Ok, so he wasn’t actually bitten and for that we are all relieved, but there was so much more going on during final day of what might be the last J-Bay Open.
There are jokes and memes placing Kelly as the mastermind of the attack, a little shark whispering after Mick knocked him out in the semis, but my money would be on Adriano de Silva. With Mick and Julian now splitting the points the Brazilian gets to hang on to the yellow jersey for another event.
A smaller travesty was reserved for those with a Fantasy Surf team. Players lost, in quick succession, two times J-Bay champ Jordy Smith (Round 2, Round 2!!!) then Fiji champ Owen Wright, twice J-Bay champ Parko, and last year’s finalist Wilko in Round 3. Shocking.
The modern philosopher Karl Pilkington describe the Great Wall of China as the ‘Alright Wall of China’ and it’s along these lines you might want to describe the much lauded Superheat. Round 4, Heat 3 was touted loud and proud as a Battle of Three World Champs, Fanning, Medina and Slater, fifteen world titles between them, seven J-bay wins so on and so forth.
It was eventually fought in conditions that could have been mistaken for windy Fistral. The Superheat was pretty boring and ultimately meant nothing. The heat winner, Gabriel, was later knocked out in the Quarters by Kelly who then progressed to the semis to be beaten by the Superheat looser Fanning, who ultimately leashed up for the toothy final.
It was 40 minutes we won’t get back. In fact if it weren’t for the final day the write up for this event would simply have been ‘J-Bay Open stop six on the WSL- Meh…’
But we did have the final day and it was pretty awesome in many good and bad ways. Julian pulled apart Ace Buchan in the first semi and then as conditions reached greater heights of perfection, King Kelly ripped the life out of a beautiful 9.43
Mick countered with a 9.57
And then Wilson and Fanning paddled out into what is already the most dramatic and most watched surfing heat in history!
How Tahiti can compete?
Final’s day highlights
We also have this just in, unseen footage from the incident: