It's hard to hate Jeremy Flores in 2019.
Jeremy Flores Wins His (Other) Home Event, Hints At Retirement
A story about France and redemption.
Part of being a serious surf fan is yelling at the WSL’s every move.
It’s on each and every one of us to find creative targets for our fury, which can be tiring with such a long season. Subpar conditions for the start of the event made the angle around the Quiksilver Pro France an easy one — too many average waves on tour!
Unfortunately, La Gravière and La Nord reminded us that they are not average waves today and so we had to find other things to make fun of.
There was a beautiful sunrise and I’d like to think that many people made love during it because France. I did not make love during it. I got yelled at by an unfriendly security guard and ate a pastry on the beach instead because France.
The swell was still well overhead. The wind was chilly and offshore. And ohhh baby, La Nord looked good. Long right walls with plenty of opportunity for tubes. The Jet Ski assist made a world of a difference.
In the first heat of the morning, Jeremy Flores kicked things off with a 7.17 and an 8.33 for said tubes and Jordy Smith kicked rocks thinking about the World Title.
A few heats later, Wade Carmichael had a great moment in television after getting ripped off. At the end of the heat, he needed a 4.74 and got a 5.50 that the judges thought was a 4.50. He was “visibly upset,” as they say meaning he said many bad words with gusto. You love to see it.
Anyway, if the WSL wants to take sustainability seriously, they should allow one surfer per year to qualify for the CT through the Australian Boardriders Battle in order to protect this endangered species.
In 2019, Ace Buchan doesn’t really beat you — he just kind of occurs to you — and he occurred to Gabriel Medina. Ace’s 7.00 and a 3.00 (they call that a perfect 10 on the QS) occurred in a heat where the Jeep fearless leader only got one real wave. Strangely, he wasn’t around for his post-heat interview. The 9th place result definitely added some spice to this World Title race.
Kolohe is a classy cunt. He had priority in his heat against Yago Dora and it looked like he may have played a little sneaky Pierre by quietly taking off behind Yago and giving him an interference, which made him a cunt. But in his post-heat interview, Kolohe said he really respects Yago’s surfing, apologized to him publicly and said he’d apologize to him face-to-face as well — that’s where classy comes in. He did, however, end up losing to Italo in the next round.
Ryan Callinan, or R Cal if you have unironically worn a backward hat in the past eight months, looked great until he lost to Jeremy in the Quarters. The people’s favorite. It’s easy to root for him, but I’d encourage our Australian audience to be sure they root for themselves this weekend too.
Although he eventually lost to Jack Freestone, Marc Lacomare made the Quarters. This is the second time he’s had a deep run as a wildcard. It’s worth praising but remember: You’re not a Sean Holmes until you’ve beaten an Andy Irons.
Let’s talk about the business end of the event now.
The Carissa Moore vs Lakey Peterson semifinal was important. Not only because of Jeeps, but also because it was the last heat to sit outside at La Nord. The heat was about two hours before high tide and you could clearly see it turning off out the back. Still, La Grav hadn’t turned quite turned on yet. Carissa got the only real wave and Lakey put up a 3.66 heat total.
For the rest of the day, everyone sat at La Graviere, including Johanne Defay and Caroline Marx in the next heat. At one point, Johanne Defay went straight on an overhead closeout and was praised by the commentators while they replayed it in slow-mo on the webcast. Johanne is a proper good tube rider. Doing this is a disservice to her and to women’s surfing. Fuck off. Caroline won the heat by doing turns that didn’t look like Occy.
Then it was time for the Men’s semis. Jeremy Flores beat Jack Freestone by doing what he does best: getting very barreled. And Italo Ferreira beat Leonardo Fioravanti by doing what Italo does best: surfing. Leo was searching for tubes — and found a few decent ones — but Italo caught wave after wave and hit section after section and put up a 11.60 total and made it all look too easy.
In the Women’s final, Carissa Jeeped her way though good tubes on a right and a left. Meanwhile, Caroline Marks did not. It’s a big win for Carissa’s World Title campaign. And, don’t worry Caroline, there will be plenty more Titles for you to win.
Jeremy, unsurprisingly, opened the final with a 9.67. He’d been in a rhythm all day. I asked him what it took to win an event and this was his response:
Surfing is unique because you have to be connected with the ocean. You can lose to someone you’re way better than or vice versa depending on how connected you are at the time. When I think about Pipe, it’s all a blur. I don’t remember any of the details of how I won. I definitely remember the details of the afterparty though [laughs].
This rung quite true today. He posted the highest heat total in every single round, which turns out to be a good strategy if you want to win an event.
Speaking of winning the event, Jeremy noted that the only box left unchecked in his career was a good result in France, and now that he has one he should "probably just retire." This was said in jest, kind of, but would you really be shocked if Frenchy pulled the plug after Pipe?
But that's a decision for a later date. Now is time to celebrate.
Thoughts and prayers to everyone at Dick’s Sand Bar tonight, power surfers and otherwise.