Words: Dave Campbell
Photos: Peter Dive
Saturday saw the men surf round four and the women get through the quarters in occasionally head high surf. The waves were definitely there, but so were the lulls, resulting in some slow heats. The sea of people at last night’s concert was intense. Sweaty shirtless humans bumping into sweatier, shirtless humans. A great free performance was put on by Modest Mouse and the crowd enjoyed themselves as the ghetto bird (Police helicopter according to Ice Cube) circled above making sure nothing got out of hand. Cell phone service was jammed, forcing people to properly hang out with the company that was present in front of them, some had a harder time dealing with this than others, with people looking very frustrated at their smartphones, like “oh my god”.
Surf fans were up early for the first heat of the morning to see an in form Jadson Andre surf against an even more in form Adriano De Souza. Adriano dug deep on every wave and was eventually the victor, showing perhaps he wanted this maybe a lil more than Jadson. Julian Wilson and Kolohe Andino both took to the air in their attempt to bag the big scores. In need of a 5.01 with dying seconds, Julian took off on a wave and thought he had secured the score but it fell short, 4.97. This heat showcased Kolohe's focus and local knowledge. Despite Julian having won here before, Kolohe looked the more comfortable surfer and definitely deserving of the win. Bede Durbidge took out the young Frenchman Vincent Duvignac. Ace Buchan surfed against an inspired and motivated Michel Bourez. The Spartan’s momentum continues to build. He will be surfing against Bede on Sunday. Nat Young, a rookie of the year contender, surfed like an experienced veteran against Marc Lacomare. Nat’s powerful surfing in the mediocre waves were enough to push past Marc. A heartbreaker of a heat had Mitch Crews being overcome by Alejo Muniz in the final moments. Alejo scored a whopping 9.17 with some nice big hacks that pleased the contest judges. As each heat is completed, another surfer bites the dust and is thrown into the party land of The Open. It is vast and wild landscape. It must be very difficult for those surfers still in the event to maintain focus.