2003 GLOBE/GALLAZ PRO OCEANSIDE: DAY FOUR

posted by / News / July 21, 2003

VETERAN’S DAY
OLD MAN MACHADO OUT-SPUNKS THE PUNKS AT THE GLOBE/GALLAZ PRO

“Who’d you be if this were the Stubbies?” This question was one he had to ponder. Strolling to the showers after an early round fly-through, Rob Machado, the lean north San Diego native, had had to stop and pick at his goatee to scratch up the thought.”Well, I guess I’d have to be the crafty veteran, and that would make me Tom Carroll.” Staring off, a bright, small smile beginning to cross his cheeks, he finished, “And I’d have to be stoked — he was by far my favorite surfer back then.”This was the kind of intimacy Mr. Machado held with Oceanside’s north jetty over the past four days here at the Globe/Gallaz Pro, a two-star world qualifying series event. Growing up in these waters, the entire mood of the event has felt perfectly suited for his win. From the summertime warm connect-the-dots wedges to his casual ease at maximizing them at their most soothing potential, the question hasn’t been so much of who would win, but of just how well he would do so. So, today we got our answer, and not only us, but also a good pack of those most hopeful to follow in his speed wakes. Bobby Martinez, arguably California’s newest grasp on the Machado factor, surfed smoothly intense from day one, finding his way into today’s semifinal number one. At 21 years young, his lines are pure and critical, always purposed, and never wasted on self- conscious flash. For Martinez, a cutback is only that: a derivative for speed and functionality. But, unfortunately for him, the first semi would be as far as they’d take him. Then, aside from that, on an even sadder note, the only other low 20s upstart to crack semis would be last years Foster’s tour champ, Hawaiian Jesse Merle-Jones, to lose right beside BM at the hands of a 30-year-old Floridian, Danny Melhado. It all came down to a single ride. At 10 minutes left, in a final he was already sucking dry, leaving other Veterans Brad Gerlach and Danny Melhado flawed and wounded, besides Aussie power stump, Heath Walker, speed blasting to no avail, that was when it happened. Alone out the back with one of the bigger sets of the day, Rob rolled into a left in his classy, motorized surfer flow. Sliding down the face it should be noted — when Robbie Mob rides a smallish wave he somehow drops his weight down to about 15 pounds, really, it’s a miraculous sight. Then, even wackier, on the same wave he’ll manage to throw about {{{100}}} pounds of spray. Again, it’s phenomena probably never to be revealed, but, as you may suspect, that was what he did today for 9.5 out of a possible 10. After this, the deal was sealed and the lights went out. The other surfers fooled around on a few more meaningless rides and a few rookies stayed to take the flustering lesson until the veteran champ was called in to show he hadn’t even broken a sweat. And should he have? It was only his second win out of three Foster’s events thus far, putting him at a far length with the ratings lead, was this really any problem at all? No. But a sweaty mess for startling U.S. pros on that trek to have their day. Hagan Kelley

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