Who The Hell Soaped Julian Wilson’s Tail Pad?
Margies delivers on day one of the Drug Unaware Pro.
Can you believe we’re already back in the saddle?
It feels like just yesterday that Steph Gilmore kicked her tail toward the channel and headbutted a vicious chandelier, before riding out cleanly and banging a knee-to-deck reo for 10 points.
Alas, the World Tour has migrated south from Bali’s Keramas, opting to meet the Indian Ocean swells closer to their origin and maybe kiss a shark along the way.
Main Break Margie’s provided the goods today, with a brisk offshore meeting overhead A-frames for a full 10 hours.
Yeah, I watched them all.
We saw the women paddle out first, with World Number two Caroline Marks taking a win in heat one. Her low stance serves to quiet the chatter of Main Break’s walls.
“If Carissa’s riding waves she’s generally winning heats. So get up to your feet!” said Pottz, after Miss Moore failed to collect a scoring wave until halfway through the heat. Much to Pottz’ point, Carissa’s top two scores came in the last six minutes of the bout. They were both sevens and, after a stressful beginning, she won easily.
Steph Gilmore decided to ride her 5’10 “cash cow” – a board she’s won three events on to date (Bells/Jbay in 2018, Keramas 2019) – in today’s heat.
“Keep milking it,” Rosie punned.
Steph got second to an in-rhythm Coco Ho, who, despite her small stature, flattened the mid-face moguls like pancakes. The Hawaiian dropped an eight to Steph’s seven, which was the result of two strong turns versus one.
Courtney Conlogue did exactly what you’d expect Courtney Conlogue to do—she rode a longer board than most and used her Marine-grade thighs to swing the axe around for 13 points. At this point, I’d pick her over Carissa and Steph to win this event. Main Break is about grunt, not finesse.
Tati pulled a huge backside reo for the win and Lakey stole the final heat with her first turn. Meanwhile, local gal Bronte Macaulay sat out the back without catching a wave for 30 whole minutes.
As the famous sports documentary, Dodgeball, once said, “It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see how it works out for her.”
Speaking of bold strategies, Kelly Slater wore a long-arm spring suit in his heat against John Florence and Jadson Andre. How is Slater’s attire relevant to the greater scheme of competitive surfing? I’m not sure exactly, but I feel like there must be some correlation to the childish neoprene cut and Slater’s post-loss hissy fit, where the King probed John John about why he and Jadson “bothered” to block him on the final exchange.
The wave in question was small, sure, but to give Slater free reign in the dying seconds of a heat would be like leaving your girlfriend alone with Jason Mamoa.
Surely he must understand that.
Performance-wise, Slater looked a little bit off, as did John, but the rails of his Pyzel looked as sharp as ever. As the swell increases, so will John’s performance. Kelly’s too.
Conspiracy theory: Slater blew the heat on purpose so he could get more chances to surf at the Box (or North Point) when competition resumes.
Keramas winner Kanoa Igarashi brought that same amount of spice to WA, clicking turns firmly off the lip and stomping reos onto the bricks for good measure. He won his heat without much contest.
At one point, I started counting how many surfers went left. It wasn’t many. Certainly less than the number of surfers who went left at Lowers in past CT events. By the end of the day, I’d counted 6.5 attempts on the lefthander, with the greatest score being around a five. John Florence explained why:
“It’s so hard to go left at Main Break, because it’s such a gamble for which ones will be good. You can get so much done on the right in such little time. On the left you end up far from the lineup and a lot of the waves go fat.”
John stayed on to commentate the Julian-Peterson-Caio heat. Through watching this, I’ve decided that our 2x Champ is either the kindest, most humble super-talent the world has ever seen, or he’s just an incredibly good liar.
John talking about how “good” of surfers Caio Ibelli and Peterson Crisanto are is like Jackson Pollock complimenting a local house painter.
“I really love his broad strokes. His wall coverage is so consistent!”
Speaking of Caio and Peterson, which one of these fuckers soaped Julian’s tail pad this morning? I had a lot of Fantasy dollars riding on the pretty piglet, and a classic surfing prank did us (ironically, ’cause it’s soap) dirty.
Side note: I once saw Paul Fisher soap ex-Tour surfer/Reef team manager Heath ‘Nutty’ Walker’s tail pad before a heat at the Sweetwater Pro in North Carolina. Heath fell on nearly every wave while Fish performed his million-dollar cackle from the bleachers.
Nutty somehow managed to win the heat and gave Fish a sand-enema when he returned to shore. This was my first introduction to the real world of professional surfing and I was instantly hooked. Then I took a nap on the couch and Fish gave me a choc-nose, but that’s a story for a different audience (namely a jury, lawyer up Fish!).
But back to the point—Jules slipping off his pad twice was weird. And, as a surfer, losing confidence in your grip is the worst feeling ever. It’s like having the shanks. Jules was lucky to pull out a second because he looked afraid to turn his board.
Italo, on the other hand, surfed like a banshee after his uncharacteristic loss at Keramas, catching a million waves and riding them all at 157%. I loved his combo of floater-to-snap with no pumps in between, the air rev on a two-footer was sick, and his dismounts onto the reef were nothing short of heroic. Dare we say Italo is back?
Medina waited forever to get started, then started going over-vert on every section that came his way. It was crazy to see the difference in power between he and his goofyfoot competitors, Deivid Silva and Jacob Wilcox. It reminded me a little bit of this video.
Local cave cat Jack Robbo didn’t make it back in time from Chile, so instead of filling his slot with another worthy wildcard, the WSL let Filipe Toledo and Sebastian Zietz surf a mostly meaningless two-man heat.
For Filipe, the result literally didn’t matter. “But what about the new reseeding rule!” the astute, but not that astute viewer might point out. Well, with Filipe sitting in the last slot (fourth) in the top tier of seeding, and because the three surfers above him already won their heats, Filipe couldn’t move up or down in seeding regardless of his result.
That didn’t stop him from (playfully) paddle-battling his competitor, Sebastian Zietz, who offered the same ersatz antics in turn. Bass did the best turn of the day but Filipe won the heat.
Oh, and if you’re doing the math, assuming Jack Robbo gets back in time to surf (and win) his Elimination Round heat, he’ll likely come up against John Florence in Round 3, which will potentially run at The Box. Do you think John will make Jack carry the Phantom camera again, or will they take turns this time around?
Jordy hammered a couple defenseless walls to victory. Seth Moniz got an ugly tube that was nonetheless impressive, but not impressive enough to beat a caffeinated Kolohe Andino.
Ryan Callinan, Conner Coffin, and Leo Fioravanti partook in a three-man paddle-battle, the result of which mimicked the heat scores: Ryan won, Conner got second (by decision) and Leo was relegated to Loserville.
The Zeke Lau, Michael Rodrigues, and Wade Carmichael heat had the best all-around performances today, with each surfer providing their own rendition of “power surfing”. This time speed won over inertia, with M-Rod and Zeke getting the jump on old boy Wade, but something tells me that script might flip once the swell arrives.
Jesse Mendes got a mid-eight (wave of the day?) and Jezza’s fire continues to burn bright. Michel stuffed Griff so he can get back to Teahupo’o sooner (waves have been cooking over there) and that was it! See ya in a couple days.
Margaret River Pro Women’s Seeding Round (Round 1) Results:
Heat 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 11.83, Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.17, Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.76
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.43, Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.10, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.93
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.32, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.50, Mia McCarthy (AUS) 8.06
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.77, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 10.47, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 8.00
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.90, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.67, Silvana Lima (BRA) 7.44
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.16, Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.26, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 0.00
Margaret River Pro Women’s Elimination Round (Round 2) Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Mia McCarthy (AUS)
Heat 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Margaret River Pro Men’s Seeding Round (Round 1) Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 12.84 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.64, Kelly Slater (USA) 10.34
Heat 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.73 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 11.80, Yago Dora (BRA) 9.33
Heat 3: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.56 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.27, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.17
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.03 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 12.84, Frederico Morais (PRT) 11.90
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.70 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.94, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 11.60
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.73 DEF. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.00, Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.77 DEF. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 9.14, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.93
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.70 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.23, Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.73
Heat 9: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.57 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.77, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.57
Heat 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.53 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.67, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.50
Heat 11: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 14.60 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 9.70
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.10 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.00, Michel Bourez (FRA) 5.33
Margaret River Pro Men’s Elimination Round (Round 2) Matchups:
Heat 1: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 3: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)
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