“Most of the time we were sitting out there and it was flat,” said Mick Fanning after his Round 2 heat against Dane Reynolds, the first heat in the water yesterday at Snapper Rocks. “And for some reason they put Ed Sheeran on, it was weird.”
As if having to battle it out in the barely waste-high slop dribbling into the bay wasn’t bad enough, some unspeakable idiot decided it would be a good idea to play a bit of Ed Sheeran. It is testament to Fanning’s competitive know-how and disciplined professionalism that he was able to negotiate the former whilst blocking out the latter, progressing through to Round 3 with ease. For Reynolds — a name with which competitive know-how and disciplined professionalism have less often been associated — the challenge proved too much. Dane’s surfing was slow and laboured, and the amount of speed Mick was able to generate in comparison was remarkable. Will somebody hang the DJ, please?
And shall we demand that somebody hang Kieren Perrow, the WSL Commissioner, too? Blessed with the benefit of hindsight, ignorant of the full facts, free from any sort of responsibility, shall we pass damning judgment on a man whose predicament we are likely to underestimate? Why the fuck not, this is the internet after all, and I’ll be damned if I know what else it’s for.
There have at various times over the last week or so been good waves at Duranbah — not amazing waves by any means, but waves where there was clearly the potential for something exciting to happen. The free-surf footage currently circulating on the internet provides ample proof of that. I’m sure it would have been a pain in the tits to up sticks and relocate the contest site a few yards round the corner, but it was a far bigger pain in the tits having to watch — or indeed to compete in — a Round 2 held in waves where there was precisely zero potential for anything exciting to happen.
Filipe Toledo tried, bless him, and he came fairly close with a couple of (barely airborne) reverses, some impressive rail-work and this beyond-vertical turn, above, on his way to the highest heat score of the round. But every turn in conditions like yesterday’s is inevitably perfunctory, a means to an end rather than an end itself — the end in this case being progression into Round 3, when hopefully there will be something on offer a little more enjoyable to surf, and a little more enjoyable to watch.
“I think these are the worst conditions I’ve ever surfed in my CT career,” Taj Burrow told Surfing Life. “I mean, we were all talking about it in the competitors’ area, what’d be worse between cancelling and running, and I mean, you know, it’s a rough one. The only time I remember getting an event like this was in Portugal when I first got on tour, and it was cancelled.
“That said, so much goes into the decision making process so I don’t want to contribute too much, but I feel like we could have maybe got a round out at D’Bah, but we’ve just gotta hope it kinda falls in our hands the next two days. I wouldn’t want to be in KP’s shoes. I’m not sure how much effort goes into moving the event to D’bah, and from what I can tell it’s shitloads, but if it was up to me I feel like it would have been good to get a bit done, just a round, at D’bah, so we didn’t have to surf that [looking out at surf].”
Full results and highlights, should you feel the need, here.