Tis the season…
Not football season. Instead of getting all revved up about ogres who punch their lovers in the head and bash their kin with tree branches, let’s talk about surfing! It’s world title season, ladies, gentlemen and people who push mongo. Today concluded the men’s 2014 Hurley Pro and women’s Swatch Pro at Lower Trestles. With only three events left for both genders, we now have a clear look at both races — how could you not be jolly about that? We felt some thunder down by the tracks. Now please, let me tell you about it.
There wasn’t anything ladylike about the surfing the gals were doing. Or at least not Stephanie Gilmore. She choke-slammed her second win of the year today. Her final act was probably the best women’s surfing we’ve seen all year — believe those 19.50 points. Sheer power, all legs like an antelope, yet with flare that stood out like a person dressed in rave gear at a funeral. Steph now sits in second place overall, dangerously close to her sixth throne. Sally Fitzgibbons placed second with knife-like surfing, but she didn’t look quite as powerful as Steph. Still, she’s the current world number one. Coco Ho and Johanne Defay are also on the happy list for make the semis.
We’re at capacity…
You know what’s the thing about podiums? They’re not big enough for eight men — hardly big enough for two, if we’re being frank. But eight dudes showed up this morning with headphones in their ears and a win in their eyes. These four men went down swinging in the quarters…
Mick Fanning: Surfing like Mick Fanning can only get you so far at Lowers these days. While the guy still has one of the best — if not the best — techniques on tour, his shtick just ain’t suited for Lowers where a guy like Jordy Smith is gonna be chucking tail.
Gabriel Medina: Yesterday, I called Ace Buchan sneaky the most dangerous guy everywhere. Today, he backed me up by beating Gabe. Thanks you handsome son of a bitch!
Adriano de Souza: Do you love Adriano yet? You should. He’s really something, but he wasn’t today against John John Florence.
Joel Parkinson: Surfing like Joel Parkinson can only get you so far at Lowers these days. While the guy still has one of the best — if not the best — styles on tour, his shtick just ain’t suited for Lowers where a guy like Kelly Slater is going to be fighting for a world title.
And so the semis were set. Ace Buchan and Jordy Smith got us rolling with
some really good MDMA a somewhat slow heat teeming with mid-ranged scores. The guy whose nickname isn’t the best card in blackjack won. Then came John John Florence and Kelly Slater. A few weeks ago, we saw this same duel at tow-able Teahupo’o. Today, Lowers. John John got revenge and found himself in the his first final of the year.
Jordy and John John for a final at Lowers? We’ll take it! It was finally starting to feel like 2014. While both surfers are at the summit of progressive surfing, they took entirely different approaches into the heat. Jordy did turns — massive ones, sure, but there’s something faintly frustrating about watching a guy you know can land an air that’d involuntarily force you to make a sex noise do cutbacks. But hell, if that’s what the score-punchers want to see… John John did these wild, laybacky fin throw reverses every wave. We love him.
And it all came down to an exchange. John had the lead, Jordy had priority. The guy who didn’t grow up in Hawaii and never dated Taylor Swift caught a wave and Hulk smashed. The guy who never pissed off a group of French fisherman and didn’t marry Lyndal Jarvis caught the next one and did a tail throw. It was close.
While the judges thought hard and long, the beach announcer decided to do a crowd poll. He said, “Clap your hands if you think Jordy Smith won!” Nobody clapped. Then he said, “Clap your hands if you think John John Florence won!” Nine people clapped. None of them were judges; Jordy got the score and the double-u.
They say that tomorrow…
Parlez vous Français? —Brendan Buckley, MD
Hurley Pro at Trestles Final Results:
1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.50
2: John John Florence (HAW) 15.87
Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles Final Results:
1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 19.50
2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.03
Hurley Pro at Trestles Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.10 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.30
SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 15.10 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.10
Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.84 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 13.03
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.04 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.66
Hurley Pro at Trestles Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.87 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.53
QF 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 17.43 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.77
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 17.37 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 9.26
QF 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.87 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 11.33
Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.23
QF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.67 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.00
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.44 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.33
QF 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) 16.20 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.13