Griffin Colapinto And Tatiana Weston-Webb Win 2022 Meo Pro Portugal - Stab Mag

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Champions of our sport. Photo: Damien Poullenot/WSL

Griffin Colapinto And Tatiana Weston-Webb Win 2022 Meo Pro Portugal

But what does it all mean?

news // Mar 7, 2022
Words by Billy Wilson
Reading Time: 5 minutes

American readers may have been confused several days ago by a reference here to leg-spin, a cricketing term.

Cricket is a famously slow and arcane sport and has never taken off in the US, but it does share certain familiarities with baseball, which is basically the Hollywood remake for a less patient audience.

The comedian Reginald D Hunter, an American based in England, used to do a good riff on cricket’s strange logic. It went a bit like this: “You play for five days straight and it still ends up a draw? That’s like having sex for five hours and nobody comes.”

Very funny, in his bemused Southern drawl. Also, this: “There is no way these men can call themselves athletes but, like their wives, we will humour them.”

Where does this leave competitive surfing? Thirty-something hours of foreplay, dry runs, stoppages, failed attempts, not to mention several STIs before anyone even sees a semi?

(Today’s recap is primarily pun-based. Apologies in advance.)

Five heats in three minutes — here’s all the action you need to see from today.

In the midst of all which, narratives begin to develop and unfold, even if they do have a tendency to slacken. What we want, as sports fans, are narrative arcs. Tight narrative arcs in the pocket – followed, ideally, by the neat denouement of a closing manoeuvre. Two-turn narrative combos.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live. Some find them in religion, some in folklore, some in the position of the stars and moon. Others turn to myths of nationhood or tribal identity: the West versus the East, or the West versus Russia (narrative oligarchs). Good versus evil is often the gist. Secular humanist alternatives are also available, notions of progress and so forth, but as John Gray argued in his brilliant book Black Mass, there’s a disconcerting degree of overlap here. Visions of utopia, frequently dependent on some kind of saviour figure or prophet, animated the major political projects of the 20th century – the legacy, in Gray’s view, of apocalyptic religion.

Joan Didion, whom I’ve just quoted, clung to the life raft of bourgeois respectability – until it began to fall apart, and she sunk into depression. The internal contradictions of our stories are always liable to unravel. What stories does the WSL – which styles itself as a content-creator, a storyteller – tell itself?

That professional surfing is a cash cow and not a white elephant? That elephants in the room can be indefinitely ignored? That provided it controls the narrative, the utopia of the Dream Tour is imminent, and everyone will just credulously nod when we’re told you can’t script this?

Fair enough, I sometimes think, if it keeps the show on the road.

Give Tati credit not only for winning the event, but also for running a short arm full. Photo: Damien Poullenot/WSL

The surf was crap today, I won’t labour the point. The narrative ultimately disappointed, the final few chapters dashed off in an evident hurry.

A sardine’s semi was all that separated Filipe from Italo, Lakey from Steph, Tati from Carissa. A larger distance separated Griffin from John John, who was like a stuck record, or one not spinning fast enough, as he fell on the same backside reverse in the same way at least three times.

Griffin and Filipe were crackling along at 45 rpm, maybe even 78, by comparison. Their final was tight as could be. Tati’s victory over Lakey was only slightly more comfortable.

Today and yesterday, I tuned into the broadcast on YouTube rather than the WSL app or website, just for a change. Entertaining squabbles were breaking out in the live comments section; incongruously, there were also frequent (and self-evidently untrue) suggestions that if only everybody would just watch surfing contests online, there would soon be peace on Earth.

“Bro your name is Biggus Dickus, you can’t call other people kooks,” was a memorable highlight. That commenter clearly hadn’t seen Life of Brian – one the greatest skewerings of narrative pretensions, incidentally – and thus missed the reference to Graham Chaman’s lisping Roman nobleman.

After getting the season’s first perfect 10 yesterday, Griffin was once again deemed by the WSL’s professional judging panel to be superior to everyone else. Photo: Damien Poullenot/WSL

But the main topic of conversation seemed for some reason to be Kaipo. Comments ranged from the witty (“Kaipo wore his top button done up to hide the ketamine IV”) to the bizarre.

“KAIPO IS A MARXIST” read one. “KAIPO HAS DEEP RUSSIA TIES” read another. One imagines him dismissing the former charge by denying he has ever even read the economic treatises of Caroline Marks.

Are the end times upon us at last? Let’s consider the evidence.

Oh, I’m not talking about Russia. And I don’t mean all the global warming stuff, either. The WSL’s taking care of that – Kaipo said so. Nothing makes me so confident about humanity’s prospects as Kaipo Guerrero, top button firmly secured, explaining the science behind carbon capture.

Dark symbolism, though, is everywhere. Bobby M’s prophecy of doom has finally come to pass. Meanwhile a certain topsy-turviness has taken hold: words meaning their opposite, disorder in the rankings and the schedule, things either upside down or back to front.

Griffin was able to accomplish something has thus far eluded Kolohe by winning an event — and Brother, who is like his big brother, was there to chair him up the beach. Photo: Thiago Diz/WSL

Here we are in early March, already three events down and (for many tour members) almost at the end of the season. The tour started in Hawaii, then went to Europe. Meanwhile in Australia, where everyone would usually be right now, biblical floods are devastating the east coast. Sharks feed on livestock in the river mouths.

Who will save us?

At the start of this event I saw Kanoa in the rankings, saw him sitting there in second place looking confident, and I thought: is this the chosen one at last? The smooth and shiny face, the perpetual air of minor grievance, the aura of predestination: a boy pretty much bred to be on this tour. He now has the leader’s yellow jersey.

Kanoa’s Ark. The animals go in two by two, cows and elephants and all. The goat may yet be on board.

At Bells, in just over a month, that jersey will be gold. Photo: Thiago Diz/WSL

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Semifinals Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.67 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.66
SF 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.40 def. John John Florence (HAW) 10.50

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.34 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.00
SF 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.76 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.17

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Men’s Final Results:
1 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14.34
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.20

MEO Pro Portugal Presented by Rip Curl Women’s Final Results:
1 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.33
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.27

Men’s Top 5:
1) Kanoa Igarashi 
2) Kelly Slater 
3) Barron Mamiya 
4) Filipe Toledo 
5) Seth Moniz 

Women’s Top 5: 
1) Brisa Hennessy 
2) Carissa Moore 
3) Lakey Peterson 
4) Tatiana Weston-Webb 
5) Malia Manuel 


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