Stab Magazine | Hey, where's my fourth back-up?
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Hey, where’s my fourth back-up?

The French beachbreak is a tempestuous bitch and for day three of the Quiksilver Pro, France she showed many faces. In slow, early morning conditions, world title hopes were severed. Before a dropping tide turned on arguably the best three hour window of the 2010 world tour season and a bottoming out tide buckled more than […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The French beachbreak is a tempestuous bitch and for day three of the Quiksilver Pro, France she showed many faces. In slow, early morning conditions, world title hopes were severed. Before a dropping tide turned on arguably the best three hour window of the 2010 world tour season and a bottoming out tide buckled more than $2000 worth of fibreglass in a single heat.

Taj Burrow was the first of the title contenders to be ousted in round three. The early heats, of which Taj’s was one, took place on the bank in front of the contest structure. Good waves were few and Taj’s opponent, Dan Ross, got two barrels to his one to progress. For world number four, Dane Reynolds, it wasn’t until halfway through his heat that he registered a ride – a fattish right that sucked the zest from his top turns for a 3.5. His opponent Brett Simpson was the busier of the two and the percentages favoured the Huntington native as he jagged the lone genuine pit of the match up. He put his win down to out-smarting Dane.

“I feel I can surf a smarter heat than Dane… if you put pressure on him you can win,” said Brett.

Key to tightening the screws on the Venturan is to avoid letting him “get the kicker start. He tends to feel more comfortable when he gets it and you know with him he can do one turn and it’s equal to two of yours,” he said.

Kelly Slater got his chance to assert dominance over Quiksilver stable mate and touted youngster, Julian Wilson. They stood five meters apart in the competitors’ area  before their heat without exchanging a word.

As Michel Bourez racked up the day’s highest total in the heat prior, a large portion of fans were more intrigued by an inanimate Kelly standing in the competitors’ area. As he left for his heat a French girl pulled out a pair of binoculars and began examining him from 40 meters away. He ran to the water’s edge and was chased by a mob. Julian, meanwhile, stood unmolested on the sand bar one photographer, and fiddled with his legrope.

During the heat, the beach commentator announces, reannounces and clarifies the scoring situation and addresses Kelly personally. The jetski team are asked to move from the position they’d been throughout Michel and Davo’s heat. And once Kelly had defeated Julian and returned to the interview area, I had attempted to enter, as had been the pattern throughout the event, only for a young French dude to push me in the shoulder, mumble a curt foreign phrase and forbid my entry.

Kelly’s girlfriend Kalani is summoned to conduct the post-heat interview and the waiting media smile as the couple liaise on camera. Off camera, the two share a public conversation. Kelly beams, Kalani is bashfulm and the specially accredited media grin as they look from Kelly to Kalani.

As Kelly put Julian to the sword, Jordy Smith was undergoing his pre-heat routine away from the competitors’ area. He wears a set of headphones and sings, “Fly like a burrrrrd,” loudly, in what sounds like an impersonation of deep south American hip-hop. Jordy runs off to collect his contest singlet and an O’Neill assistant holds his ipod and headset for him before stowing them and waxing his board, then hitting his legrope to get the sand out of the velcro.

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