Sean Doherty On: Quiksilver Pro Day 2, Le Crazy
France is the ancestral home of CRAZY on the pro tour.
Since time immemorial – or at least since Occy tried to swim from Hossegor to China in the middle of a month-long bender – the French leg of the pro tour has seen surfers melt into the plage, the pressures of a long year on tour and some bad maths in the ratings manifesting itself in all sorts of bizarre and bacchanalian behaviour. For those who can keep it together though, the place can be a goldmine of easy heats, and – due to it’s position late in the tour calendar – a stepping stone to bigger things. In September 1992, the week before Occy had to be convinced swimming to China wasn’t a great idea, Kelly Slater won the event at Hossegor, winning his first world title in the process.
Kelly paddled out today at Hossegor to keep the faint hope of a 12th world title and a storybook exit from pro surfing alive. But he found that even after 23 years, it still takes a little bit of crazy to win here. Surveying the scene this morning from the track it seemed like one big closeout from the pine forest to the Spanish Border. Curren walked past carrying his board under one arm and the snapped halves of a paddleboard under the other, which you could only presume he’d used to try and get out through the thick swell and boiling Biscay sea. But then amongst the chaos would be the most perfect aquatic pyramid, spitting both ways. The secret of course, was to be there when it happened, which took a bit of crazy.
SEE ALSO: Day 1 Quiksilver Pro 2015, The Nines
In years past I’ve watched the “decision committee” make the call of which bank to surf. The committee comprised roughly 30 people, packed into a scrum, everyone from the actual contest director, to his French equivalent, several French minions, three judges, eight surfers, and the guy cleaning the portable shitters. They debated tides and banks in three languages, and there appeared to be several leaders as people gesticulated wildly, pointing up and down the beach and yelling in French. I shit you not, I even heard the word, “Impossible.” The problem of course, was that the contest was being run out of a giant all-terrain vehicle that looked like an Imperial Walker, making every bank for miles a potential contest site. With too many options and too many variables, it was doomed. In the end, after an hour of pointless argument, they called the contest off and everyone went and got shitfaced at the Rockfood.
The new pro surfing regime has of course done away with the Imperial Walkers and instead erected a contest site as big as a Chinese ghost city, which doesn’t lend itself too well to being moved up and down the beach. So when Kelly got to the beach this morning and was told “You can surf any bank you want as long as it’s the one straight in front of the contest”, he quickly reminded them who was in charge by paddling out on the bank a third-of-a-mile to the north, getting supremely pitted, and winning easily.
It’s hard to get a gauge on where Kelly’s at. I know, who’d believe it? But as a rank outsider for this year’s title, his surfing looking a little mortal, and a life after pro surfing starting to coalesce in front of his eyes, he’s at an interesting juncture. He’s been in good spirits on his European tour, between golf at St. Andrews and glasses of red the size of his head, he’s clearly intent on having some fun, but at the back of his mind surely he’s thinking about the day he calls it quits – when that day will be, what the day he calls is quits will feel like, and most importantly what the day after is gonna feel like.
For the 23 years since he was carried up the beach here at Hossegor as a 20-year-old world champ, pro surfing has owned him… and he has owned pro surfing. The only way he’ll get the exit he wants – winning the world title at Pipe, singing My Waywith a ukulele – he needs to get carried up the beach here in France first.
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) 6.10 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 5.90
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.57 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.07
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 17.37 def. Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 1.93
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.56 def. Dusty Payne (HAW) 1.33
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) advanced over Alejo Muniz (BRA) (Injury Withdrawal)
Heat 6: Nat Young (USA) 12.66 def. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 12.27
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.60 def. Glenn Hall (IRL) 7.16
Heat 8: Michel Bourez (PYF) 7.67 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 6.40
Heat 9: Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.17 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 2.86
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) 12.00 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 7.17
Heat 11: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.17 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 8.16
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.20 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.20
QUIKSILVER PRO FRANCE ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 2: Nat Young (USA) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 3: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 5: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Maxime Huscenot (FRA)
Heat 7: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 8: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. John John Florence (HAW)
Heat 9: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 10: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 11: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Dane Reynolds (USA)
ROXY PRO FRANCE ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 17.50, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.84, Alessa Quizon (HAW)1.43
Heat 2: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 15.04, Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.27, Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.17
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 17.93, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.86, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 7.16
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 18.77, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.66, Sage Erickson (USA) 7.90
Heat 5: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.67, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.93, Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.43
Heat 6: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.90, Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.33, Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.0
ROXY PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 18.17 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.50
Heat 2: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 10.80 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.20
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.23 def. Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 5.97
UPCOMING ROXY PRO FRANCE ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
It’s time councils and States stopped playing this silly game
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