Crikey! So this is what North Point was doing on Wednesday evening, while the final heats of Round 1 were being wrapped up in giant Margaret River mush burgers: going stark-bollock-raving mental. And various world tour luminaries were in attendance — Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Sebastian Zietz, Ace Buchan and honorary tour member Jay Davies among them — plus Tom Whitaker, Dino Adrian, Noa Deane and Jack Robinson. Highlights include Seabass’s free-fall into the pit at 0:40, Jay Davies’ second tube at 1:53, and near enough all of Jack Robinson’s part at the clip’s end. Pete Davies, Jay’s father, called Jay later on that evening ahead of his early morning heat against Gabriel Medina, and Jay said he’d just been getting the best waves of his life, and was completely knackered. There were no signs of fatigue come the morning, however, when Davies smoked Medina like a Hebridean Salmon.
If you’ve been taking note over the last week or so you’ll know that the WSL initiated last-minute negotiations with the local authorities to secure North Point as an alternative contest site, Margarets being perhaps unique among the world tour destinations in requiring a back-up venue even when the forecast is good. The Shire of Augusta Margaret River duly informed the WSL that it was too late to begin making the necessary arrangements. Now don’t get me wrong, the Box has been fun, enormous fun. But — and call me an ungrateful bastard, or a stater of the bleeding obvious — might it not have been a good idea to sort out such minor details a little further in advance, rather than waiting until a giant swell appeared on the charts?