Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy May Day

It's the last day of April and the surf has returned to the Gold Coast after a week of tiny waves. Cool south westerly winds early and an easterly swell made for some fun conditions this morning. I figure it caught a lot of people by surprise as the line ups were fairly sparsely packed early. The dropping tide made a bit of difference and the news of the 'weekend' swell arriving a day early started to filter out.
We've got a long weekend here in Queensland for May Day so today could be a little entre for the next few days. Get out there and enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Chelsea gets her ducks in a row at the Drug Aware Pro

They were calling it Super Sunday, Ladies Day at the Drug Aware Pro and if all the punters around the contest had their money on one person it was that gal, Super Sally. At some stage this week Sally Fitzgibbons had earned the nick name (a typically Aussie thing) of Super Sally or variations of it. The buzz on the beach on the final day was all about a Super Sal vs Tyler Wright final. Both girls had been ripping and looked headed to the final showdown.
Out of the wings emerged the Super Mum, Chelsea Hedges, who had taken a year off the WCT tour in 2008 to have a baby and was now back in the women's contest mix and causing some havoc.
She hadn't won a contest since 2007 although she came very close in the WCT final in Portugal last year, which was won by Coco Ho. "I just ran out of steam in that final,' said Chelsea after arriving back on the beach today. '...I wasn't going to let it happen again."
Super Sal had racked the highest heat score of the whole contest, both mens' and women's, with an 18.43 points out of a possible 20 in the semis but couldn't repeat it in the final.She tried mighty hard and almost nailed it with her last ride. It put her into the lead but Chelsea had split the peak with her, gone right, and snatched the lead back as the hooter sounded.
The weird thing today was from the quarters on there was one natural footer and one goofy in each heat and to make it even weirder most of the rides were backhand waves. Chelsea had one forehand wave in the final while Sally surfed left the whole time.

Just a a foot note, the DNA flow runs deep in OZ. Felicity Palmateer , who made the semi's is a second cousin to former world pro surfer Josh Palmateer while Tyler Wright, who made the other semi, is the brother of Owen Wright. Dad Rob was caddying for Tyler and was stoked to have one of the siblings make it through so far. 'We had one go up and one go down this week," he said after Tyler's quarter final and was disappointed that she didn't go further but "'s not a bad result for Tyler."

Chelsea got all her ducks in a row today and welcomed the win. She reckoned it was a great warm up for Bells which starts next week.

That's it from WA, it's been a great week here in Margaret River, the country bush smell is unbelievable and it's a great arena. Good days on the beach with sun and surf and good red wine to top off the end of the days. The Cow Parade has been a moo'ving experience and we even scored a green flash for our last sunset.
We're now headed to Bells later this week.
Peter 'Joli' Wilson

Kerr gets high to win the Drug Aware Pro

Kerrsey, kerrsey kerrsey. That's all I'm hearing right now. It's a couple of hours after Josh Kerr pulled a joey out of the Kangaroo's pouch by disposing of a 16 point combo in a matter of minutes to win the six star prime Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River . With about five minutes to go Josh pulled two huge airs to score the only perfect 10 point ride of the week. The rights at Margs with the side onshore were providing the perfect ramps for airs. Kerrsey punted again on his next wave to hit the lead, leaving Taj needing over an eight with 90 secs to go.

Apparently Taj and Josh had been joking out in the water late in the final about the roll that Taj Burrow was on. "Yeah I was telling Taj how many points he'd have and how he was killing it in the ratings and how he'd won three contests this year and then he didn't win" said Josh with a laugh." Even the beach commentators were claiming Taj had won 23 heats in a row and won three finals on the way. They were being a bit liberal with the truth cos Taj had lost his first round heat at the Quikie Pro before winning the contest but as Bede Durbidge, who lost to Taj in the semi's reckoned, "Nobody counts first round losses, so technically he has won 23 in a row."

If anybody was on a roll this week it was Josh. He beat the current world champ Mick Fanning twice and then took out the World #1 Taj in the final. Maybe a drop of the Margaret River reds (not the kangaroo variety) helped him along in the early rounds but last night he went to bed by 8.30 and was stressing that he wouldn't be able to perform today. An unnecessary worry and if you look at his board preparation for the comp then maybe it just sums up his whole week.

"I only rode two of my own boards this week,' said Josh '... and I haven't ridden them for over a year. I've been riding everybody elses boards and then today I jumped on a board that I'd never even seen before... (laughing) .... It was a 6'0" and I've only been riding 5'8"s, 5'6"s and 5'5"s for was strange riding 'normal' boards this week and I certainly wasn't prepared for the contest (laughing again) but I've enjoying riding them again."

It was Kerseys first ever WQS win. He's won plenty of air shows but never a CT or a WQS. He said later he only came over to the West because Rusty were one of the Sponsors and he'd come over to hang out and have fun. He did all that, hung out, had fun and won the whole damn thing.

Peter 'Joli' Wilson

Last Minute Gasps at the Drug Aware Pro

Here's a little update from the west.
The 'situation' of the day were the last minute gasps. A bit like last night when I was stopped for a random breath test by the local cops. I passed and so did a lot of guys today. So many last gasp waves. Adrian Buchan nailed one in the last seconds and Josh Kerr snuck past Mick Fanning in their Round of 16. The funny thing is that Josh has beaten Mick twice in this contest; once in the 4 man heats of the Round of 96 and again in the man on man rounds. Air specialist Kerr was joking that Mick beat him in the Boost Air Show last weekend in Sydney and now he's beating him in a 'straight' WQS contest. Maybe it was the local red wine coursing through his veins courtesy of a Rusty sponsors dinner that helped scrap through.

Today was a morning of convoys. The word went out that North Point was sure to be going off...a bit like St Patricks day. Hire cars in packs of 4 or 5 were darting all over the place. North Point was packed at first light but the little dirt car park was jammed with locals utes and 4WD's. No hire cars, they were still on the roads looking for a decent wave.
The swell was definitely 'pumping', somewhere in the 12' range, but way too south for most of the breaks. A lot of the crew ended up back at the contest watching the action and in the words of one of the surfers... "when the Gudangs (Gudauskas Bros) can't find waves then there aren't any around.'

Cory Lopez got everyone 'moo'ing' today. He caught a triple overhead bomb and proceeded to try to emulate Tom Curren's mid 80's wave. Margs was huge when Curren caught a wave and rode it over 250 yards to the river mouth of Margaret River. Cory came very close today, pumping his board at the end but with about 30 yards to go the wave backed off and he had to kick out. The surfers in the competitors tent were all up and riding the wave with him and the event commentators were yelling and laughing as Cory tried to make the river mouth.

While Cory was going for glory Sunny Garcia was hiding from the public. He'd tried to pull in on a huge right and got blasted for his trouble. The resulting wipeout disrobed him and tore two fins out of his board.
Sunny was stuck in the channel calling for the jet ski while scrambling to get his trunks back from the end of his leg rope. He was joking about it later and laughed when the cold water jokes came out.

Who's on form... CJ, Taj, Bede and Cory. Heat of the Round on paper was Josh Kerr and Mick Fanning while the heat to watch was Sunny Garcai and Neco Padaratz. They hadn't met since Pipeline in 2008. This time it was Sunny coming out on top. The swell's dropping and they'll crown a champ tomorrow.

Peter 'Joli' Wilson

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Margaret River turns it on for the Drug Aware Pro

The pics of the boys smiling at the press conference is because they have
all been lent brand new 4WD Lexus Hybrids to cruise down from Perth to
Margaret's and go bush bashing for the week.
Parko, Bede, Mick Fanning and Occy, who is just here to do stuff for Fuel TV
were all handed the keys...what was Lexus thinking.
The press conference was pretty funny. Government officials, who are the
main sponsors, were trying to be cool and 'surf speak'. 'Pumping' was the word
of the day. Everyone tried to use it in context and almost got it right. I
was waiting for 'cowabunger' to pop out considering the Margaret River
region is hosting the CowParade an outdoor art display. 80 life size 3D cow
canvases 'grazing' a places all over the region. Some pretty fun 'cows' out
there including a 'CowaBunga...Hang a Hoof' on the roof of the local pub.
It will be pumping this week. Wednesday suppose to be good and Friday is
supposed to be triple overhead.
Big pack of girls down here including Alana Blanchard......the tour misses
her. Maybe she should have been given a special wildcard or we could all
hope she re-qualifies for 2011.
Dave Macaulay's daughter is doing well here. She is only 17 years old and
ripped her heats . Dad was sitting in the channel caddying for her and was beaming
after she won her heat.

That's about it...except I nearly hit a kangaroo this morning heading to the
contest. Just hopped out in front of the car. Yeah they do hang in the
streets and the highways here in OZ.

Peter Joli Wilson