All Photos: Jimmicane
According to the towering chunks of metal, wire and plastic that do most of the thinking for Google (and the rest of humanity), perfection is defined as the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. I'll concur. Just with a brief note.
Flaws are beautiful. And not because you want to make your girlfriend feel better about that stupid mole on her sometimes-dumb face, but because flaws create character and we need character. A perfect world would be a boring one.
Today at the Fiji Pro wasn't boring. Nor was it perfect. Round 3 was finished off, then capped by Rounds 4 and 5. There were moments of perfection — cough cough, Parko's ten, cough cough COUGH holy shit are you dying Owen Wright's twenty. But there were also plenty of flaws. Kelly Slater, who our beloved Jimmicane dubbed “Cloudbreak Jesus,” lost with a 7.34 heat total. Mick Fanning, who I’ll temporarily dub “Competition Jesus,” could hardly find a 6 in his heat. The waves were big and burly and difficult to read. Just apparently not for Owen Wright.
Back on Owen, his 20/20 Round 5 total was only the seventh perfect heat in the history of surfing. He earned it by manhandling two chunks of Cloudbreak with style that oozed with confidence. Owen may very well be the most under-appreciated surfer of this generation — he’s good at airs, he’s good on rail, he’s got a hell of a backhand and his tube riding?
It’s perfect, so to speak. But definitely not boring.
We’re now down to eight surfers left in the draw. The swell has plans to spend the night, and we should wake up tomorrow with slightly smaller waves complimented by fine conditions. More likely than not, a champion will be declared. My money’s on Owen. —Brendan Buckley
Special thanks to Namotu Island Resort.