TODAY AT THE QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE
Round 1 was held at a spot named 'Goalkeeper'. It's always been my least favourite position... apart from her on top...
Wilko (portly, ponytail) drops in while Kelly (bald, trim) does an air! This is because Wilko had 'priority'. Now, if that doesn't just thrill the shit out of you on so many levels, then you are not a fun person. And you and I will never be friends.
Today at the Quiksilver Pro France, stuff happened. Thrilling, fascinating, compelling, edge-of-your-seat stuff.
The thing is, I wasn't there.
When I got to the end of my road, instead of turning left to Estagnots, I turned right for the A63 autoroute south. To San Sebastian, Spain. To my date with Orlando Bloom. More of that in a bit.
Here's the highlights 'reel'.
In brief: It started off clean and glassy, but chilly. Commentators talked a lot about the tide, very possibly in the 19th century unit of feet. Sun was out. Gabriel Medina thanked God, probably, in his post heat pow-wow. That's an interesting take on the Hebrew God of the Old Testament/interventionist debate. For Gabs, God could've been trying to free the Nigerian school girls or saving Yazidi 3-year-olds from being thrown in mass graves. But no, God was a bit busy for all that, making sure Gabs got more points than Tiago or Dane, obviously.
Anyway, surf was fun as shit for you or I to go for an actual surf, but kinda not that much of a spectacle for jaded 38-year-olds such as myself to actually watch. I mean, when the QPF is held at kegging Graviere, as a spectacle, it's totally fucking rad. As good as any venue on tour to watch, bar Chopes and Pipe.
But when it's just dudes going along waves in Seignosse it's kinda, how can I put it... missable. I like it when you don't know if they are going to make the take off.
If you know they are going to make the take off, it does all seem kind of... futile.
The main news was that John John Florence, Earth's best surfer, wore shorts. It seems like he is the only one out of the whole tour who is taking this shit seriously. The only one who actually gets it, who realises the gravity of the situation. I mean, kids are watching, for fuck's sake.
Julian Wilson, meanwhile, in the very same heat, shamelessly wore a spring suit. Yep, short arms, short legs. That one. Just typing that sentence has me coming out in hives.
Unbelievably, God let him go through! God either switched his line of sight back to saving the Yazidi momentarily (before CJ's heat, presumably), or clearly doesn't have a fucking clue about proper neoprene shred attire etiquette. Meanwhile, almost everyone else wore full suits.
Around about the time the wind came up, I was getting ready to shake hands with Orlando (maybe even hug, if his security detail was light) in the outdoor museum of sculptor Eduardo Chillida. Not just shake hands/hug, but chat. Like me ask questions, him answer. That kind of thing. I was tasked with doing an interview with the cast and crew of 'Greasy Hands Preachers', a docu-flick about custom motorbikes. Anyway, I did the interview with the cast, the directors, but alas, no Orlando. Orlando stood me up. Dave Rasta did the exact same thing to me last year at the same Film Festival, the no show. From stood up by Rasta to stood up by Orlando in just 12 short months.
I, it seems, am seriously moving up in the world.