Words by Craig Jarvis | Photos by Simon Muirhead
In another bold move by the ASP, they sent the girls out in the best surf of the week. Usually relegated to days when the surf is too small, too windy or the tide too high, on this memorable day they scooped the best surf on offer so far, and made the most of it.
1. O Brother, where art thou (scores)? In a less bold move, there was a strange approach to the judging of the Kolohe/Durbidge heat. We’re not really into bagging on judges as it’s a shit of a job and all the dudes get is complaints and endless online vitriol. But at the beginning of the heat, Kolohe pulled off a great combo with a linked air reverse, and was awarded the same score as Bede who executed five similar-looking and somewhat average turns. The questions of how to award innovative and progressive turns, and the value of a combination of major manoeuvres must be asked. Getting an answer ain’t as easy as asking, but we’ve still gotta. Kolohe went on to win with his final wave scoring a 7.13 and putting the judging doubts out of the window.
On that note, Shane Beschen, who coaches Carissa Moore, approached Commissioner Perrow shortly before 7am. “I love Trav Logie but if you want the sport to progress, you can’t score cutdowns an 8.87,” said Shane.
“It looked pretty good to me,” replied Kieren.
“It looked like Damien Hardman,” said Shane.
“Im pretty sure it was quite a bit better than that,” defended Kieren.
“It wasn’t,” continued Shane. “I had to surf against Damien Hardman. He’d surf rings in this new format.”
2. Hello, Malia Manuel. This time last year Malia had been clearly marked a surfer to watch, and a surfer who was going to be a serious contender in the immediate future. Also very blessed in the looks department, with her Hawaiian tones and her athletic femininity. She’s not just about looking good though, being the youngest ever athlete to win the US Open Of Surfing, and with a couple of six-star ASP victories under her belt. She beat fellow Hawaiian ripper Coco Ho in a tight heat, with a solid 7.5 putting her into the next round.
3. Girls On Film. There was a bit of cloud and there were a few drops of rain, but still the pretty girls kept on coming down. There was an endless parade on the water’s edge, most of them quite aesthetically pleasing. During those quiet times, when both surfers have ridden waves to the Mali area and are making their way back out, it was like shooting fish in a barrel getting photographs like this, apparently.
4. Russell Corowa. The local didgeridoo dude, Russell, is an indigenous gent who spends his time having a blast on his instrument, blessing the surfers who enter the water near him, and generally carrying on like a bit of a legend. People say that back then he really wasn’t that crazy… nope, that’s actually the bastardised lyrics from a song by The Eels. Russ adds great flavour to the paddle out experience.
5. Bianca Buitendag. Oft muttered words on the street are that Bianca Buitendag is a world title contender, and loudly spoken word on the street is that she has a scintillating backhand attack. True to the spoken word she smashed her round two heat against Laura Enever, despite a fairly close finish to the heat. “She needed a four,” said Bianca. “When it gets that close you really have to concentrate on your tactical aspect of surfing.” She went on to smash all takers, and is through to the quarterfinals. Growing up on a punchy righthand pointbreak, the current conditions at Snapper are right up her sleeve and we can probably expect her to make fools of other higher-rated surfers.
6. Boyfriends. In the slightly bigger surf this morning, it was a free-for-all, with everyone ripping the bag out of every single wave that hit the sand bank. Jack Freestone was down to support his girl, Alana, who was due to hit the water during the course of the day. As it turned out, Alana and Lakey Peterson had an amazing opening heat of the round, with two very hot girls surfing hot. Sadly Alana lost to Lakey, but she had Jack around to comfort her.
7. The best wave ever surfed by a girl. In the round three heat between Carissa, Malia and Pauline, Carissa surfed what was quite possibly the best wave ever surfed by a girl. Four huge open-face hooks and carves, tight, in the pocket, with excellent style and spray reaching the commentator’s building. She fell off after her fourth radical turn, as she was setting up for a possible fifth turn, and was still awarded a 9.90. Oh boy, the solitary wave that shifted a perspective. Was it the best wave ever surfed by a girl? Go onto the Roxy Pro heat analyser right here to have a look, and decide for yourself.