All photos by To Mane.
Indeed this was the contest that never ended. Deputy Commissioner Travis Logie never thought he'd say, "I think we're gonna pause for 2 hours and wait for the tide to sort itself out," more than eight times in two weeks…but Mother Nature is a cruel mistress in Portugal.
And sure, the first couple heats looked like God took an explosive diarrhea on the ocean's surface (the Lord poops in white-caps!) but I don't care how much Julian and Owen and Slater cried about how difficult this event was earlier in the week. 'Cause the rest of the boys turnt up in the slop and put on a show for Peniche beach.
To spare you a play-by-play, here's what we REALLY learned from today:
1. How to Surf a Final: PRAISE THA LAWD it wasn't an Adriano-Fanning final again because we wouldn't have seen the shit that went down today. Such as: Italo's giant 9.93-point backside reverse air. Or Filipe's 10-point foam-climb to nose-pick reverse to full rotation frontside grab air to foam climb combo. Or Filipe's floater to no-hands frontside air to air reverse to floater combo. Indeed, if we were forced to watch some crummy heats in the most underwhelming (at least for surf) contest this entire year, we can NOT say that we weren't thrilled with the way these two gents went HAM in the last heat.
2. Do Not Fuck with Italo: Gabriel Medina learned that the hard way. In a Quarterfinal that may have looked like a breeze for Gabs — and after a couple quick scores on the board — Italo Ferreira answered back and had Gabs comboed with an 18.27 heat total, thus shitting on Gabs' dream for the Yellow Jersey. And, yes, I will admit that I wrote off Italo myself earlier in the year (in print!) by likening his qualification to a shitty Christmas gift from your grandma. Harsh (printed) words that will forever haunt me! Now sitting 6th in the world, let it be known and SURFING magazine-sanctioned: A heat with Italo is not to be trivialized.
3. Filipe Toledo Has No Prudence: Indeed, Filipe will not go gentle into that good night. Rather he will rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' words, not mine.) Every time. Without fail. And for precisely that, do we love him. Yes readers, you've probably already seen our exciting film with Filipe entitled Spinning at the Speed of Now. It is rumored to win a few awards at Cannes and Sundance next Spring and has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film Made In Carlsbad. What's the point? Point is, that there's no difference in his SATSON clips as there are in his WSL heats. Fucker sees a ramp — he gon' punt. No questions. Kid even Babe Ruth-pointed his Final-win to center-field before the heat. The nerve!
4. Pipeline's Gonna Give Me A (Another) Hemorrhoid: Right now after this whacky-ass event there are seven men on tour that could actually win the world title. How cool is that?! The scenarios and story-lines dazzle me in my sleep like the wetdreams I'd get from malaria-prophylactics on my first trips to Indonesia. (Larium, amiright?) Mick, Filipe and Adriano are now within, like, 400-points of each other! Gabs on their heels. The Banzai Pipeline, the fate of our sport's treacherous Reckoner! —Beau Flemister