Lay Day At The Rip Curl Pro

Conditions: 1-3 feet and clean, but too small for heats
Events Held: Nada thing
Nature's Call: Warm out today. Warm yesterday. Even warmer today.
Prediction: Done-day by Monday?

As expected, the surf petered out and the contest site was a ghost town. Dane Sharp from Rip Curl said, "Honestly, it's not looking great for tomorrow either. Chances are we'll get underway with the women on Saturday and try to run the blokes Sunday/Monday." If that's the case, waves permitting, this could all wrap up over the long weekend. Someone would be shaking a miniature bell like a crying child within {{{100}}} hours. But other reports are less optimistic - a Wednesday or Thursday finish is more likely, according to a slightly drunk Coastalwatch employee at Media Night (more on that later).

Even on an off-day, this is a great place to be. It's the Surf Coast Shire - that's the real name. Surfing: great, coasts: good, Shires: fantastic. These people can name every one of my children. It lives up to the moniker, too - the whole town of Torquay is surf-themed. The main strip is comprised of giant Rip Curl, Billabong, Globe and Quiksilver stores; the street signs point out surf breaks; the local newspapers are essentially surf mags.

"Sudden death a killer," reads the Geelong Advertiser, in reference to the Rip Curl Pro's new single-elimination format. "Plus: Mick Fanning Poster." Parko and Steph Gilmore grace the front page of the Surf Coast Times. Another paper features a {{{review}}} of Rip Curl's heated H-Bomb wetsuit. What a country!

But besides Luke Egan doing SUP laybacks at Jan Juc, there wasn't much action in the water today. The highlight of the day wasn't surf related at all. It was Rip Curl's annual Media Night party at corporate headquarters in Torquay - a raucous affair complete with ice sculptures, hot tubs, {{{Rabbit}}} Bartholomew's dancing, and even Michael Peterson making a speech. As the night wore on, the techno got louder, and Fred Patacchia took to the DJ stage for some spinning of his own.

Stay tuned as the swell builds (hopefully) and focus shifts back to the ocean.