There have been plenty of cray-cray times down at the bottom of Africa.
The event when AI started shouting at Sean Holmes.
It was weirdness personified. Sean ‘The Nemesis’ Holmes had AI’s number at JBay, and no matter what he did, Andy couldn't’ beat the jinx that was sitting on him. He always got Sean in the draw, and he always got rattled immediately. This year, I forget which one it was, saw AI shouting down at Sean just after they paddled out. No one could hear exactly what AI was saying, not even Sean, but it was definitely not bro-ing down kind of banter, it was more the kind of a ‘this time I kick your ass’ challenge. Seam sat quietly, staring back at AI. The heat started, and Sean picked up a 9.5 or thereabouts and went on to win the heat.
The time that Royden Bryson snapped his leg in a backhand tube.
It was one of the year’s that the event had been downgraded to a 6 star WQS, and for this one year the waves were absolutely pumping. The day before the event started was the beginning of a new swell, and it was four to six-foot and grinding. Royden on his backhand had a little bit of a fumble down at Impossibles, and in the process hit the deck and buckled himself. His leg snapped. It was a vicious break, and it signified a setting of the sun on his still potent surfing career.
That event when Jeremy Flores decided to climb the tower and have a chat to the judges.
It was a noisy little chat, and Renato, always ready to throw the book at anyone, made sure that Jeremy was penalized properly for his little outburst. Jeremy on the other hand calmed down, made a formal apology for his behavior and did what ever was necessary to make the situation right, which actually held him in good stead going forward with the WSL.
4. That really crazy year when Eugene was in fine form, was partially tipsy before the contest was over, and told someone who was paddling out into a final with Kelly to ‘beat the cunt.’ It was done in jest, and to be fair, it was excruciatingly funny at the time, but it was one of the last moments of fame for Eugene, who retired soon after that incident. Gone but not forgotten.
5. Bruce Irons was competing in the event and for some reason he could not get into the rhythm with Supers that year. There were all eyes on him though, as at the time he was one of the most exciting surfers to watch, but the more that we watched the more he fucked it up. Towards the end of the heat he needed a big score and made the cardinal mistake of going for a huge grab rail air in the streaming offshore, to only get blown off the back. The ‘FUUUCK!” that came out of his mouth could be heard from Albatross to St Francis Bay, and fearing a Renato engagement and firing/fining saga, Bruce came in and ran past the tower and disappeared somewhere down Pepper Street, leaving his vest on the road for the beach marshal to pick up, not to be seen again for the remainder of the event.