The Elimination Round Is A Tradition Like No Other
Day 2 at the J-Bay Open.
It takes a total of seventy heats in order to declare two champions at the WSL events that feature both men and women.
We saw nine of them at the J-Bay Open today. Probably not the ones you’re bound to remember forever. Unless, of course, you’re one of those Rain Man types and your brain reserves a special place for Peterson Crisanto stats.
The waves were smaller and less consistent than yesterday, but there was still plenty of “scoring potential” out there. And so the day started with the last three heats of women’s Round 1 then strolled into the Elimination Round.
Ah, yes. The Elimination Round. It’s pretty much an advertisement for the WQS during a CT. A place where dreams come true/are barely kept alive. There’s nothing quite like watching professional surfers try to claw their way out of dead last place. A tradition like no other.
But, hey, you gotta whittle a field of 36 (18 for the gals) down to 1 somehow.
-With a pair of 7s, Caroline Marx put up the best heat score of the day for the ladies. It was also the second best of the round, behind only Steph Gilmore. It’s a matter of if, not when she’ll win a World Title. Here’s to hoping she doesn’t take the Occy comparison too literally and bury a few decades and surfboards to get there.
-Jack Freestone finally figured out how to surf like Jack Freestone with a jersey on. His 8.50 was the wave of the day — after the recent second-place finish, you could see a little Ballito boost of confidence in his turns.
-Jeremy Flores got the highest heat total of the round. He may or may not have stormed the judging tower to thank them.
-And now, a moment of silence for the departed. Here are your 33rds of the event: Beyrick De Vries, Jorgann Couzinet, Jesse Mendes and Jadson Andre. They will be missed. Just not very deeply.
-Shoutout to Willian Cardoso for wearing a spring suit at J-Bay. Any time you watch the Elimination Round, you should expect to see at least one person (competitor, spectator, judge, etc) in a spring suit.
-Tomorrow will most likely be a lay day. After that, Friday looks pretty good — especially in the afternoon. The forecast is hit or miss after that, but there could be another swell lining up for next week.
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