Day one of the 2014 Billabong Pro, Rio De Janeiro
Words by Craig Jarvis It was a fine day in Rio, as days in Rio go. The weather was its usual balmy self, the wind forgot to blow, the waves were fun little ramps and barrels, and the Brazilians were their usual happy, crazy selves. Toledo was the most crazy, but more on that later. […]
Words by Craig Jarvis
It was a fine day in Rio, as days in Rio go. The weather was its usual balmy self, the wind forgot to blow, the waves were fun little ramps and barrels, and the Brazilians were their usual happy, crazy selves. Toledo was the most crazy, but more on that later.
Rio always cops a kinda bad wrap when the Billabong Pro rolls into town – waves are shit, webcast is shit, waves are really shit, etc – but day one of the Billabong Pro Rio was a pleasant surprise. The webcast started off a little shonky, but like an old computer, she just needed to boot up, and before y’knew it there was a perfect-focus live feed being beamed around the world, like we’ve come to expect from the New ASP.
Kelly Slater bowed out, but didn’t seem too fazed. Actually, let’s rephrase that, he never gets fazed. He just carries on with whatever he does and arrives for his next heat and wins it. Someone on Twitter mentioned that he should have blown the heat and taken the fine. Which he’s done before.
I’m not one to flex my South African pride, but heat eight of round one made it tough. Jordy Smith, in a heat against (Freddy P and) Travis Logie, with Pottz in the commentator booth and Rosy Hodge reporting from the water’s edge. Graeme Stapelberg from the ASP was watching the heat, and Kirstin Scholtz was working on a press release somewhere.
Jordy was on fire. After a few somewhat lacklustre and low-scoring few heats before him, last year’s event champion threw caution to the wind and his tail to the air. His first forehand air reverse was fast and tight, and even a little aggressive. He totally stomped it, and finished off with a strong floater, for an emphatically completed ride. His next scoring ride was a smaller backhand ride, but another powerful fin throw reverse to aggro kick-out got Pottz mentioning that the man-bear-pig seemed to be surfing angry. I think he meant angrily, but angry worked fine in a live commentary format.
A new board under his feet, Jordy was all smiles. After working hard on a Channel Islands design called a Bunny Chow over the last few events, Jordy’s new board is a heavily modified Rookie. “I’ve been working on this new Channel Islands model called the Girabbit,” he said down his iPhone to Stab from the beach in Rio after his heat win. “It’s been working really well, and it seems to be the right board to be using in these conditions. It’s a full-on little board. This one I rode today is 6’2 by 19 and 1/8 by 2 and 9/16. Loving it. It feels like it might be a magic board.”
We always want to know what surfers get up to between events, and Jordy has been doing some good stuff. “My wife and I have been looking at buying a house in San Clemente,” he said. “We’ve been living like gypsies for so long now, so it might be time to hang this side for a while, settle a bit.”
But, has he been getting any time in the water between hanging with Lyndall and buying houses? “You wouldn’t believe it, but I somehow sneaked a one and a half-hour session at Trestles with no one around. Now, that doesn’t happen too often.”
What about the anger, the aggression? Why so mad? “These days if you want to win you really have to do everything and throw the kitchen sink at the judges,” believes Jordy, chuckling at his own comment. “You have to make sure that there really is no doubt in their minds. It’s not really anger; it’s just about positive surfing.”
Apart from this positive surfing, sneaky Trestles sessions, house buying and throwing kitchen sinks around, Jordy also says diet has been a big focus of late. Which brings us to Filipe Toledo: What the hell does this kid eat? After his performance in heat nine, we wants some.
A fast and totally controlled forehand full rotation scored Filly an 8.77, and he followed it up with an even larger full rote that he landed with no speed in the flats, but miraculously managed to ride out of cleanly. His score for the second move was a 9.43, and it left him lying around on his board and wondering what to do with the last 22 minutes of his heat, with 18.30 points in the bank. Julian Wilson fought back hard, going for massive airs, while Filipe just went surfing, putting 13 waves onto the scorecard. Aritz Aranburu is one of the nice guys on tour, but in this heat he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When Filipe finally got on the mic, Rosy asked him the conventional, “How are you feeling?”
To which he gave a somewhat less conventional answer.
“I am very stoker,” said Filipe in his endearingly nervous and broken English. “I’m stoker.”
So are we Filly. We are all very stoker.
Go get your HOD fix here.
Billabong Rio Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Tiago Pires (PRT) 9.70, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 9.60, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.40
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.53, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 10.17, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.87
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.60, Brett Simpson (USA) 7.83, Adam Melling (AUS) 7.24
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13.67, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.20, Glenn Hall (IRL) 8.67
Heat 5: Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.07, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 8.53, Kelly Slater (USA) 8.64
Heat 6: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.10, David do Carmo (BRA) 10.30, Mick Fanning (AUS) 10.07
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.33, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.20, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 10.76
Heat 8: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.67, Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 12.50, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.60
Heat 9: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.30, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.93, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 10.47
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA) 11.86, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 11.67, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.94
Heat 11: Jadson Andre (BRA) 12.13, Owen Wright (AUS) 11.60, Michel Bourez (PYF) 10.03
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) 12.16, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 11.53, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.80
Billabong Rio Pro Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Mick Fanning (BRA) vs. David do Carmo (BRA)
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 5: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 6: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 11: Sebastian Zeitz (HAW) vs. Jeremy Flores (BRA)
Heat 12: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
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