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Roll up! Roll up! Welcome to the brave new world of the World Surfing League! The ASP is dead and long live the WSL! And so with the new pomp and splendour the Quiksilver Pro opens the new season. It’s the old dowdy ASP in high definition. Think more George Clooney and less George of Asda. More Katy Perry, less Kate Humble. The 2015 Quiksilver Pro shouted two things loud and proud: The first is ‘we have tons of cash to splash’ and the second is the Brazil has tasted blood.

Think more George Clooney and less George of Asda. More Katy Perry, less Kate Humble

There’s a reason why surfing can never be the Premier league or the NFL and that’s simply that Mother Nature couldn’t give a monkeys about pomp and pageantry. You cannot, regardless how deep your pockets are, buy a swell. And so, amongst the banners and frothing commentators, the season opener limped through a below par Goldie swell.

In this new Medina-as-champ world the boys (and girls) from Brazil seemed to have pulled free from the leashes and they ran rabid and rampant across the event. Each and every one, from the rookie Italo Ferreira, who flattened Slater in the Round three to campeão Medina, went ballistic.

In fact it was through Round three they signalled their intent. Pupo took out a livid Josh Kerr by 00.47. Wiggolly Dantos executed Parko who looked asleep and, although I’m a huge fan, deserved to go out. Adriano de Souza humiliated Freddy P 14.76 to 1.13… yep 1.13. Patacchia junior surfed in and took out his frustration with a failed rock and roll on the Queensland geology. More drama ensued when a dangerous looking Medina was called on an inference against Glenn Hall and then (a la’ Bobby Martinez 2011) swore in the post heat interview. Twenty-four hours later obviously the Lords of Publicity had given the Boy-King a talking to and he was all smiles and apologies.

But it was Filipe who nailed his colours to the mast early and seemed unstoppable…

By the quarterfinals four Brazilians were still in the game. And after Toledo took down Durbridge and de Souza floored Fanning we found three Brazilians in the four spots of the semis. The lone Aussie Julian Wilson had to dispatch an on form Pupo to prevent an all Brazilian final.

The ocean still proffered only a token swell for the final and Wilson and Toldeo paddled out for the first final of the all-new WSL. The Brazilian kept himself busy tearing apart the uninspiring Queensland walls with blow tails and new school nose picks. The Pipemaster wasn’t to be outdone and countered with a 9.10 but ultimately the WSL’s youngest gun threw down a 9.60 and 10.00 to take his first event title.

Flash cash and a new title seem to have done nothing to impress Mother Ocean and it remains to be seen whether all the rebranding and hype of new levels of professionalism will be the fresh bench mark in our sport or simply be the emperors new clothes.

By Matthew Button

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