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