THE 2003 BILLABONG PRO TEAHUPO’O: DAY FIVE

posted by / News / May 9, 2003

Surf: 6-foot, southwesterly spinners
Events held: Men’s round one
Nature’s call: Give thanks
Predicted: Bigger!
“I can’t believe it,” said Kieren Perrow, clearly disgruntled.“What happened, KP?” asked big Luke Egan.The normally mild-tempered charger looked slightly frantic. The surf was shamefully perfect, in that with the coming of each new set, the amount of tube time allowed was actually beyond the bounds of good taste. The early sun was at this point making the morning trades feel as good as they would all day. Obviously, it was no time for messing around. So, when the announcement was made that today, the women would be surfing first, well, something had to be done.The entire crowd; which must have been 43 of the world’s best 44, were all eyes on Mr. Perrow when he reared up on his board to deliver the ASP’s verdict. “He said, ‘If anyone wants to question my decision, then have him come go toe-to-toe with me,’” continued Perrow indignantly, concerning the non official-call of one Chris O’Callahan, a local contest affiliate pushing for the women. “There’s gonna have to be a line then, if he wants that to happen,” remarked Shane Dorian as another blue bender began to suck the reef dry.

When that row of dream waves at last subsided for a minute or two, then the members of this very venerated lineup continued to talk. The question was: what to do? Doubtless, the preferred answer would be just as they were–only for fame and fortune. Well, duh? But, the real question was: how?”Let’s just stay out here until they start calling our heats,” said Luke Egan for starters.Just then, a jet ski parked outside the break. It was Steve Robertson from ASP Australia. Before he could let out a word the lineup had their say. “Whoever thinks the men should surf, raise your hand,” led Luke Egan.In an instant, every hand was up.”I’ll do what I can,” said Robertson, jetting off.Fifteen minutes later, a loud voice came over the loud speakers. “Surfers in the water, please start clearing the water, we are looking at a women’s 8:00 start.”The surfers erupted. And, as if scripted, at that moment Keala Kennelly paddled out smiling. Then, five minutes later, another voice came through the speakers.”There’s been a change. Men’s competitors, please check in immediately for heat one. Kelly Slater; Armando Daltro…A small, wimpering frown showed on Keala’s face.

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