Surf: Overhead and clean
Events held: Men’s round two
Nature’s call: I love big hooks
Predicted: More head high slashing “Ya know, Bells; it’s a kind of wave where you don’t have to do anything—it does it for ya.” Can I begin to tell you how right he is — the OCC? Maybe I shouldn’t; cause for many of these ultra hot dudes he’s not. They struggle. They bounce between turns; good turns no doubt, but they do a few of these costly things none-less. Not like the OCC; he rides this wave exactly as he says you should. At 37 years of age today he did it again; sealed another one for the record books, and those books are getting thick. NO ONE in this world holds backhand speed like Occhilupo. NO ONE! This man is not a loser: he scored 18.33 over South African, Greg Emslie, and in a way that shouldn’t be judged by such systems. For 9.5 of that score he really could have earned it all, and then some, it was that proper. To show what it did to some old bearded VB swilling loc viewing next to me, it was something like this; these three hooks of fury: “Uh, Ohgg, Ahrr—no bloody waaayey.” And of course the OCC came in with his old koala buggered grin, like he hadn’t really done a thing at all.He made it clear he doesn’t belong in the loser’s round here at Bells, as so did wildcards Adam Robertson and Ben Dunn. After being waxed by Slater and Andy yesterday, respectively, today, these two made big impressions. Bells is a frightful comp to surf as an underdog. It holds big dividends, as shown by Mick Fanning in 01′– but it has to be a scare. Can you imagine their nerves? Here’s a picture of what it’s like: As the heat approaches the CT’ heroes can be found up perched in their VIP tent having a massage or mud-bath or such thing, and the whole lot of them hang together as it’s an area especially built for them, where no wildcard should ever dare to go. The wildcard challenger will sit below, on the beach, pacing about, talking over all the scenarios and maybe some random bits too to clear the mind. Then at about three and a half minutes to go the hero will jog down the famous Bells steps with his two shiny new boards for all to see, where he’ll stab the one nose down in the sand, rub a little sand on his wax at the water’s edge and then trot up the point, again, for all to see. The underdog takes a deep breath, flips a last, quick smile at his crew and then goes out to straight smoke his poster-boy to hope and do it again a few more times and maybe begin to grow into a poster-boy himself. It’s a strange process. Dunn rocked Kieran Perrow’s consistent conservatism to its core, and Robertson took advantage of Cory Lopez’ weakness to slow rights with critical flow. And both had the crowd on its feet. Something Dunn described best when turning cherry red, “The other day I couldn’t connect with one section, and now, well, I’m just so — stoked.” To end today, Bruce Irons was not stoked. He copped his second 33rd of as many events in his new and illustrious WCT career. He went out in the loser’s round and Brazil’s Victor Ribas loved every moment of it. When Victor came in from their 25-minute heat, he just didn’t know what to say. Had he really just so unthinkably dissected Bruce Irons? “I saw his waves, when I heard the score I can’t believe it, 5. . .3.3. . .” Bruce caught rails, what can I say — it’s weird, too, cause in the big stuff those little bobbles of his sometimes add to his sly nonchalance, like, “Oops, was that a bloody big tube behind me?” But the same is about useless in the CT; up against the high-tide Bells cliff, up against Victor kickin’ it like Robby Mob dosed on a phat tape of La Vida Loca. It’s funny, too, cause Bruce still got mobbed for the most autographs, least til’ he could shake off enough of them hounds to haul up the fabled stairs thinking of who knows what — hopefully his next event.— Hagan KelleySpecial Note: Mick Lowe passed his heat today with keen strategy and solid form, over local wildcard Steve Hughes. Can he still pull out another big result?Special Note 2: Local Troy Brooks, performing in the stead of injured Shane Beschen went off, scoring the only 9.5 next to Occhilpo while chapping Damien Hobgood’s hide. Rip Curl Pro Round Two Heats (1st>Rnd3; 2nd=33rd receives US$3,400)
{{{H1}}}: Ben Dunn (AUS) 15.17 def. Kieren Perrow (AUS) 14.77
{{{H2}}}: Michael Lowe (AUS) 13.{{{57}}} def. Steven Hughes (AUS) 10.94
{{{H3}}}: Adam Robertson (AUS) 15.5 def. Cory Lopez (USA) 12.5
H4: Dean Morrison (AUS) 15.33 def. Zane Harrison (AUS) 6.07
H5: Luke Hitchings (AUS) 14.17 def. Phil MacDonald (AUS) 5.0
H6: Troy Brooks (AUS) 16.73 def. Damien Hobgood (USA) 14.6
H7: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 18.33 def. Greg Emslie (ZAF) 15.83
H8: Eric Rebiere (FRA) 13.67 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 7.07
H9: Victor Ribas (BRA) 14.67 def. Bruce Irons (HAW) 9.16
H10: Pat O’Connell (USA) 14.43 def. {{{CJ}}} Hobgood (USA) 12.54
H11: Guilherme Herdy (BRA) 17.17 def. Tim Curran (USA) 15.67
H12: Toby Martin (AUS) 14.6 def. Peterson Rosa (BRA) 14.0
H13: Paulo Moura (BRA) 15.1 def. Armando Daltro (BRA) 11.33
H14: Richard Lovett (AUS) 15.94 def. Trent Munro (AUS) 11.66
H15: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 16.5 def. Kalani Robb (HAW) 13.6
H16: Michael Campbell (AUS) 11.77 def. Nathan Webster (AUS) 11.2