Toledo Wins Trestles, Jordy Keeps the Yellow Jersey, Europe Looms.
The only person who was going to derail Jordy Smith at the Trestles racing track is also the first person to win two events this year and, once again, the world title scenario has another dangerous contender.
Filipe Toledo is the 2017 Hurley Pro Trestles Champion, defeating current world number 1 Jordy Smith in the final.
The 15.67 vs 9.80 weighting of the final score card told a tale of contrasting strategy. Toledo stayed busy, Jordy waited. And, considering the diminishing returns of a dying swell, the Toledo approach was the one that clicked and whirred to life in an ocean that gave very little back.
In the conditions on offer, Toledo has no equal when it comes to connectivity of turns, flow, variety and an almost impossible to believe change-up in speed. There’s simply zero resistance to what he wants out of the wave.
Jordy came close though, make no mistake about it. His searing, full arc rail work 9.0, the highest single wave score in the match-up, unfortunately had no backup as the Trestles lineup lay flat and lifeless as the clock ran down.
With a weak forecast, a lot happened quickly then everything slowed down, then a lot happened quickly again at the 2017 Hurley Pro Trestles.
Here are a few things that stood out under the ashen skies.
Jordy Has a Plan. And It’s Working.
When you break down Smith’s 2017 Hurley Pro Trestles campaign, an unexpected and up until now, unannounced quality stands out: the strength of a sound heat strategy.
Jordy’s talent and natural abilities have never been in question. If anything they’ve been a source of great frustration to his admirers, as the unflinching raw power and seamless flow has never been fully supported and harnessed by the authority of a clear plan.
In coach Chris Gallagher, Jordy clearly has a man who understand the strength of a single minded idea: Chose a strategy and implement it, don’t waver from it, don’t change it.
Scrub through the heat analyser and watch Smith’s heats. There’s a consistency to the heat plan. He waited for an exact type of wave. From round 1 to the final. He chose them, no matter how deep the clock ran, no matter how long the lulls. The Jordy of old would have surrendered to the panic of an unstructured plan. But the 2017 version goes in to Europe wearing the yellow jersey, powered by belief, backed by unquestionable talent and both Gallagher and Smith will know, the world title has never looked closer.
The Waiting Game Can End You.
Patience may be a virtue, but at Trestles with a deep period and inconsistent swell, it’s the kiss of death.
Almost every time someone dropped anchor and waited for the magical set wave, they lost. It happened to Nat Young, Mick Fanning (twice) and in the final to Jordy Smith.
Strategically, it’s a serious roll of the dice. You’re putting all you have to win on one wave. You need a pair of sixes, and after waiting 25 minutes, the ocean throws you back snake’s eyes.
In slow heats, the house always wins. And the loser doesn’t go back to the bar, he goes to a place far more crushing: defeat. At your own hands. To all those surfers who stubbornly adopted the patience game it became clear, that good things, don’t always come to those who wait.
The Hunger Games – Starring Jadson Andre
Jadson Andre has 9 mouths to feed. He’s the sole bread winner to an extended family. That’s not warm, fuzzy PR puff. It’s fact. And boy, does he surf hungry.
Every turn, rotator air, every minute of every heat, he’s in it to win it. There’s an urgency and purpose that drives Jadson forward. It’s visceral and done with heart.
You’re reminded of what it is Jadson’s surfing for, and it’s clearly not just for himself.
Perhaps someone should have reminded Kolohe Andino of that when he was beaten fair and square by Jadson in Round 2.
Kolohe’s petulant brat rant and dummy spitting in the locker room was shameful and embarrassing. A better man would have known he was defeated by a sharper opponent, and dare I say it, one who was hungrier to win.
Andino, to his credit, donated his winnings to the victims of Hurricane Irma, but for me, Jadson was one of the unsung performers at the 2017 Hurley Pro Trestles.
It’s great to have people like Jadson on tour, they break the mould of the cookie cutter competitor and stand for something far more relatable than just seeking two big scores.
Please Bring Back Barton!
Please will the WSL ensure his visas are in order for France and Portugal. The genuine energy, honesty and insights of Barton Lynch were a welcome relief to a broadcast that needed his effervescence and natural charisma that is unaffected by corporate rehearsal.
We need Barton Lynch or we’ll just get more of this:
Joe: Finals Day, Pottz.
Pottz: I’ll tell you what. Finals Day, Joe.
Joe: Finals Day. Let’s go to K.P. down on the beach, where it’s Finals Day.
Kieren: Yeah, Finals Day Joe. We’re on.
Joe: Thanks K.P. Finals Day out in the water, Strider.
Strider: I’m so excited it’s Finals Day out here in the water, Joe.
Joe: Me too, Strider. I love that it’s Finals Day.
Will Wilko and Owen bounce back in France, or will it be Jordy popping the champagne? Maybe Slater will re-emerge from his moon boot and win it going goofy? Will Barton Lynch be there… will they give him a beret?
See you there, I’m prepping the couch already!