Today was a hold day. Which is not that surprising, seeing as we’re in France. The French can hold like no other race on earth. And you can’t rally or seethe about the hold ups, like when you don’t get served or your bill hasn’t come or some Frenchman flat tires you with an indifferent pfff. No, you just sit back and wait and act cool cause it’s France and it’s the French way of life.
That meant that with the world’s best surfers and punchy three foot rights, I could stop gawking at the testicle-achingly beautiful women, stop intravenously injecting Class a coffee and watch some surfing.
So anyway, there was a hold call at 9am, and then at 2.30 and then at 3.30 and then 4.00 and bang, finally, with the low tide finally showing, a 4.30 start was made. The aim was to finish as many heats before the French globule of a sun sunk into the Atlantic. That meant that with the world’s best surfers and punchy three foot rights, I could stop gawking at the testicle-achingly beautiful women, stop intravenously injecting Class a coffee and watch some surfing.
And I tell you what, with Pancho’s first turn, we were, officially, mind-torquingly, off hold. There was nothing hold about his full-tilt power shralp that sent dams of spray over the adoring and semi-clad French crowd that line the shore squealing and gawking in delight. He couldn’t back it up though, and was dusted in the last minutes as Aussie Dayan Neve floated his way to a round 3 birth.
“Six, for a floater?” Asked Andy Irons after Dayan’s clincher, to anyone who was listening, “this is ain’t the Richie Collins days. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m a floater guy, luv em, but you know?” Yeah Andy, I know.
Bobby Martinez also squeaked through a tube and his heat and for his trouble scored a minor ribbing from the boys. “You got points for a head dip Bobby?” laughed CJ Hobgood, “imagine what Bruce is going to do out there now.” Bruce, waxing up, laughed and damn straighted and skipped down to the beach for some shorey madness. “Fuck, I’m still having fun, and I’m losing all the goddamned time,” he’d said earlier, and I didn’t doubt him.
I’ll tell ya what, though; a tube by Trent “Knackers” Munro was no head dip, a pig dog special as the four-foot swell started to arrange itself on the slab of shorebreak sand. He went mad on another one too. Lucky too, cause Dingo Morrison surfed the wave of the day, a filthy tube and searing cutty, but he needed a 15.0, which is always hard. And on it went, the surfing is still going on now, but it’s getting harder to report on. There’s fading light and retina glare. Oh, there’s also A-frame wedges starting to pile up on both sides of the comp area, and they are getting me thinking about all sorts of things.
Tomorrow, early on, sees Fanning and Slater and Andy Irons all up. Slater and Irons have been hanging around, watching, laughing. Fanning’s hasn’t been around though. The front-runner is playing his cards close to his chest. You can sense the world title race. Actually, you can sniff it. It’s in the air. It starts, properly, tomorrow and I’ll be here. Now though, now I’m going surfing. You can’t blame me. You would, I know you would.
Quiksilver Pro Round 1 Heat Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Pancho Sullivan (HAW), Josh Kerr (AUS), Dayyan Neve (AUS)
Heat 2: Taylor Knox (USA), Ricky Basnett (ZAF), Tim Reyes (USA)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA), Luke Stedman (AUS), Mark Occhilupo (AUS)
Heat 4: Dean Morrison (AUS), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Trent Munro (AUS)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Cory Lopez (USA), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 6: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), Mikael Picon (FRA)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 9: Mick Fanning (AUS), Michael Campbell (AUS), Marlon Lipke (DEU)
Heat 10: Andy Irons (HAW), Ben Dunn (AUS), Michel Bourrez (PYF)
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Raoni Monteiro (BRA), Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 12: Tom Whitaker (AUS), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Victor Ribas (BRA)
Heat 13: Daniel Wills (AUS), Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA), Michael Lowe (AUS)
Heat 14: Chris Ward (USA), Royden Bryson (ZAF), Shaun Cansdell (AUS)
Heat 15: Bruce Irons (HAW), Phillip MacDonald (AUS), Greg Emslie (ZAF)
Heat 16: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Troy Brooks (AUS), Bernardo Miranda (BRA)