Michel Bourez Wins Drug Aware Margaret River Pro

posted by / ASP / April 12, 2014

All Photos: Corey Wilson

Kelly Slater bottom turns. After this he did a top turn, followed by another bottom turn which lead to an additional top turn.

Kelly Slater bottom turns. After this he did a top turn, followed by another bottom turn which lead to an additional top turn.

With Quiksilver behind him, Kelly has been sourcing his wardrobe from a Cocoa Beach tourist outlet. It is thought that he gets 20% of wholesale, but is applicable for a buy one get one free deal if so he chooses to purchase a shark tooth necklace.

With Quiksilver behind him, Kelly has been sourcing his wardrobe from a Cocoa Beach tourist outlet. It is thought that he gets 20% off wholesale, but is eligible for a buy one get one free deal if so he chooses to purchase a shark tooth necklace.

The old, Australian Nat Young probably used to love Margaret River. The new, American one thinks it’s alright.

The old, Australian Nat Young probably used to love Margaret River. The new, American one thinks it’s alright.

Uhh, you’re missing 3 fingers. Nat Young, a 5th place finisher.

Uhh, you’re missing 3 fingers. Nat Young, a 5th place finisher.

So sleek. So Parko.

So sleek. So Parko.

Bede Durbridge lays rail.

Bede Durbidge lays rail.

Bede is probably the happiest man on tour. Here he is with that lasso of a lease.

Bede is probably the happiest man on tour. Here he is with that lasso of a lease.

Gabriel Medina’s stepdad, Charles, finally forgives him for getting all those tattoos.

Gabriel Medina’s stepdad, Charles, finally forgives him for getting all those tattoos.

Michel BMichel Bourez is probably the most progressive turner in the world. Have you ever seen a man lay rail with such ferocity? ourez, power Western Australia

Michel Bourez is probably the most progressive turner in the world. Have you ever seen a man lay rail with such ferocity?

Josh Kerr is ready for the final. See that bulge?

Josh Kerr is ready for the final. See that bulge?

Michel Bourez is ready for the final. See that face?

Michel Bourez is ready for the final. See that face?

Western Australia is ready for the final. See that naked chick?

Western Australia is ready for the final. See that naked chick?

Sorry, there was no naked chick. But here’s Michel Bourez doing a turn.

Sorry, there was no naked chick. But here’s Michel Bourez doing a turn.

Josh Kerr sought an air section for the entire length of the final. Still, he’s never been one to shy away from a bit of a tube.

Josh Kerr sought an air section for the entire length of the final. Still, he’s never been one to shy away from a bit of a tube.

…But, if we’re talking preference here.

…But, if we’re talking preference here. Josh Kerr, where Josh Kerr wants to be.

It was Michel's turn.

It was Michel's turn.

So many Snapchats, so many Intagrams, so many points and so many dollars. Michel Bourez’s moment.

So many Snapchats, so many Intagrams, so many points and so many dollars. Michel Bourez’s moment.

Game of turns
The judging was stern. Jordy Smith and Bede Durbridge occupied the morning’s first heat and both surfers wooed the wise men with some fine rail work. Bede swooped his way to two high 7s; Jordy carved up an 8.00 and needed a 7.30 to clinch. In the desperate last minute of the heat, Jordy caught a smaller wave and did a turn. But then he stuck a tail high-reverse! Would the judges bite? Should we embrace aerials with a wet kiss and a Carlton Dry? Nah. It’s turns or bust at Margaret River. Like Jordy and his huck, these dudes also busted in the Quarterfinals:

Gabriel Medina: For the first time in 2014, Gabriel Medina looked out of rhythm. He looked, for once, like he could actually be beaten — and Josh Kerr did just that.
Joel Parkinson: Sure, Parko’s heat total would have won any other heat in the Quarterfinals but you probably would have groaned that he was over-scored anyway.
Nat Young: It wasn’t a good day to stand with your right foot forward. Like Gabriel, Nat couldn’t locate his flow this morning and one-upped his 9th place result on the Gold Coast with a 5th here.

Turning points
Then came the Semis, the first of which appeared to belong to Bede Durbridge. After beating Taj Burrow twice in the same heat earlier in the event, Bede was a frontrunner. And how fitting is that? Like, you guys are having a contest at Margaret River? No shit Bede Durbidge is going to win. But then, Josh Kerr drop-kicked fate in the mouth and comboed a few waves to beat Turbo by .23 points.

Heat two featured Kelly Slater and the Spartan himself, Mr. Michel Bourez. Slates earned a lively 8.83 and, for a fleeting moment, it felt like he was building up to one of those wild, peaking-in-the-final performances that are visually synonymous with his bald head. Oh, but then Michel Bourez annihilated a wave for a 9.37. Thankfully, the movie 300 was never referenced. And the finals were set.

My turn
Michel Bourez and Josh Kerr had both appeared in a WCT final before, but neither had won. Michel lost to Parko at last year’s Oakley Pro Bali. Kerrzy lost to Parko at the 2012 Billabong Pipeline Masters. But they were safe from Joel down by the River. Bourez and Kerr took vastly different approaches during the 30-minute break between the Semis and the Final. Kerrzy was relaxed and smiling, high-fiving every man, woman, child and grass-wookie he could find. Meanwhile, Michel was quiet. Inward. A zone exists somewhere out there and he’d be damned if he didn’t find it — which he did. It just took a little while.

The first half of the heat was boring. Watching it was like eating a large bowl of white race and washing it down with lukewarm tap water. The waves were inconsistent and neither surfer put a dent on the scoreboard. Kerrzy caught a ton of waves with hopes of doing an air, but could hardly find a good section and whenever he did, shit didn’t work. Michel sat patiently out the back. Maybe that’s where the zone is?

Eventually, and suddenly, the heat came alive. Michel chowed a wave for a 7.57. But here comes Kerrzy with a barrel and a 7.37! Wait, Michel just got an 8.33? The Spartan got his keeper scores for doing turns — but he does modern turns. His turns are different. They’re faster. Angrier. More pent-up and suggestive of chronic aggression. Certainly more exciting.

The clock melted away, just like Salvador Dalí said it would, and Kerrzy needed an 8.53 if he didn’t want to go home with another bridesmaid. He caught a wave with less than a minute left, but another botched air attempt saw the spoils go to Michel. It was his turn to win.

So, tomorrow…
Qantas Airlines is going to have a busy day with the tour dashing off to Bells. You’re not tired of turns yet, are you?
—Brendan Buckley

Tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts:


  • Doug

    Congrats to the judges for continuing their awesome score calling! When the announcers respond to a score with hesitation, followed by “Hhhmm, Uh, Yeah, Um, Wow, Well…” then you know the judges are right on par with everyone else watching — haha! This tour is ran by monkeys…

  • Ossy

    Surfing magazine….. is funny.. keep it up. As far as Bells goes, Winki-pop will be pumping and again they’ll hold it at 3 foot Rincon (fat Bells), Yawn!

  • tony ty carson big island

    If Miki Dora,(DA CAT), was still around, for the finals he would have probably glided by on a wave, dropped his trunks, bent over and mooned the ASP, stating with Dirk Ziff, Terry Harder, Paul Speaker, ZOOsee, Kieren Perrow, all the ASP judges, commentators and their cohorts, and probably all the staff at surfing mag., like he did at the Malibu Invitational surf contest.

  • Steve

    Did the commentators for the event write that first comment for Kelly. Ha retards.

  • Mik

    anyone who slights Kelly with the mention of “bald” is a loser.
    lower than a 12 year old’s mentality.

    loser.

    but what-ev’s:

    as much as I enjoyed Michel’s power carves…

    i sat in complete amazement at Kelly’s equally fast and powerful lip bash / to barrel stall / to barrel exit to floater — on one wave.

    I don’t think that any other surfer in the history of surfing could have done that on that wave…

    but it was Michel’s day, and he rocked it. Yeah Spartan. You have arrived.

  • masniffur

    Sparto lucked out…..

  • jezza

    I think Kelly was surprised by that score. Hell i think Spartan was surprised by that score. Three big hacks sure. Second turn huge. But he didn’t finish the wave. The commentators keep telling us how important it is to finish the wave, how it puts a punctuation mark on the score. Shows you had control from beginning to end etc. But he fell. In my book he should have got an 8.5.

  • John Z

    Could someone ask the ASP judges who’s going to win this year… Because they already seem to have made up their mind.

    Maybe we can just skip the whole surfing part and just pick whichever team rider’s sponsor lends out their team house to the judging panel, throws the best parties, etc.

    Other breaking news: Parko just got a heat taking 9.34 on a somewhat uneventful wave (snap, check turn, roundhouse, check turn, second roundhouse, floater and claim) in a key round at bells… and… Bells hasn’t happened yet.

  • Kelly Titus

    The Bobby Martinez interview in New York says it all. The ASP has become an ever increasing joke…Where is Bobby when we need him.Judging has become so subjective and accommodates the surfer who’s sponsor is involved or if they hail from where the event is held. Well , I could rant more to no avail or choose not to drop one more dime on any ASP event…I choose the latter.