STOP THE OLYMPICS, #LetCarlosSurf Goes Bezerk On Opening Day Of Competition - Stab Mag
The Inaugural Address of Olympic Surfing. Photo by Pablo Jimenez/ISA

STOP THE OLYMPICS, #LetCarlosSurf Goes Bezerk On Opening Day Of Competition

Olympic surfing makes its debut at Tsurigasaki Beach, Chiba!

Words by Ethan Davis

Pre-heat pump ups, five man heats, and many surprises. Surfing flexed its funny muscle at its inaugural Olympic address. 

Carlos Munoz is the biggest olympic story today, despite not being in the country. Following a post on Stab’s Instagram this morning, more than 8000 people commented asking for Round Two of the Men’s competition to be postponed until tomorrow, so Munoz could have a crack at the podium. It was our most commented Instagram post of the past two years.

Evan Quarnstrom, Marketing and Media Manager of the ISA said in an email thread, “Carlos’ arrival will not factor into any schedule decisions”. That is, before the post went viral and it was no longer a trivial matter.

The Olympics is a hugely significant journey for athletes, Carlos had the support of a nation behind him, as well as those in the international surfing community who crossed toes and touched wood for Eric Krammer’s (Contest Director) mercy. 

Ultimately, there was none, and the show went on without Munoz, who will arrive in Japan late tonight without a shot of an Olympic medal. Women’s and men’s Rounds 1 and 2 ran today, with 39 competitors instead of 40. On paper, it was a mix of the world’s best surfers and a few lower-level pros who benefitted from the qualification structure competing in fun—and frankly average—waves. But, it was also the fucking Olympics. So let’s talk highlights. 

No surprises here. Italo had the men’s highest heat total of the day with 13.67 points. Photo by Pablo Jimenez/ISA

While he Carlos was on a plane, surfing’s first-ever Olympic heat saw Italo landing air reverses, an Argentinian fella named Usuna trying to do foam climbs, and Leo Fioravanti having a Round 1 shocker. If I were Jordy’s knee I would be mad. Hiroto Ohhara looked at home in Shidashita drivel (weird that), going tit-for-tat on the exchange with Italo, until Italo’s sixth coffee kicked in and he stomped three backside air reverses in the final 10 minutes. Kanoa was clinical and composed in his heat catching the best waves of the day by far.

In heat three, Kolohe played with his legrope and Julian looked tougher than woodpecker lips during the pre-heat pump up – before sitting on his board for twenty-five minutes, contemplating whether the radioactive fallout of Fukushima in the water was distorting his A-grade genome. In the end it was the Peruvian, Lucas Mesinas, who stitched together the highest heat total moving straight into round three with Kolohe close behind.

Did Gabby’s pre-contest IG sermon theft rattle John? John fell on four of his first five waves and he looked shaky until the repechage round. But more importantly, Ramzi Boukhaim is a hunk and possesses one of the best backhand whips in the business. Although his backup score was dud and Owen Wright schliped him in the final seconds, the moroccan lamb slaughterer looked hungry. 

Kolohe starts his Olympic campaign. Photo by Pablo Jimenez/ISA

On the Women’s side of the draw, Carissa did what Carissa does, linking together solid turns while some relatively unknown youngsters battled for second place. Sally Fitzgibbons clutched first in a tightly-contested heat over Bianca Buitendag and Brissa Hennesy. Steph, in Steph-fashion, stopped to pick up rubbish on her way into the water before taking an Israeli Defence Force soldier to combotown with the overall highest heat total of the day with 14.50 points.

Tatiana Weston Webb was another standout in the women’s, completing a series of sharp nooners’ in fast succession that should put fellow competitors on high alert. In the final heat of the non-elimination round, it was Caroline Marks, the 19 year old wizz-kid who stripped off her Ralph Lauren kit and put on a comp-surfing masterclass leaving a three point gap between herself and second place.

Carissa. Photo by Ben Reed/ISA

The repechage round saw John steady himself and sneak past Billy Stairmand with Rio Waida. Leo lubed up the rusted hinges to advance into round three with Jules and Jeremy. 

In the women’s repechage, both Tsuzuki and Maeda advanced keeping both hometown surfers in the mix. Sofia Mulanovich, the 38 year old 2004 World champ, was the surprise star of day one, executing two critical snaps to jump from fifth to third in the dying seconds of the day.


Mens Round One 

Heat One: I. Ferreira (13.67), H. Ohhara (11.40) DEF L. Fioravanti (9.43), L. Usuna (8.27)

Heat Two: K. Igarashi (12.77), M. Tudela (10.67) DEF B. Stairmand (9.97), J. Flores (7.63)

Heat Three: L. Mesinas (11.40), K. Andino (10.27) DEF  R. Waida (9.96), J. Wilson (8.77)

Heat Four: O. Wright (10.40), R. Boukhiam (10.23), DEF J. Florence (8.37), M. Selman (6.20)

Heat Five: G. Medina (12.23), M. Bourez (10.10), DEF L. Glatzer (10.00), C. Munoz (DNS)

Womens Round One

Heat One: C. Moore (11.74), T. Bonvalot (9.80) DEF D. Barona (7.66), D. Rosas (7.50)

Heat Two: S. Fitzgibbons (12.50), B. Hennessy (12.20) DEF B. Buitendag (11.44), M. Maeda (9.20)

Heat Three: S. Gilmore (14.50), S. Lima (12.13) DEF P. Ado (9.17), A. Lelior (7.77)

Heat Four: T. Weston-Webb (11.33), J. Defay (10.60) DEF S. Mulanovich (7.80), A. Tsuzuki (6.99)

Heat Five: C. Marks (13.40), E. Williams (9.70) DEF L. McGonagle (9.64), Y. Hopkins (9.24)

Men’s Repechage Round

Heat One: J. Florence (12.77), R. Waida (11.53), B. Stairmand (11.34) DEF M. Selman (9.74), C. Munoz (DNS)

Heat Two: L. Fioravanti (12.53), J. Flores (11.37), J. Wilson (11.27) DEF L. Glatzer (10.43), L. Usuna (9.67)

Women’s Repechage Round

Heat One: A. Tsuzuki (11.60), B. Buitendag (10.40), M. Maeda (9.63) DEF L. McGonagle (9.63), D. Barona (8.87)

Heat Two: Y. Hopkins (11.80), P. Ado (9.66), S. Mulanovich (6.50) DEF A. Lelior (8.93), D. Rosas (6.50)


Men’s Round Three

Heat One: K. Igarashi vs R. Waida

Heat Two: K. Andino vs J. Florence

Heat Three: M. Bourez vs R Boukhiam

Heat Four: G. Medina vs J. Wilson

Heat Five: I. Ferreira vs B. Stairmand

Heat Six: H. Ohhara vs M. Tudela

Heat Seven: L. Mesinas vs L. Fioravanti

Heat Eight: O. Wright vs J. Flores

Women’s Round Three

Heat One: S. Gilmore vs B. Buitendag

Heat Two: J. Defay vs Y. Hopkins

Heat Three: B. Hennessy vs E. Williams

Heat Four: C. Marks vs M. Maeda

Heat Five: C. Moore vs S. Mulanovich

Heat Six: S. Lima vs T. Bonvalot

Heat Seven: T. Weston-Webb vs A. Tsuzuki

Heat Eight: S. Fitzgibbons vs P. Ado


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