The story of today was last night. Nuit Samedi is always a big one during this event, but the Tony Hawk skate demo took it to a new level. 10,000 people packed the Place du Landais to watch the thing go down on a huge ramp overlooking the ocean. Pure madness. The revelry went to another level late into the night and spilled over to the morning where a number of top 44 surfers looked sluggish in their Round 2 heats. It didn't help matters that the air was around 50 degrees and the surf was a 2-3 feet and soft.
Bobby Martinez and Jeremy Flores were the early standouts with both looking fast and crisp on the little Estagnot lefts. Bobby won despite breaking the nose of his board in the shorebreak while Jeremy looks to be making a miracle recovery from recent ankle surgery. In what's becoming a recurring theme in contests held less than perfect waves, the Irons brothers had shockers. Andy didn't turn up for his heat allowing the unfortunately named Brazilian Jihad Khodr to post a rare Round 2 heat win. When interviewed after it, Jihad quipped, "My grandmother could have won that heat."
Andy reportedly citing a need for a break from competition was reportedly headed back to Hawaii and chances are we won't see him in a contest jersey again until the Pipe Masters. Bruce needn't have bothered showing up as well after posting another 2.1 heat total in his heat with Mick Campbell.
The good news is that the dreaded Round 2 is now done and dusted and we're looking at only 2 full days on competition left with a solid swell on the horizon. The famous La Graviere bank – home to sand pits breaking right on the beach– hasn't really been doing it lately, but could potentially come to life on Tuesday.
We'll be raising a toast tonight hoping it does.