Sudden death Round One was completed today in headhigh, slow lefts at the back-up contest site of LaGido, Baleal. Despite less than epic conditions, the Portuguese public came out in droves to watch the event and loved it. Surfing is probably more mainstream a sport in Portugal than anywhere else in Europe, and despite the ugly weather and on-off-on-off calls of the last few days, today’s crowd was impressive. Big up yourselves, Portugeezers.
Here’s what happened in the heats:
– Dean Morrison beat Justin Mujica in the first heat of the day, meaning Germany’s Marlon Lipke is the sole remaining ‘local’ interest, after the defeat of Saca and David Luis (or Dai Lewis as he’s known in Wales) yesterday.
– Sponsor’s Wildcard Bruno Santos of Brazil took down the Ginja Ninja next, before Miky Picon beat Pyscho Wardo with a couple of trademark frontside gaffs. With precious few heat wins to his name this year, Picon needs to step up right here right now and at Pipe, otherwise it’s curtains luvvy.
– Roy Powers took out fellow bottom feeder Dayyan Neve after a 2 hour postponement, before Tim Reyes disposed of Bottle Thompson. In his post heat interview, Reyes, who’s had a highly forgettable year kept saying something about meditating in dark rooms. If that’s what you’ve been doing this year Timmy, it’s not working. Try meditating with the light on, kido.
– Nic Muscroft took down Josh Kerr next. Kerr continues to struggle to get results despite being one of the more entertaining and naturally gifted surfers on tour. Unlucky Kentucky. In the next heat the unfashionable and unloved Greg Emslie smoked Aritz with some rambunctious backside pocket hits, tail out and all. In reply Aritz could only do cutbacks, and only narrowly avoided being combo’ed at the horn. In the last heat of the round Dustin Barca must’ve wondered how in heck he got handed his BFH, after putting up 16 point something and still losing to an inspired Benjamin ‘Drew Courtney’ Button.
– Txomin and I drove up to the golf to pick up Sushi Phil for a surf. He called me and said he was keen and it was good. On the way through the golf course a German lady waved my attention and asked,”Vere is Ze First Tee Please?” Momentarily baffled, I recovered fast and replied, “No idea love. I hate golf. It’s not a sport, and it’s shit.” Within earshot were some orange coloured English ex-pat golfer types who looked like their specialist subject on Mastermind would be The Life and Times of Robert Kilroy Silk. Even though they were golfers and getting dissed, they lapped it up. Deep down they appreciated a bit of England-Germany needle. We got to the house where Dane, Kelly et al are billeted and Phil, their chef said, “Go check it and come back and let me know… I got something to do.” That struck me as weird, I could have sworn he called me and told me to come pick him up for a surf. Needless to say, return after checking it we did not.
– Rather than the omni present fish smell of yesterday, today at the cliffs and in the village the air smelt of onions. An onion scented offshore, it actually smelt like Walker’s Cheese n’ Owen. Tomorrow there is an onshore forecast to smell like Salt n’ Linekar.
– The Brodie Carr vs Charlie Smith beef deepens by the hour. I have got them both to agree to an arm wrestle to settle it once and for all. Carr has the weight advantage but Smith reckons he’s got a Stallone ‘over the top’ tactic that cant be beaten. Just as an aside, if you believe in the meaning of people’s names, ‘Smith’ is someone who makes something and Charlie, as we know, is street vernacular for an illicit South American powdered stimulant.
– At the luncheon cafe poor Txomin was relegated to standing a la Victor Hugo at work by women’s WCTer Megan Abubo, who stole his chair without asking. Sit down cutback snaps, sit down in someone else’s chair, all sit down, sit down sit down sit down, sit down next to me-eee. In love in fear in hate, etc.
– SE’s French Ed Archi has been repeatedly mistaken for fellow beardy one Kieren Perrow by the Portuguese public and asked for autographs. He claims it’s annoying but in reality, he fucking loves it.