone before handing the microphone to his father, Ricardo Toledo, who lambasted all haters.

In the days after, the Lower Trestles maestro signaled that he would be taking his children to school for a few weeks then probably start going on surf trips.

Surf fans imaged enjoyable adventures to Australia’s Gold Coast, New Smyrna Beach and Portugal’s Algarve region but I… I thought, and I quote, “The kid is smarter than that. He is roping us all as dopes and is going to conquer his fear, go to that Place of Broken Skulls and bring home gold.”

Am I right?

Seemingly so, for Brazilian surf media is sharing that Toledo plans to focus “a lot on the Olympics” during his respite. Now, we all know that the Tahitian mutant, which will host the surfing portion of the 2024 Paris Games, has been notoriously unkind to the 28-year-old’s psyche. Toledo famously scored a 0.00 there and also, last year, sat and watched two fifty-year-olds eat his lunch.

Dopes, though, at the end. The lot of us. Except me.

Toledo has the wild skill, the ability to cherry-pick coaches (both mental and non) and money to post up “at the end of the road” for the next five months, or travel to any other slabbing left on earth. Practicing. Hunting. Growing strong. Stronger.

Do you believe?

Do you imagine that he might be crafting a tale better than Miracle on Ice, Cool Runnings, Eddie the Eagle?

If he does, if he Rocky Balboas for the next five months and ends up atop the Olympic podium will he eclipse Kelly Slater as the GOAT?

Something to think about.

Open Thread: Comment live on Final’s Day of Hurley Pro Sunset Beach!

Aloha also means goodbye.

Chas Smith says, “Kelly Slater will never win another pro surfing heat!”

"He don't got it anymore! It's over!"

Shortly after Kelly Slater was narrowly beaten by Ethan Ewing, the baby-faced Australian with the “plumpest and most spankable bottom in surfing” at the Sunset Pro, he threatened to call it quits for the twenty-sixth consecutive year.

Kelly said he was “questioning competing…I haven’t surfed in about something like five or six days. I just haven’t been practiced up. It doesn’t help the confidence. But I felt fine out there.”

The week previous, Kelly Slater referenced his recent hip surgery where doctors “took a cadaver’s labrum, inserted it and tied it to my bone” as reason for his inability to shine in the inconsistent three-foot waves at Pipe.

The first time Kelly retired was in 1998, the then six-time world champ having just-turned twenty-six.

This year, however, with Kelly nearing sixty, the final curtain is near.

And Chas Smith, who hates surfing, says:

“There’ll be no more heat wins, no more bolts of nearly smashing a man half his age into the water. He doesn’t got it anymore, it’s over. How does that make you feel? Be honest with yourself. Look at yourself hard in the mirror. Can I go on if Kelly Slater doesn’t?

“He has been such a part of our lives, a part of every professional surf memory I have. I can’t picture life without Kelly Slater. I don’t know where we go.”

Open Thread: Comment Live on Day Three of the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach!

Plenty of room for you in this big playing field.