Once again these moments didn't change lives, but they were pretty cool to watch.
Sean Holmes was The Nemesis
The year 2010 will always be remembered for Jordy Smith’s maiden victory in JBay, and it was an amazing win, defeating Bede Durbidge in the semifinal and Adam Melling in a massive do or die effort in the final, but behind the scenes it was wildcard Sean Holmes who was wreaking all the havoc. Holmsey was always relaxed and in tune with his body and equipment at al of these events, but at this event he admitted somewhat sheepishly after the dust had settled, that he had tweaked his back so badly while stretching that he was nursing his turns out there, and was in a lot of pain. While nursing his turns, Holmsey defeated Kelly Slater in the third round, much to the howling of the local spectators, and then went on to eliminate Andy Irons in the fourth round in difficult and cold three foot conditions at Supers. That year Sean became the legend that was The Nemesis, and he did it all with a tweaked back. Imagine what could have been if his back was ok.
Jay Bottle Thomson gets a 10 in 2010
Jay was having a bit of a struggle year back in 2010 (he ended up 41st) but the good old Bottle always had a smile and loved a chat, regardless of where he was going in his life. In his third round heat I think it was, (long time ago, many a beer since that day) he took off late, some what desperately, on a wave that had close-out written all over it. He managed to get some speed out of nowhere and pulled into this barrel. He disappeared. I mean, he totally disappeared, that even the water photographer at the time claimed afterwards that he was looking directly into the barrel but couldn't see the man. “There was a bend in the wave,” said Jay to me afterwards. “There was like a little corner in the wave, and I was behind it. I couldn't see out of the tube, and then I rode over this little bump, and I could suddenly see out of the tube.”
While Jay was fucking around inside this tube and over this little bump, time was ticking away, and by the time he actually re-appeared, looking more shocked than any of us watching, his ride was already worthy of 10-points, which it received immediately.
Andy Irons gets a huge barrel
The swell was thundering down the point one morning in 2008, and the contest was called on, even though the onshore was predicted to howl later in the morning. AI was out there, patrolling for a good wave in his heat, but the conditions were stormy, and challenging. AI caught a decent wave and rode it down towards the carpark section, but a huge closeout was looming, and he kicked out the back. While paddling back up against the sweep, a huge double up loomed for AI. It was a big and thick wave, but it had way too much wall on it, and there was no way it was going to run all the way down to the gully. AI took off, stalled a little, and this thing just threw over him as he stood straight up. It was a big and hollow tube and he was totally gone. It actually looked like Backdoor for a second, but it was a fairly short ride. It looked like he was going to ride it into the closeout, but at the last instance he slipped out the doggy-door, and the wave slammed on the shelf behind him. He scored north of 7, enough to win the heat, and came in right there over the shelf at the carpark, and then wind started puffing onshore.
Kelly Slater the White Knight gets barreled as only he can
It was bitterly cold, the waves were tiny and spinning down the point on the bricks, and no one was keen to paddle out. As the sun started peaking, Kelly Slater arrived like a knight in shining armour literally. It was around the time when he was wearing those all-white wetsuits, and whatever reason he was wearing it for, those suits caught the eye.
He quickly paddled out, and rapidly paddled down the point to where the waves were a little bigger. As he was paddling, a little set appeared, and he paddled for the first one. It was fast, too fast, and he had no choice but to pull into a micro barrel on the edge of the shelf. He somehow contorted into the barrel, and sat in the tube in this tiny wave for the whole length of the wave, kicking out way down the point after the longest, smallest and possibly weirdest barrel ever seen at Supers.