By Chas Smith
Mick Fanning loses to Kai Otton. He doesn’t seem happy.
Kai needed a 7.85 with 6:32 to go. He didn’t have priority and had just gotten a 3.83. Things looking bleak. He opted to paddle back out instead of Jet Ski assist. And then a windy beautiful running right popped up. Kai didn’t have priority but Mick was out the back waiting for a glourious barrel. And Kai spun around and caught. He caught and did a series of wickedly wild tail thrown snaps right in the critical part of the wave. Kai needed a 7.85 and received an 8.03.
Time was tick tick ticking. Mick now needed a 6.79 but loads of surf so no worries! He owns this wave! With a minute left he catches one. A pretty OK one and he starts tying together a fast fast super fast floater with a couple turns. The wave was running and would certainly give him his score. But then and all of a sudden the wave died and he came unstuck. Not just any wave either, his wave. His Snapper. How inglourious! Still, it was OK. The crowd on the beach waited for the score to drop, all buzzy and anticipatory. Mick needed a 6.79. And received a 6.17.
He is walking through the crowd on the beach. Children who don’t understand scoring or winning try and get his autograph. He pushes past not smiling.