1 March, 2012 1 March, 2012

Jarvi in Oz – Part IV: You ‘feel’ a ten point ride

A perfect ten-point ride is usually associated with, in my insular, biased and sheltered little opinion, a tube ride. Be it a Pipeline bomb, a Teahupo’o throater or a totally impossible Impossibles section, I just always seem to marry the two in my mind’s eye. Tubes and tens. If someone gets a sick pit, it’s ok to award it with ten points for a perfect ride.

If someone, and no fingers pointed here, gets a fun little runner and combines a number of different moves like foam climbs and floaters and finners, it has to be one very, very special wave to get a ten point score. A 9 point 5 and I would have grudgingly accepted it, a 9 point 7 and I would have muttered something under my breath about the lack of professionalism in our sport and the future of professional surfing, but a ten-point ride?

In a recent interview in some magazine somewhere that my clouded brain can barely remember I vaguely recall an interview with ASP judges and head judges and all of them funny people, and the only thing that I liked in that piece (in my defence Nathan, there were a bunch of off-putting photos of middle-aged men’s faces in the article) was the fact that it was stated by the head judge that you ‘feel’ a ten point ride.
That is to be liked.

I’ve seen ten-point rides at Supers, I’ve seen ten-pointers at Pipeline and I’ve seen ten-point rides at New Pier. You do, you kind of feel them. Remember Bottle’s 10-pointer at the carpark section a few years ago at Supers? All you could feel was 10 points. Wes O’Driscoll at New Pier for the Goodwave? Tens all the way. Jordy at Ballito for his last King Of The Groms? He got three tubes and ten points for one wave and there was no doubt in any one’s mind about it.

Anyway, hats off to the guy who got it at Snapper. He was ripping, and he was probably a bit angry seeing as he had been beaten (just) by our man Jordy in the heat previous. He also claimed to have been stung by a bluebottle in the water, which got him all fired up to do those radical foam climbs and stuff. He solidly eliminated Julian Wilson, and went on to comment on growing rivalries.

Owen Wright has also been doing his thing.

Martin Potter in the commentary booth was loving the jostling and crowding of the surfers that was going on in round four and five in and around the tiny Snapper take off zone, remembering with nostalgia and a fair choking back of the tears of battles between himself and Gerr (Brad Gerlach) on the tour many years ago.

Pottz is a great commentator. He has been there and done, that and the fact that he is still coherent let alone sharp-tongued and intelligent these days is a wonder. He talks from a place of pure and brutal experience, and he recounts wonderful stories of past battles and little snips of history that come back at him totally sporadically. A memory here, an anecdote there, a one liner from a heat past, a description of a certain wave that has stuck in the consciousness of surfing ever since it was ridden. Exciting stories from the golden years of professional surfing. Quips from when the sport was a ‘lock up your daughters here come the surfers’ type of sport.

The stories come at random, like tiny little traces of LSD escaping from his fat cells. He and Doherty bring colour to the commentary. Not that Pottz was ever an LSD user. That was left up to people like Robbie Page, who spent time in a Japanese jail or somewhere equally as dour to pay for his sins. I just bring it into the conversation because when Pottz was legend, it was that time. A magical time of luminous colours and imagination and free love and open-mindedness and progression. A time of power surfing and desperate, hungry surfers, hungry to stay on the tour, to stay away from the horrors of the army and the coils of manual labour and Ronald Reagan and PW Botha and taxation and domestic bliss that was beckoning with firm and open arms. To live the dream of professional surfing. A time before Twitter. Not that Pottz has an ounce of fat to exude, anyway.

‘There’s definitely something going on,” said Pottz of Jordy and his opponent, bumping rails and showing some emotion and the raising of hands, “Look at how close they are.” They were close. There was less than a point between them at the end of the heat, with Jordy getting the nod and going straight through to the quarters.

In closing, I think it’s time to make some calls. Just like people ‘feel’ ten point rides, I am feeling a winner for this contest and that person is Jordy. Yep, there you go. I went and said it: I am feeling Jordy. That makes two Jarvies feeling Jordy, so to speak. I am also feeling Slater, and I have a very slight feeling for Kerrzy, who bust such a high flyer yesterday I was thinking of catching him for a lift up the coast (I don’t have any wheels). If I was single and not happily married (hi babe) with a second kid on the way I would probably have a feeling for Rosy as well, but I would write about that for a different website altogether, and I would probably write under a pseudonym, like Norris O’Toole or something.

QF 1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Josh Kerr (AUS)
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
QF 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)

HEAT 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.20 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 15.43
HEAT 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 14.44 def. Heitor Alves (BRA) 9.84
HEAT 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.00 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.06
HEAT 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 14.03 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.27

HEAT 1: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 15.37, Owen Wright (AUS) 15.134, Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.00
HEAT 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.00, Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.13, Heitor Alves (BRA) 11.10
HEAT 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.44, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.30, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 11.04
HEAT 4: Taj Burrow (AUS) 17.34, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.33, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.33

SF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)

QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 18.03 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.47
QF 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 13.57 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.23
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.00 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.00
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.77 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.30

HEAT 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.13 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 10.80
HEAT 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.73 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.50
HEAT 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.13 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.50
HEAT 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.03 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.23

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