Jordy Smith in the biggest upset of the day in reverse.
The Keramas event is turning out to be a crazy, wild and weird run of professional surfing, for a number of somewhat peculiar reasons. Let’s unpack, and then maybe prognosticate.
John, Julian and Owen are all out the game, along with Wilko and Parko. Currently rated 17th on the Jeep Leader Board, JJF is pretty far down the chain at this stage of the game and will need to seriously up his game for the second part of the year.
Julian’s only worry is losing the yellow jersey, which is actually a great place to be, and Owen is also ok at this stage, coming in to Bali at 7th on the rankings. Parko is going to be hurting the most though, after missing Brazil and finding himself at 27th going into Bali. This result is going to send him spiraling down to a place similar to being deep in combo-land with a few minutes on the clock. For a deeper examination on the rankings take note of the WSL’s Jeep Leader Board.
None of the results (above) can actually be called ‘an upset’ in comparison to the fact that Jordy made it past the third round for the first time this year. After patriotically watching Jordy in every event, and waiting for him to make his World Title campaign move, I could not stop thinking of the time I interviewed him in Australia after he was beaten by Tiago Pires at small Snapper, and he told me quite calmly that he had ‘learned how to lose.’
‘Dude,’ I thought to my self recently while watching him come second in a two-man heat, ‘you’ve got this losing thing totally dialed; we get your point. We get it. Time to start showing us that you still know how to win.’
It wasn’t going to happen though. Through Australia he piddled around in the third round apart from the Margies event, in which he is still in and will be competing at Uluwatu. He lucked out in Brazil as well, losing to Ian Gouveia by a solid margin.
But he did it, creating the biggest upset of the day by extricating himself from whatever the fuck it was that was keeping him tangled up in the doldrums of the third round. He did it properly as well, getting barreled and belting the crap out of the end section for an oh-my-goodness 9.43 points and a good lead against Conner Coffin.
Jordy is a competitive machine, and he gets his highs from competition wins, from event victories and from standing on podiums and knowing that for that moment in time, as he gets a trophy, he is the best competitive surfer in the world. If he’s not winning heats and events, Jordy can be his own worst enemy, with self-doubt and insecurities clouding his vision somewhat, but when he gets a lip to crack or a big open face to gouge, and he does it to the best of his ability, then his vision is cleared, and that world title starts appearing in front of him again, dancing around, just out of his reach.
On the other hand, someone who has clearly lost all desire and focus on the world title is Kelly Slater, and he’s busy chasing perfect waves around the world. His recent appearance at Cloudies was great, and clearly point to the fact that he is an ‘untouchable.’
It is what it is.
He’s not hurting anyone, and the WSL group are not going to punish the man who sold them the best wave pool in the world.
Who is going to own the Bali Pro event? I have my eye on Italo Ferreira. He went for broke in his heat against Tomas Hermes, with two giant backhand inverted shuvit attempts and a third, bigger air attempt. He didn't make any of the moves, but won the heat with what would have been back-up waves. The number three-ranked surfer on the Jeep Leader Board made it abundantly clear that the only way to win heats is to go way bigger than the other person or people in the water with you. When he starts to pull a few of those monster airs off in the next couple of rounds, no one is going to come near him…
except maybe Jordy…
or maybe Gabby…
or possibly Mikey Wright.