Controversy? You bet.
Cutting edge surfing at it's best? Heck yeah!
Step inside and let's take a look at what went down at the Trestles Hurley Pro...
- Trestles was won on the rail. For all of the talk about ramps, new-school-above-the-lip surfing and high performance expectations, it was the surfers with solid turns and flow who did well. Filipe knew what was up. Sure he took to the air a few times, but check his R3 demolition of Caio; it was all rail. Jordy knew it too. Next year, when you’re selecting your Lowers team, don’t forget about the points that are won on the face of the wave.
- The judging was a massive talking point for this contest. After two days of big upsets and controversial losses everyone from surf mag journalists to Facebook comments hacks were throwing their opinions in the ring. It got so topical that Stab re-ran an old article discussing the whole judging dilemma from this time last year (we strongly suggest you read it, then go back and watch Jordy claim his way through the event in the heat analyser – gold). Twitter was predictably set alight, with handles such as #W$L and #corruptjudgeswsl gaining a little traction. Our 2c? Gabe probably could have been given the nod in his tight heat with Tanner, but the score for that 8.3 was reflective of a bunch of scoring compensations that the judges were making throughout the heat. See the always insightful Kelly Slater’s comment on the heat for further detail. Given his luck with some close calls in the past (the QuikPro final against Joel to name but one), I think Gabe just needs to chill out and take the long view. Conspiracy theorists are like Adam Sandler in the 90s; amusing at first, but just plain stupid and annoying after too much exposure.
- What’s with the whole “Due to California State Beach Park rules, consecutive weekend days of competition are not allowed”? Bullshit I say. Nothing beats the solid package of consecutive days of competition to decide a winner. I don’t care if the Trestles locals miss a weekend of surf; if they don’t want a circus, then they shouldn’t live in the big top. Start the fucking thing on a Monday if that helps, but for Huey’s sake don’t screw with the momentum of the contest like that.
- Word to WSL team: Barton Lynch needs to be on the commentary panel permanently. Today. How insightful, pragmatic and downright listenable is that guy? I just want to hear more. Maybe swap Potz for the BL?
- The world title race just opened the hell up. Now people are talking Jordy and even Slater as threats. Why not though? Apparently these things can’t be scripted.
- Tanner! The kid was like a ranga on red cordial at a 5yo birthday party. The state park authority should have an AVO on him after seeing the way he repeatedly hit that Trestles lip. It was refreshing to see the shake-ups that he and Simpo were able to deliver to the world title race as well. Bring on the Euro w/c stars…
- Ribeiro! Could this kid qualify? He’s already more-than-doubled his season points total from 4750 to 9950 in one event. His ranking has jumped from 38th to 30th. Word is that he was legitimately battling that achilles injury for a big part of the season’s beginning. so maybe we're only just getting to see the real Alex. An injury-free body and a little new-found confidence can go a long way, so maybe Europe could see more success for the young Brazilian.
- How much do surf fans want to boycott Swatch after this event? If they are anything like me, they will have been punching the mute button each time it came on their screen. Seriously, who markets this stuff?
- Kanoa’s black cat run of 13th places needs to stop: he’s on the cusp of qualification but will need at least another 9th to ensure he’s on tour next year. Portugal finishes damned close to Halloween, maybe his mojo juju will change there?
- The Beach Break series was good fun. I personally liked the Seabass vid best, but all of them were a refreshing slice of self-deprecating humour from a sports body that, at times, can take itself a little too seriously. It should be noted that the timing of the Porta-led judging jokes were probably less than ideal for this event.
- Ryan Callinan is now the worst ranked regular WCT surfer, equal with Tanner Gudauskas on 6500.
Congratulations to the following fantasy winners:
Surf-Stats WSL group (event) – Surf-Stats writer Felonious Crunk took this baby out with an impressive score of 725.38 and a world ranking of 14 for the event. He also won the Electric sunglasses from our friends at Lipped podcast via their league (*or did he? They're claiming no prize is available this contest). I still say it was a fluke, as Felonious has performed horribly for most of the season.
Best Possible Team
Worst Possible Team
Surf-Stats Projection Reflections:
Surf Stats WSL Numbers: 490.86 (18,456th overall)
Both Tier A and both Tier C picks nosedived, as did half of our Tier B. Filipe and Joel were the only successes.
Surf-Stats FS Numbers: 976 (879th overall)
We had first and second here, which saved us. Slater came through, as did Jadson, but otherwise it was all pretty mediocre really.
These winners are in the running to claim the overall SS awards at the end of the year:
Best wave: Sheesh. After Tahiti, this hardly feels fair. Tanner got a 10, but I’m not convinced it was the best wave of the contest. I was super impressed by Filipe Toledo's 2nd scoring wave (9.0) in his Round 3 match up with Caio Ibelli. So much speed and aggression, with knife edge accuracy.
Best Manoeuvre: In a contest of manoeuvres this was always going to be a tough pick. I'm actually gonna go with Filipe here again, his 9.77 in Round 4. The second to last turn of the wave, a monster under-the-lip fin hack to reverse. Oh yeah, and he rode out with speed to tag the end section too. Bravo.
Best heat: Medina v. Gudauskas, Round 3 . Apart from the fact that both surfers were going hammer-and-tongs on the crumbly Lowers right (highest average wave score of the event), the drama was palpable. Wilko had gone down in the previous round, John John was eliminated only minutes before, leaving the door wide open for Gabs to snatch the yellow jersey and possibly the title. Sure, the other contenders went down to low seeds and wildcards, but that couldn't happen to Gabs too, could it? Turns out it could, and the rest of the year just got a whole lot more interesting.
Biggest disappointments: Plenty to choose from here. We'll steer clear from the obvious and go with a purely stats based observation. Mick Fanning began the contest with the highest projected Average Heat Score (14.64) and projected Total Point Score (140.58), and despite flashes of brilliance, failed to get past an in-form Stu Kennedy in Round 3.
Most impressive: Gotta go with Jordy here. Didn't drop a heat, didn't falter. Always attacked, always critical. It paid off with a trophy and a fresh shot at the title! Good to see him back in the saddle.
France is our next destination, kicking off on October 4th so stay tuned for all your fantasy surf needs.