THE 2003 BILLABONG PRO MUNDAKA: DAY NINE

posted by / News / October 20, 2003

Surf: Small beach-break at Bakio (Almost)
Events held: Last four heats of round one (Almost)
Nature’s call: Boys don’t cry
Predicted:A 6-foot swell right after the waiting period
Ach! So this is the best world tour to date — the “super” tour with the best waves and most mind- boggling surfboard riding ever seen. Surely it is, but today proved that one old adage is true for all surfers no matter what their breed or competitive organization. Sometimes, it’s just flat. Under an ominous gray, with the offshore oil derricks not visible under a looming storm of rain, such notable experts as Occy, Shane Powell and Cory Lopez — after six days of doing nothing — made their way 20 minutes south to the less-than-legendary peaks of Bakio beach. An action would have to be made. And one almost was.”Ahr they gonna’ be calling scores?” asked Occy, jumper pulled tight over his new head full of dreadlocks and curious about the mobile site’s PA capabilities. Looking at the windswept ocean, the legendary carver was not impressed. They would not be calling scores: it would be more like a WSA than a WCT. Nevertheless, it was kind of rippable. “Let’s do this thing, already,” called Chris Davidson as he watched Nathan Hedge come in after a nice backhand combo. But surfers and organizers stalled for another hour or so until the next huge downpour settled it. The whole circus scrambled back for cars and warm hotel beds.

Of course, not everyone may think that such a bad thing. For the past few days, with contest waiting period winding down and one of the most talent-heavy world title races of all time hanging in the balance, speculations on a cancellation have become rather keen. From one smoky tapas bar to the next, the question has been the same: “For Billabong, with this being their contest, and with their world champ already out — why wouldn’t they want to see this thing fold?” Then Kelly couldn’t have any better than a 17th.Then again, it looks like we do have a windswell on the way, and none of these dudes are looking to pick up a 17th. Not Taj Burrow, who almost no one knows is only {{{100}}} adjusted points behind Slater. He didn’t even have to surf today and yet, the little freak was still down there ready to take notes: in the rain. Think he’s focused? And check that kid Nate Yeomans, the one who took out Andy. Two nights ago, holed up in his hotel room, the scene was magnificent, with the wildcard howling and stomping his feet. “After Andy, how’s that next heat, Nate?”Vzzzz… out came the shaver. With a buddy skimming off the first layer of his bleached blond there was a crazed shining in the kid’s eyes. “I’m gonna’ Bic this thing, and then I’m gonna’ keep it under a hat all the way until our heat. Then when I walk up for my jersey, I’ll rip that thing off and be like, ‘Bbwwow!’”Ever since the hat has stayed on, so in that regard the anticipation has been great. The boys love it. “How is that guy?” said an admiring Kalani Robb. “The kid’s demented, and who knows? It just might work.” And the word is that Kelly Slater has just been up in France, Cruising. Stay tuned surf fans, the swell is filling in and the “super” tour is about to get super again.– Hagan Kelley

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