The Margs contest was a bit of a time traveling dichotomy. The earliest heats were held in the 1980s with a bolshie wind blow Margaret River. It was painful to watch and we all shook our collective heads and thought ‘Not three in a row, please!’
And then there was the Box. The devil’s evil little brother, just across the channel, came to the WSL’s rescue. Suddenly we had a modern contest of high performance, high risk and higher rewards. Why the event isn’t held at the Box more often I don’t know but it flipping should be!
The Box fired and separated the men from the boys as quickly as it separates the humerus from shoulder. The first day saw hammering after hammering. We all know Chopes is challenging, but seeing each of these gifted individuals unceremoniously bucked proved a fresh benchmark for us mortals. Each time someone was sent cart-wheeling across the Indian Ocean I respected and pitied them in equal measures.
Kerzy was on fire in the early rounds, taking on all and everything. While Jordy’s fin slashed heel stopped what was looking like a promising charge. The Brazilians saw a repeat of Bells with early departure of Gabs, who now drops out of the top ten, and Filipe, whose Queensland win keeps him at a precarious third. Slater finally showed signs of the greatness that puts him on covers with a magnificent 10, but he looked as if he barely had control over the bowling monster.
Moving back to the main break after the women showed the guys what could be done with a building swell, the WSL finally had something to be proud of. Carissa Moore fin drifted passed Gilmore and then took down Tyler Wright to snatch the event win.
Would the swell be enough to expunge the cheap feeling of the previous events? Yes sir it was. Gab’s title certain seems to have lit a fire under Adriano, but whether he can maintain this level of rampage remains to be seen. De Souza first squeaked passed Taj Burrows on home turf, while a flowing Florence did the same to an oddly stiff Nat Young.
In the first minutes of the final Adriano took it to Florence on a massive double overhead, finishing with a mighty airdrop floater (8.93) but the Hawaiian answered back on the very next wave with the most ambitious close-out floater never landed (7.00). After a series of swooping carves on a smaller wave he fell on the end section on his next wave too. De Souza countered with another 8.90, but ultimately John’s magnificent nine wasn’t enough to prevent Adriano from lifting the trophy and launching himself into the stratosphere on the points table.
So Adriano takes the top spot 8000 points ahead of second place Fanning and over twice the points of 8th place John John!
Who knows where this year is going as we head to Brazil and Adriano, Gabs and Filipe are on home turf. Although one things for certain – it’ll be one hell of a party.