The Vans Europe Mentawai trip climaxed this Saturday p.m. (30/09/06) with a frenzied tube fest at HT’s, Hollow Tree’s or Lances’s Right, whichever you prefer. Jose Gregorio scored the waves and the shots of the trip during the very last session of the 10-day charter as a ten foot, 18 second groundswell was third reefing outside before doubling up into some mental 6ft pits just in front of a nasty reef outcropping affectionately referred to as the ‘Surgeons Table’.

That session rounded off an excellent trip aboard the Wijina led by surf guide Jordan (www.mentawaiislands.com) mostly in the southern part of the archipelago which saw Vans teamriders Hodei Collazo, Jose Gregorio, Alan Stokes, Nicholau von Rupp, Frederico Morais and Adelina Taylor ripping it up with SE Senior Photog Carlos Pinto on hand to document all. When I wasn’t out in the water tube-avoiding, lip-dodging and paddling out the way of sets, I videoed some of the action on my mobile phone. Check it out below.

We were somewhat cursed for much of the trip by the devil south wind, which has apparently been blowing pretty much non-stop down there for nearly three months. Nevertheless, we did score some great sessions at some well-known as well as lesser known breaks. The Basque Country’s Hodei Collazo left a day early to make it back to Europe in time for the waiting period of the Billabong Pro Mundaka 2006. It proved a wise decision, competition commenced on day 1 of the waiting period in 4ft surf. Follow Hodei’s progress on www.billabongpro.com

    Our trip in summary:

  • Best Reef Inspection: Jordan (Rag’s Left)
  • Best Stewardesses: Singapore Airlines.
  • Best Homework do-er (3hrs a day): Frederico Morais
  • Best strop: Stinky
  • Best other crew deterrent: Stinky
  • Best ‘don’t call me Stinky’: Stinky (to Frederico).
  • Best knuckles to da head: Jordan punching an ohno fish to death.
  • Worst Injury: Jose (bunk-confined with a bad back for 3 days.)
  • Best dead snake: Macheted python at Medusa’s.
  • Best supporting performance by a male: P.E. (swimming with the flash thingy in jellyfish infested waters like a true warrior.)
  • Best football discussion: Gregorio, Pinto, P.E., Pekanburu Airport, Sumatra. (Subject: England vs. Portugal match at Germany 2006 World Cup - Rooney, Ronaldo, et al. Discuss.)
  • Rip Van Winkle Slumber Award: Adelina Taylor
  • Best U2 signature model iPod: Alan Stokes.

Stay tuned to forthcoming SE issues to see the Vans Europe team ripping in Indo, and for now, be sure to check out P.E’s Mentawai movie, is im?

P.E.