The Hyped Forecast Was Overhyped

Jessi Miley-Dyer pulled the trigger early today in decidedly average conditions. In fact, on any other day no one would have surfed Supertubos, the south-westerly bend to the wind sending the locals to the other side of the peninsula, where the endless rip bowls and protected reefs handle the size and wind much better. However JMD didn’t have a lot of choice; the next few days conditions look better, with morning offshores and arvo sideshores, before a flat spell kicks in next week. “The weekend looks good and we want to run the elimination rounds in the better conditions,” said Jess, which brings us to our next point. 

The Seeding Round Has Got To Go

Just why we need to have 12 heats of the Men’s and six of the Women’s in which nothing actually progresses over a full day of surfing is still a mystery. Watching surfers trying to get a 4.53 so they can jump from third to second isn’t exactly the type of high drama or excitement that a professional sports need. The seeding bonus of coming first in the heat has never been a juicy enough carrot for the surfer, let alone the most fanatical of fans, and in those comps with compromised forecasts Round 1 seems a bloated luxury the events can ill afford. 

Progression Wins

The judges called it early saying that while any big tubes would be rewarded, the fact that they didn’t really exist meant that excellent scores would only come from moves above the lip. That diktat effectively culled half the field’s chances of a win (not mentioning any names Adrian, Kelly, Owen and Jeremy),  and it was no surprise that it was the Doras, Colapintos, Andinos, Wilsons and Medinas who won their heats. If it stays onshore picking a winner becomes a much easier proposition. 

Medina Starts His World Title Run

Medina’s early exit in France opened the door to his opponents slightly and today he set about slamming it shut. The Brazilian has to make the Final if he is to win his third title in Portugal not Pipe. Then if he wins this event, Filipe will need a 5th or better and Italo Ferreira a 2nd to take the World Title decision to Pipe. Those scenarios can bend the brain little, and so Medina did what he does best today. In any heat where he can keep pulling the trigger it means he will hit the target twice. His massive backside rotor was the day’s best move and, as in every comp since J-Bay, he surfed with a nerveless authority. He may win the Title in Portugal, more likely he will take it in Pipeline, either way, it's got his name on it. 

And ditto for Moore 

Carissa Moore’s stranglehold on the World Title is even tighter than Medina’s and late in the day she put on, by some distance, the best performance and the highest heat total of the Women’s seeding round. If she gets past the Quarters (and she’s made it that far in every event this year) she has a chance to claim the title in Peniche. If she wins it, even a Lakey Peterson runner-up finish, would only mean the chance of a Surf Off in Hawaii. Given Moore is now the best tuberider in the field, her fourth World Title could be just a few days away.