26 February, 2012 26 February, 2012

Jarvi in Oz: Quiksilver Day One – Just off the Jet

Things have been happening fast at the Quiksilver Pro. We have two rounds under the belt, and there have been so many highlights, as well as lowlights, that it seems this event is running away with us. So let’s slow it down. Let’s bring it back. Let’s get a little bit of humanity behind the grinding, whirring, belching machine that is a World Tour event. Let’s. Slow. It. Down.

I arrived, JOJ’ed* out of my head and stumbling around in a world of jet-lag fog, dehydration and sleeping tablet confusion. (Note to self: flying dehydrates). It was daytime and my body was telling me to sleep. Wasn’t asking me to sleep, wasn’t suggesting that maybe I have a power nap or a quick snooze on the couch. It was telling me that my system needed to crash for a while and restart later, with a bit of choke. Still, with the inherent denial of age and latent jealousy of youth I persisted, and wobbled on down to the contest site to see what was happening. The waves were terrible, and as per whenever the waves are kak, the girls were in the water. I figured that if ever there was going to be a time to catch up on the long lost sleep and to regain my position in the order of life, this was the time.

I dozed off. Who knows how long I slept on the couch, but I was woken up by a roar from the crowds on the beach (staying quite nearby, I am) and I lurched up from the couch, lurched towards the lift and lurched on downwards and lurched off to the beach. I was a lurcher. As I approached the hill from D-Bah side, I spotted our champion, our 11-times world champ, our 40-year-old inspiration paddle for a bomb. Our man, the people’s champ, had the junior contingent of Garret Parkes and Kolohe Andino in his heat, but he schooled them in a manner that only school kids can be schooled. Big fat barrel to spit to cruise onto the flats to cheering to a 9.87 and it was business as usual for The Chromed One.

Jordy Smith had a poor heat, being beaten at the last minute in his first round heat, and Travis followed the same route. The rain came down, the commentators droned on. Despite this, the crowds continued to swell, and every man and his dog came down. There’s Barton Lynch, and over there’s Glen Mr X Winton. There’s Tom Whittaker, and there’s Jordy. There’s Bede Durbidge, with his wife close to his side as per usual, family in tow. Travis is around. Mick Fanning is ruling. Parko is talking a mile a dozen. He is energy. Rare, and not like the usually languid Joel.

The waves were on the way up, and the wind was also moving along the scale. Getting stronger, and bringing with it some light rain. I decided to walk around to the alternate venue, Duranbah, known as D-Bah to all locals, blow-ins and to anyone who reads surf mags. That’s when I saw the bank. It was the longest, biggest pool of sand I had ever seen. It was the sort of sand that if anyone living near Bruces Beauties saw something similar they would weep. Big, open manly tears. It was the sand of joy. I knew what was coming. It was time to break out the Tim Tams and Bunderberg and coke. Time to sugar out. More barrels were en route. I wasn’t going to surf them, but my eyeballs were going to watch them, which isn’t nearly as good at all, in fact it’s pretty crap, but it’s all that I had. All I had were my eyeballs.

*Just Off The Jet

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