Keramas Can Hold Its Swell After All
Another half day at Keramas filled with requalification fears and Round 2 exit sneers.
Day 2’s complete, and oh did it prove yesterday’s skeptical conjectures wrong. Overnight, the secondary pulse of SSW swell peaked, and we awoke this morning to a version of Keramas that actually aligned the all-too-common commentary spiels of ‘perfect’ and ‘pumping’.
It might not have matched the near-unbelievable session that unfolded – or more appropriately, unloaded – in the South Pacific yesterday, but even if it was only for a moment, Keramas delivered some of the biggest and heaviest barrels we’ve witnessed on tour this year.
And there’s no point considering what could’ve been for the WSL either, since the Cloudbreak competition is typically run in early June, not May. As much as people like to bash the WSL for swapping out Cloudy for Keramas, there’s not much they or anyone else can do about a lack of serious sponsorship coin, especially when the Fijian government is no longer as supportive as they once were.
At the end of the day, Keramas isn’t a bad replacement.
Cloudbreak vs. Keramas battles aside, Round 1 and half of Round 2 were finished up this morning.
While it may have been a short-lived and relatively low-scoring affair, there was enough overhead barrels hitting Bali’s East Coast to keep those with a competitive penchant engaged.
Here’s a patchy and personalised overview:
“I hope I make the top-22”
When was the last time you saw a recent world-title holder concerned about re-qualification? I’m not talking about those nearing retirement either…
Well, the 2015 world champ, Adriano de Souza is evidently stressing.
ADS had the pick of makeable waves this morning, but despite getting drained on what the average-joe would call the ‘wave of their life’, Adriano was merely elated he didn’t flail into Round 2:
“I’m super focussed for this contest, I’ve never been in this position since 2007, 17th spot, I’m fighting for points. I saw so many guys under me make their heats yesterday, it was making me nervous.” A sombre and seemingly non-stok-ed ADS told Kaipo after taking out his heat.
“I hope I can have a good contest here so I can survive and make the top 22”.
2018’s been a weird year for the surfers and fantasy obsessed alike; a top-32 filled with unknowns and an even more novel top-10; Wade Carmichael, Zeke Lau and M-Rod – we wouldn’t have guessed it.
And if you scroll further down the list past the tipping point you’ll see Joel Parko, Matt Wilkinson and even Jordy Smith all fending off the feared 22nd place falling point.
It seems unimaginable that any of these aforementioned names would fall off the tour by anything less than their own volitions, but in a world of wavepools, Teahupoo-mimicking cloudbreak and a heat-winning Keanu Asing, anything’s possible.
Mikey Wright’s not a finger flipping freesurfer anymore
Mikey’s been a wildcard at three out of the past four events, taking down John, Gabby and a few other CT big names along the way.
He might only be ranked 25th on the tour, but that ain’t bad for someone who’s most widely recognised for having a mullet and doing burnouts in a sponsor endorsed Valiant.
Kolohe wasn’t rocking the Slater-white suit today either and a clean-shaved head was no match for the unkempt locks of Mr. Wright.
Mikey may fit the stereotype of a disconcerted and carefree non-tour surfer, but considering he’s been off the beers for the entire year and has a tighter training schedule than a crossfitting Bondi babe you better take him seriously.
Wright went absolutely ham at Keramas yesterday and was unrewarded, but this morning, Mikey found what he was looking for in a solid pair of 7’s – yes, we’re talking about waves.
Not only did he steal a Round 3 showing from Kolohe’s hands, he’s seemingly swiped Kolohe’s highlighter wrap-arounds for the post-heat interview too.
Put out your offerings for Pritamo
Do you recall 2013, the last time that the CT stopped over in Bali at what was the home of high performance surfing? More importantly, do you recall the perfect heat awarded to Parko for a pair of tubes that would’ve been lucky to receive an excellent score award by today’s standards?
We’ve spoken about it before, but the judging shift is more noticeable than ever at Keramas. When you imagine six to eight-foot Keramas, single digit heat totals aren’t typically the first thought that pops to mind.
It might make for less enticing story titles and sterile scoreboards, but damn does appropriately judging – or even underscoring – waves lead to a better competitive environment in the long run.
Despite behaviourism being dead, operant conditioning still works, and if you condition these surfers long enough, one day they’ll learn non-progressive moves won’t snatch them excellent rides.
If only B.F. Skinner was on the judging panel…
Onshores and airs aren’t always intertwined
Yesterday, hopes of an all-day event were literally blown away. Unfortunately, today’s comp suffered the same blustery, wind-filled fate.
Onshores aren’t ideal to the layman, but to those that are punt-happy and capable, onshores often provide the ramp and cushion necessary to throw caution to the literal wind.
This was far from the case at Keramas this afternoon though and it wasn’t the fault of the surfers either. The conditions between Heats 3 and 5 deteriorated faster than hopes of a sober night in Kuta and there was little to launch off even for those who are aerially inclined.
Thankfully, Kieren Perrow had the foresight and empathy to call it a day at the rivermouth and save us all from witnessing a sloppy afternoon filled with snaps, transition cutbacks and the odd end-section floater. It’s not as if we would’ve seen the likes of Matty Wilko and Joan Duru going jump for jump in their Round 2 heat anyway.
The remainder of the forecast is noticeably smaller, which should result in a more recognisable playpark Keramas; the winds however, are dicey, so prepare yourself for many more half-day viewings at the Corona Bali Protected – competitive surfing’s best consumed in small doses anyway.
Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 15.50, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.67, Yago Dora (BRA) 2.17
Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 12.77 def. Oney Anwar (IDN) 11.00
Heat 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.84 def. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 11.14
Heat 3: Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.17 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.83
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 9.90 vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.76
Heat 5: Michael February (ZAF) 9.56 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 6.73
Heat 6: Keanu Asing (HAW) 8.47 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.00
Upcoming Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 2 Matchups:
Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 8: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 9: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA)
Heat 12: Tomas Hermes (BRA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Corona Bali Protected Women’s Pro Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Carol Henrique (PRT)
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Silvana Lima (BRA), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 6: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW)
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