Stab Magazine | North Point (Kinda) Lives Up To The Hype?

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North Point (Kinda) Lives Up To The Hype?

A confusing day of pro surf!

news // Mar 29, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

After much (mostly self-administered) aggrandising, the Drug Aware Pro finally kicked off this morning at North Point. Some (us) were claiming it could potentially be one of the best, most exciting days in pro surfing history. Those predictions could not have been more off the mark. But that’s just the curse of surf.

For starters, competition began several hours past initial scheduling, the result of sketchy conditions and soft waves plaguing North Point in the morning (though, with the occasional amazing moment). The first heat horn eventually sounded at 10am WA time, two and half hours after the originally outlined start.

The first surfers to sputter out of the gates were Mick Fanning, Kelly Slater, and Leo Fioravanti in what was dubbed the day’s “super heat.” However, due to high-tide conditions, wonky swell angles, and altogether inconsistent sets, it turned out just being super awkward, with most of the surfers looking lost in the desultory setting.

Kelly would eventually win with only a combined 8.07, the result of a 4.17 and 3.90, the two single highest wave scores of the heat. A testament to how uneventful the first part of the day’s competition was.

Not much happened in the heats afterward, as the high tide tormented the often draining righthander. While there was certainly size – and thus, potential – without all the elements perfectly clicking, most waves unfortunately faltered.

In fact, probably the most interesting contour of the early parts of the day was watching the normally fine-tuned WSL deal with holding a contest at a mobile site. You could see it in the webcast: In the background of every interview, there were jersey racks being run around, spotlights and speakers haphazardly wired on the shoreline, and Barton Lynch doing commentary from the bush. It made for an interesting dynamic. With the world’s best, most polished surfers contending in an environment with the honest charm of local boardriders comp. Kinda enjoyable, TBH.

Screen Shot 2017 03 29 at 6.35.28 PM

Ramshackle, but amiable.

And thankfully, as a few heats passed, the tide dropped, causing the waves to turn on. By the time Jordy Smith, Nat Young, and Kanoa Igarashi paddled out in heat four, North Point was flashing its much talked about shades of perfection. A wonderful reminder as to why we were initially relieved to hear Margies main break was, at least temporarily, off the books.

One of the more welcomely gripping heats of the day occurred between Jeremy Flores, Adriano de Souza and Ace Buchan, who experienced the finer conditions of the day. Jeremy would go on to pass through to round three, but not without fending off the enthused efforts of Adriano and Ace. Everyone got deeply slotted during the heat, setting the high-line and rifling down North Point’s trademark emerald face.

Other notable performances of the day came from Kolohe Andino, Jesse Mendes, and John John Florence — who landed one of the biggest airs of the day. However, if you stuck around for the brutally slow (they had to restart the heat due to a 15 minute lull) matchup between Filipe Toledo, Ethan Ewing and Sebastian Zietz, then you were gifted with perhaps the wave of the tour so far. With only a few minutes remaining in the disappointing exchange, Sea Bass scooped into a set wave, tucked under the very first section and disappeared across the entire reef only to pop out in line with the skis bobbing in the channel. The commentary team freaked out, we freaked out, and the judges delivered the quickest unanimous ten we’ve seen for some time.

More than likely the ladies will start the day off tomorrow. Let’s hope we see more action from North Point.


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