Turning to my notes fromÂ this yearâ€™s Oi Rio Pro, I find the following:
- No Kelly, no Mick, no Parko. Which means the entire field has just two world titles to show for itself. How long since thatÂ was last the case?
- And no Ross Williams, no Ronnie Blakey, no Rosy Hodge: the three Rs, all absent. No KP either.
- GoshÂ I love two turn combos.
- If the fact that John John Florence made a movie last year, or that Italo Ferreira was discovered by his coach â€śPingaâ€ť by accident, is mentioned one more time IÂ willÂ stick my head in a blender.
- R4, H3: The surfer in whiteâ€™s Melling, the surfer in blueâ€™s Pupo.
Not much to go on, but perhaps enough to wring out a paragraph or two. As Iâ€™m obsessive compulsive wherever meaningless trivia is concerned, I took the trouble to find out exactly when the competitors in a menâ€™s CT last possessed only two or fewer world titles between them. As expected, it was the last time Slater missed an event â€” Rio 2012, before Parko had won his world title and before Mick had won his third. AndÂ before that? Not since 2001, before Slaterâ€™s return. I hope you feel better for that knowledge. I certainly do.
Taj Burrow wasnâ€™t in Brazil either, but while Taj had to retire in order to miss Brazil, and Kelly and Parko had to forge doctorâ€™s notes, not all WSL employees are bound by the same contractual obligations. Ross, Ronnie and Rosie have seemingly managed to negotiate a no-Brazil clause, as has commissioner Kieren Perrow, whose absence meant that Travis Logie, like an improbably short reserveÂ goalkeeper, was brought off the bench for a rare first-team outing alongside fellow stand-ins Kaipo Guerrero andÂ GigsÂ Celliers. It felt a bit like a League Cup tie.