THE PAULO DI CANIO AWARD FOR DISSENT: JEREMY FLORES
After losing out to Sebastian ‘Sea Bass’ Zeitz in their closely-fought Round 2 heat at J-Bay, Jeremy paid the judges’ tower a visit and gave full vent to his feelings. “Jeremy has always been a bit like that,” said one ASP judge who asked to remain anonymous, “it’s part of his personality. But in 15 years of judging Tour surfing I’ve never seen a surfer lose it like that, even if he did calm down quickly afterwards.” According to head judge Richie Porta there was “a verbal assault and also a physical one, it could have turned into a fight.” In the end Flores was banned from competition for forty days.
“I understand his frustration,” said Graham, “but you can’t go around acting liking that. I know sometimes they make the wrong call, but the judges really do have a very hard job, and this sort of behaviour doesn’t make it any easier. I’m fully behind the ASP’s plans to introduce the use of red and yellow cards in 2015.”
THE ROBERT GREEN AWARD FOR THE BEST PERFORMANCE AT GREENBUSH: CLAY MARZO
Clay is a stiff, sticky fine-grained earth that can be moulded when wet; the Marzo variety is particularly malleable, his surfing defined by the determination to bend and contort himself into the most unlikely of positions. Pity the wave that does not barrel, he will show his disdain with a forehand assault of unrivalled ferocity, laying back as far as it’s possible to lay almost as a matter of principle. As for the wave that does, he will squeeze his way under the lip at the last available moment, and not emerge until he is fully satisfied. All this he will do with his mouth wide open.
Clay likes laybacks, barrels, and not much else besides. You may complain he lacks variety, but you have to admire the intensity of his single-mindedness, the virtuosity of his shape-shifting display. His performance at Greenbush in Attractive Distractions was even better than Damien Hobgood’s in Strange Rumblings, which had already raised the bar; Marzo’s final wave there is a fine thing indeed.
THE LORD ADMIRAL HORATIO NELSON AWARD FOR THE BEST ONE-ARMED AIR REVERSE: BETHANY HAMILTON
There was only ever really going to be one winner here. Bethany Hamilton continues to inspire and amaze by keeping pace with the best female surfers in the world. This air is an excellent one by any standards, and with it she beat Tatiana Weston-Webb in the final of the charity event Battle of the Breasts, after having taken down Sally Fitzgibbons in the semis. “I am hopelessly, unbearably, irrevocably in love”, said Graham.