Where to from here?
“That was easily the best heat of my life. I was just surfing the ocean. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
Owen Wright’s performance today at 8 – 10 foot Cloudbreak was one for the ages. It broke the Internet. Photos, clips, memes, hashtags and conversations are zigzagging their way around cyberspace and many of us are still trying to make sense of just what transpired in that perfect 20-point heat.
He simply smiled in the face of fear. Wright is part of the peculiar yet remarkable species that inject themselves into situations that many of us would run from.
I’ve had many conversations with Owen this past week on Namotu and what strikes me the most is his maturity. He’s a very assured human – a rare trait for someone of only 25 years of age. But perhaps it’s got to do with where he hails from – cut from South Coast stock and a good family; he’s humble and understands how truly fortunate he is.
“We really are living the dream,” he said to Ricardo Christie a few nights ago. The pair were talking about how awesome it is to have all these kinds of experiences as a pro surfer. The places they travel to, the waves they surf and the lifestyles they live.
Lately Owen’s whole act has been about chasing as many good swells as he can. He just spent the past month in Tahiti. He’s conditioned for the kind of juice Cloudbreak served up today. “I love it. This is what I live for,” he told me after he came in crazy eyed from his perfect 20-point heat.
As he tried to keep up with the messages from back home this afternoon, his mind wandered back to his second perfect 10-point ride. “That thing was so insane. I just stood bolt upright after the first section and it was so big…it was amazing,” he said, clearly moved by the euphoric experience. The rapture was palpable – but hey, surfing Cloudbreak will do that to you.
Whether he comes back down to earth what Owen achieved today will never be taken away. It’s already been written into the history books. I imagine it’s all about the journey anyway and so far this event has been one helluva ride.
Recap: Heat Analyser
Fiji Pro Remaining Round 3 Results:
Heat 7: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.67 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.30
Heat 8: Joel Parkinson (AUS) def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS) def. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.97 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.77
Heat 11: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.60 def. Bede Durbidge (AUS) 4.50
Heat 12: Adam Melling (AUS) 11.66 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.97
Fiji Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 19.43, Kelly Slater (USA) 14.34, Taj Burrow (AUS) 13.83
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 11.30, Dane Reynolds (USA) 10.77, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.67
Heat 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 18.93, Owen Wright (AUS) 17.26, Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.60
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 18.70, Kai Otton (AUS) 12.10, Adam Melling (AUS) 5.83
Fiji Pro Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10.97 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 7.34
Heat 2: Taj Burrow (AUS) 15.24 def. Dane Reynolds (USA) 13.66
Heat 3: Owen Wright (AUS) 20.00 def. Adam Melling (AUS) 17.70
Heat 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 14.33 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 11.33
Fiji Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
QF 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) vs. Taj Burrow (AUS)
QF 3: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
QF 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)