Taj Stars in South African Road Trip Clip, Pumping Pre-Event France, and Who's Made the Olympic Team Already?

10 Oct 2019 1 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

The Quik Pro France has been all about watching Medina grind toward his third World Title. Photo: WSL/Masurel

The Quik Pro France has been all about watching Medina grind toward his third World Title. Photo: WSL/Masurel


Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was October 11, 2019

1. The Quik/Roxy Pro France Has Been Fun, Will Probably Finish Tonight

Yes it has. The group chat fires up at around 4pm, asking if we're on, and then the WSL sends the surfers out in Baywave like chaos breaking on the shoreline. The clincher to making this event entertaining, however, has been 2019's best thing – overlapping heats. The men's Round of 32 otherwise would have been tough and long viewing, but with four surfers in the water at all times, it was a wonderful potpourri of non-stop tens and twos (not actual tens though).

It's looking like they'll run everything tonight, which will make for a very long day in Hossegor, (they're up to the Round of 16 for the men and the semi-finals for the women, that's 20 heats all up!), but if you're a lonely person with no plans for your Friday night, but heaps of snacks, what a dream!

Notable performances so far have been the lack of women's Aussie representation, for once, at the top end of the Roxy Pro – with our last remaining surfer Sally Fitzgibbons falling out in the quarters. Local fave Johanne Defay has been consistently good, getting nines on two seperate days, while Caroline Marks just keeps gettting better, knocking out a hot Courtney Conlogue (holder of the event's only ten) in the quarters. Reminder: Marks is still only 17, and this will be her fifth semi-final or better finish out of eight events this year. That's World Title like consistency – only Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson match or better her there.

On the men's side, Leo Fioravanti's return from injury and into some form has been fun, Filipe Toledo's loss to local wildcard Marc Lacomare in the round of 32 has big World Title implications, and Medina, as per usual, is the heat-winning robot that you'd be insane to bet against... though there are plenty of heats to go. Seth Moniz has looked comfortable all event and is proving he'll graduate from likeable WSL rookie to something of a force to deal with in years to come. Julian Wilson, Ryan Callinan, Ace Buchan, Jack Freestone and Wade Carmichael are who we'll be barracking for into tonight's early hours.

More on the event? Read Seano's reports, he's the best.

Some video of the event's best moment so far? Well that'd be in the vid below as Leo Fioravanti gets the clutch finish to knock out ol' mate Kelly Slater. That was sick.

2. Taj Stars In Sick Billabong Surf Trip Vid

Taj Burrow takes Billabong free-surf cool kids Shaun Manners and Jaleesa Vincent to South Africa to cruise around with local Matt Bromley and have a hell time meeting nice swell in cold water. It’s just a classic old surf trip vid – fun. Any surf trip with Taj, the ultimate frother, is worth a look. Get around it.

3. Conner Coffin's France Vlog (Good Waves)

Conner Coffin was knocked out of the Quiksilver Pro in the Round of 32 by good guy who's good in France Ace Buchan. Before the event, however, Conner scored really good waves. He also walked around and got some breakfast and read a menu out loud, stuff that would be lost in the ether if it wasn’t documented and shared with the world! Also included in this clip: some really loud PA speakers blowing out the audio over a post heat interview. Not included: Coffin’s reaction to the news that infamous Californian surf region “The Ranch” (where Coffin’s family has property) will finally have legal beach access for the public from 2022. Word on the street is that he’s bummed.

4. The Melbourne Wave Pool Is Almost Ready

In huge news for people that like pools that aren't empty, the massive WaveGarden/URBNSurf pool being built near Melbourne airport got filled with water over the weekend. They're going to slowly start pumping the waves over the coming weeks, with it opening to a paying public of surfers over this summer. Given the real wave pool space race has hinged on the "I'll believe it when I can actually go and surf one" factor for many surfers, this step forward is kinda sorta significant. Wave pools, for surfers like you and me, might actually be real real? Wild.

This pool is a bigger, symmetrical version of the WaveGarden Cove design that we've seen the pros surf a lot in Spain. How big is it actually? Well, you can get a sense of the scale of this particular pool by checking out the dirt patch they dug up for it, right next to the Essendon Bombers footy ground (which is the same dimensions of the MCG) on Google Maps here. That's quite big.

5. Olympic Qualification Confirmed For Some

Sally Fitz crashed out of the Roxy Pro France this week in the quarter-finals, which isn't a great result for a World Title campaign, but there was a silver lining. The QF finish confirmed she would finish the CT year in the top eight and also as one of the top two ranked Australians, and thus clinched her spot in the Australian team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo! Same goes for current world no.4 Steph Gilmore! At least that's what we thought. There is one condition pending for official qualification: the pair must also surf in the ISA World Surfing Games next April. Their performances at said games will not be taken into account, so the whole thing is purely a technicality. How incredibly silly.

Oh, Jordy Smith also claimed his spot in the team for South Africa, beating out... Travis Logie? Twiggy Baker? That guy who dominates the J-Bay trials every year? Craig Anderson? I dunno. Good on Jordy though, he's good at the surfing! Been saying that for years.

6. Fun Boys 2 Is Out

The ultimate in tongue in cheek counter culture surf content is back with Harry Triglone’s sequel to North Coast cult classic Fun Boys. It’s a ten dollar internet purchase and stars an incredible list of boys who are fun, including but not limited to Creed McTaggart, Wade Goodall, Shaun Manners, Garrett Parkes, Jay Davies, Dion Agius, Beau Foster, Ozzy Wright, Noa Deane, Jack Freestone and Ryan Callinan. Buncha legends the lot of 'em.

Buy it here as a digital download for $10.

7. Your Weekly Dose of Mason Ho Ridiculousness

Mason Ho's incredible output of novelty shredding and legitimate shredding and just general surf-entertainment could probably sustain the careers of about five professional freesurfers. It's outrageous. Here's his latest:

8. Take a Breath and Watch This Contemplative Surf Travel Movie With Drew McPherson

A State of Play is a neat 12 minute long clip/short film that makes you want to take that next quiet month you have and get away from everything in search of fun waves. Drew McPherson is in some ways the epitome of the old term of soul surfer here, as he and photog Nathan Henshaw leave their east coast hometown for some remote desert coastline.

9. Lee Wilson Surfing At Home

Up to here, this has felt like the most word-heavy episode of This Week In Surfing in yonks, so I'm just going to say in regards to this clip: Lee Wilson is good, and this family-vibed Bali surf clip is good. 

10. Florence Bros in the Galapagos Islands

Nate Florence and his little brother Ivan go to the... hang on, when was the last time we saw Ivan in anything? Feel like we haven't seen him in years. If you've ever wondered what surfing in the Galapagos Islands looks like, it begins at the 8.15 mark.

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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