It’s a word that tends to be overused. Sometimes, it’s said when an ex-someone walks into a bar shortly after an enraged breakup. Other times, it’s said when a wave in San Diego finds a way to spit its little guts out. And even other times, it’s said when somebody makes an off-kilter remark that doesn’t really offend anybody, but takes away from the normal flow of the conversation nonetheless. Those things aren’t truly heavy.
Today, the 2015 Billabong Pipeline Masters, was.
The morning started with sullen news. World Title frontrunner Mick Fanning woke to word that his eldest brother had past away. At first, there were rumors of Mick withdrawing from the event. But that’s not the champion we know and adore. Mick decided to compete and he found a way to win crucial heats. He hasn’t yet spoke of the tragedy in public, but he was asked about it in a roundabout way during a post-heat interview with Peter Mel. The champ choked up and just said that there was something going on in his personal life. The interview ended right then and there. It was heavy.
Pipe, by the way, was a mutant today. It was perfect at times and cruel at others. Hard to read and even harder to surf. Within the first few heats of the morning, Bede Durbidge was on a stretcher on his way to the hospital. The end result was a fractured pelvis and thankfully nothing more — but still, heavy.
Meanwhile, the World Title race remained fast and alive. Gabriel Medina, Adriano de Souza and Mick Fanning are all still in the Quarterfinals and the big trophy is still in the keeper’s hands. It’d mean a lot of different things to each of them for different reasons, so tomorrow should have a lot to say.
Now here’s a gallery of 34 photos from today — a considerably heavy amount, in our opinion. –Brendan Buckley
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