It's a Saturday, oh yeah, sunseekers, it’s super Saturday in Surf City. I'd been kinda hazy on the chronological side of things. Every day here at the US Open had been kinda blurring together into one long endless summer's day. Each morning, for the last eon had been eerily, uncannily, similar. A hazy dawn would reveal the same three foot running south swell. By midday the high tide and slight onshore would have chased the haze and the clouds away, and the WQS high-speed warriors would be detonating the Huntington left zippers into the pier, or massaging the slower rights into the packed beach and bleachers.
But this morning things were a little off kilter – for one, the sun was burning, bright and early and for two, about 50 extra dudes were on "my" northside bank at six in the morning. Cunningly and without the aid of any computer calenders or sun dials, I figured it was the weekend. That meant more crowds, more action, more play. Down at the Honda US Open, the flick had been switched from mind bending, ear balling madness, into heart bursting, brain frying chaos.
So it was nice to sit down with Red Bull Rising coach Andy King, a sage of strategic tranquility in a maelstrom of silicone and sexed up sun. "I'm telling my boys, this is a pretty simple thing to do today. 25 minutes, two lefts, two big turns and back it up with a right if they pop up," said the King. "It's fool proof and it's been working all week."
And so when one his of "boys", Tim Boal, goes out and locks in two of the those lefts, belts two massive turns and wins his heat, by a mile, I ain't gonna question this keep it simple stupid plan. I do, however question one spectator's stupidity as he is walking around the oiled-up seething beach masses with not one, but two, huge snakes around his neck. I mean, there are attention seekers, and then there are freaks sporting a python necklace.
Of course though, back in the water, this simple plan doesn't work for everyone – some surfers feel the pressure, knowing that by surviving just one more heat they are through to the Sunday and, more importantly, that's a solid keeper result. And so it gets to them – its the competition equivalent of surfing with a snake around your neck. Today, those guys went, while the Cory Lopez's, the Timmy Reyes and Brett Simpson's of the world's powered through, surfing fast and loose and easy with no snakes in sight.
Eventually, I was spat out of the competition site, the half hour exit a volatile mix of sand storms and pretty girls, raging drum and bass, moto throttles, bmx loops and God knows what else. I saw about 500 girls lining up for an autograph with Aussie aerial heartthrob, Julian Wilson, and joked with him that he should start a kissing booth – I reckon if he did, the line-up would have doubled. All there was for to do now was rest up for Sunday – the final day where anything, and everything may be possible. I know Kingy and Tim Boal will be sticking to a simple plan, and I'm tipping that just may be the only way to survive the madness. If I do survive, I'll let you know.
GO211 LIVE feat. the Honda U.S. Open of Surfing pres. by O'Neill Results:
Round of 48 (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Hodei Collazo (ESP) 15.16, Dusty Payne (HAW) 13.83, Taylor Knox (USA) 13.83, Sterling Spencer (USA) 5.60
Heat 2: Tim Reyes (USA) 13.00, Tim Boal (FRA) 12.56, Kieran Horn (USA)12.00, Pablo Gutierrez (ESP) 7.97
Heat 3: Nick Rozsa (USA) 15.33, Damien Fahrenfort (ZAF) 14.07, Eneko Acero (CRI) 13.00, Adam Robertson (AUS) 11.27
Heat 4: Brett Simpson (USA) 18.87, Dane Gudauskas (USA) 12.50, Jesse Heilman (USA) 10.60, Evan Geiselman (USA) 10.33
Heat 5: Chris Davidson (AUS) 13.56, Cory Lopez (USA) 13.10, Corey Zeims (AUS) 12.73, Dustin Barca (USA) 11.07
Heat 6: Adam Melling (AUS) 13.33, Eric Geiselman (USA) 12.67, Greg Emslie (AUS) 12.67, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 12.33
Heat 7: Chris Waring (USA) 17.00, Kirk Flintoff (AUS) 11.94, Gony Zubizarreta (ESP) 9.70, Charles Martin (GLP) 9.20
Heat 8: Michael Bourez (PYF) 16.74, Torrey Meister (HAW) 15.20, Patrick Beven (FRA) 12.00, Kekoa Bacalso (HAW) 6.16
Heat 9: Roy Powers (HAW) 16.17, Nathaniel Curran (USA) 14.76, Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.23, Joel Centeio (HAW) 11.27
Heat 10: Shaun Cansdell (AUS) 11.96, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.17, Hugo Savalli (REU) 9.83, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 9.34
Heat 11: Yuri Sodre (BRA) 13.40, Gabe Kling (USA) 13.10, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.40, Jesse Merle-Jones 4.79
Heat 12: Nathan Yeomans (USA) 15.16, Marlon Lipke (DEU) 13.63, Chris Ward (USA) 13.53, Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.40