It was a long day in the Penon sun, but we didn’t miss a single wave, a half-hearted claim or a Brazilian dummy spit. This was today’s Quik Pro, as it happened.
8.00 am – It’s foggy down here. There’s waves, I think. A bit high tide maybe, but four foot and on the same bank as the girls yesterday. “The girls scored yesterday, it was like Trestles just better. And on some random bank near Penon,” said Surf Europe photog Timo. “No wonder people think it’s like this all the time.” We know though Timo, it’s not.
9.15: Its still foggy. “If you didn’t have a watch on you would have no idea what time it is. In fact you wouldn’t know what planet you are on.” Says Damien Hobgood going for a free surf. I tell him its 9.15. He walks off.
10.00: This fog won’t go away. The sun is there, I can feel it. Its like getting the glimpse of a girl’s panties, or the flash of Kelly’s green eyes. Kinda. They start the event in any case, and Kieren Perrow wins. Take that Vico, Surf Europe’s power wanking expert.
11.15. Freddy P beats Parko and he is fired up. “When you are young you just want to win win everything. A ninth fucking bums you so bad, you want to be on that podium. Now though I’ve worked out, you just have to win heats. I just wanna beat that guy. And then beat the next one. It’s only taken 9 years, but it’s working.” I like Freddy, I hope he gets a ninth.
12.00: Kelly Slater wins in the last second of the heat. Doesn’t he always. He is hard to beat huh. “I knew I had the score on the second turn. Melling even had priority and I couldn’t believe he stopped paddling. It’s those moments that can make the difference,” he says.
12.30: Fanning loses, and the world title race gets interesting. I go for a surf, on a not really a bank just down from the comp. I have a man-on-man heat with a hipster on a balsa wood twinfin. I get caught in a rip. He wins. I call that work as now I know how Mick feels and that’s important.
2.00: I talk to Taj. Fuck he is good. I ask him why he can’t win here. What’s wrong, how can I help? “I was looking at it just the other day and you know I’ve won everything apart from this event and Fiji. And it’s weird cause I love France, you know it’s my second language. Don’t get me wrong, my French is shithouse, but I love hunting up and down the coast looking for banks, I always have such an amazing time here. Fuck knows why I haven’t cracked it. But look I want to win it, I put so much time energy and effort to win Trestles, cause I really wanted that, and all that effort was rewarded. I’ll be putting as much or more effort into winning this event.”
4.15: Home town hero Jeremy Flores nails two 7.5s before his opponents even stand up. I go down to be among the faithful. The fact that half of the faithful are young girls in tiny bikinis is not the point. This is work, you perverts and I’m on the front line. I even see two nuns. They aren’t in bikinis. But winning is a habit right?
5.00: The day ends. My eyes are bleeding, my heart beating. Ahh the Quik Pro you fickle temptress of tide and wind and fog and love. You make us wait, you make us watch. I’ll be here, whenever you are. That is my promise. Close computer. Go surfing.
5.30: Ah fuck, they are running the second round. And Fanning is first up against Leo, but he is too strong, too fast. “My wife told me to cheer up this morning,” Mick tells me afterwards. “I was just a grouch, and that was before the heat. In that first heat, I just felt like an ogre. So I went home, took my wife’s advice to cheer up, did some stretching and lightened up. As soon as hit the water this evening in boardies, I felt really good. I was back.” No more Shrek then.
6.00: Now its Jordy and Dane, except Dane doesn’t turn up. Well he does, but not really. “I rode a board this morning that didn’t work, and my head was spinning,” said a slightly confused messiah. “Then I tried another just before my heat, which obviously you just don’t do. Every decision I made was wrong. I just want to go surfing.” I give him a hug. And a kiss. And he leaves.
6.30: It’s getting hotter, it has to be 30 degrees celsius, and Parko is getting smoked by Lacomare. Lacomare will win, too strong too good. The crowd go mad.
6.33: That was premature. Parko needs a 8.0 and gets a 8.5 with a minute to go. I tell him how I had just literally, written him off. “Thanks for the vote of confidence Mondy, you prick.” Thats it, I’ve had enough I am being verbally abused. I have been here since 8am. This show is over.