Craig Jarvis delivers his take on the call that broke professional surfing.
There’s nothing better than the world title going to Hawaii. Actually there is one thing better, and that’s the world title being played off at big Pipe. It doesn't have to be heaving, just big enough for drama.
In 2012 there was a world title on the line. It was Joel’s year, and he needed a big result at Pipe to snatch the world title. There were a lot of people who were in top form, excellent condition, and hungry for the win.
The quarterfinal between Shane Dorian and Kelly Slater was gripping stuff, with both baldies going toe-to-toe at 6 to 8-foot Pipe. Slater won that heat with 18,73 compared to Dorian’s 18.20, in ridiculous barrels at Pipe and across the Backdoor reef.
Parko eventually got the contest win, and the world title in the process, but the point was that it was enthralling, edge-of-your-seat stuff, all the way to the end. The Billabong house was a madhouse the whole day, the whole beach and the car park was electric from the early morning, as sets boomed and reverberated around the set-up.
Is this what we can look forward to?
Well, firstly there is the unlikely spectre of the heat being rerun. In fact as this is being written it is rumoured the WSL is preparing to make a statement on why they are sticking with their decision.
Gabby has made it very clear on his Insta that he thinks was a cock-up, and that he is counter-suing for a resurf. His claim that he was back on the main peak and waiting while Ibelli was still paddling out is a firm claim that can be easily watched on playbacks, but the fact that it’s a beachbreak makes things tricky
Two years ago Jordy won a heat against Conner Coffin at JBay in waves that were called all kinds of utter perfection. There were ridiculous barrels going down, and one of Conner’s was so deep and so far down the point that it was missed entirely by the judging panel.
Team Coffin definitely didn’t miss it, and after lodging an appeal, a resurf was ordained. Jordy was various shades of pissed, and paddled out and banked a 10-point ride to prove a point. Jordy won through, but the effort was quite a lot and he was a tired man the following day.
So it happens. Resurfs are a thing, and there are some legs to move on this one. There are a few other points to consider however.
Gabby did make a serious mistake by assuming he had priority. Pottz said it a few times, that it was a clear mistake that could have been rectified by simply looking up. If he had turned his head and looked at the priority markers, it would have been clear as day that he was not holding the P.
The priority judge could easily have made a mistake as well. There is always the human element as to who was at the backline first, and that decisions could easily have been made erroneously.
Gostaria de explicar oque aconteceu na minha bateria. Eu e Caio pegamos a mesma onda e cada um foi pra um lado. A minha onda foi mais curta e a dele foi mais longa. Tanto que enquanto eu voltava pro outside, ele ainda estava surfando a onda dele. Quando cheguei no fundo, tinha tanta certeza que a prioridade era minha que não olhei pra a placa de prioridade. Pra minha surpresa, quando veio a onda seguinte, acabei indo porque estava seguro que a prioridade era minha. Acabei levando a interferência. Quando saí da água fui falar com os juizes. Olhamos as imagens abertas, de nós dois voltando remando para o fundo, com um angulo da câmera aberto. Ficou bem claro que eu cheguei bem antes. E mesmo que eu tivesse chegado junto com ele e tivesse um empate, a prioridade seria minha pela regra. Porque na onda que surfamos juntos antes, o Caio tinha a prioridade 1. Tenho a esperança que a minha bateria seja reavaliada pois ocorreu um erro. ll I am still very hopeful that my heat will be reviewed.
Gabby, in a post on Instagram that was clearly written by someone with a much better understanding of the English language than the goofy-footer, implored for a resurf. The words:
Caio and I caught the same wave and each went one way. My wave was shorter and his was longer. So much so that while I was back outside, he was still riding his wave. When I got to the bottom, I was so sure the priority was mine that I didn’t look at the priority sign. To my surprise, when the next wave came, I ended up going because I was sure the priority was mine. That ended up leading to interference.
When I got out of the water I went to talk to the judges. We looked at footage of the two of us paddling back out. It was very clear that I arrived well before him. And even if I had gotten out the back the same time as him the priority would be mine by the rule. Because in the wave we surfed together before, Caio had priority one. I hope my heat will be reevaluated because an error has occurred. I am still very hopeful that my heat will be reviewed.
While we wait for the WSL’s statement, the Gabby fans are absolutely seething, and this might not be over just yet. Stand by.