Oakley Pro Bali: Finals Day

posted by / News, Photos / June 27, 2013

Josh Kerr, present. Photo: Jimmicane

Josh Kerr, present. Photo: Jimmicane

All the lenses in Bali came out for the final day. Photo: Jimmicane

All the lenses in Bali came out for the final day. Photo: Jimmicane

CJ Hobgood is your favorite surfer again. Photo: Jimmicane

CJ Hobgood is your favorite surfer again. Photo: Jimmicane

Josh Kerr, nice and snug. Photo: Jimmicane

Josh Kerr, nice and snug. Photo: Jimmicane

This glass is more than half full. Michel Bourez, optimistically deep. Photo: Jimmicane

This glass is more than half full. Michel Bourez, optimistically deep. Photo: Jimmicane

Joel Parkinson’s winning form. Photo: Jimmicane

Joel Parkinson’s winning form. Photo: Jimmicane

When you surf this well, rookie jitters cease to exist. Nat Young. Photo: Jimmicane

When you surf this well, rookie jitters cease to exist. Nat Young. Photo: Jimmicane

After watching Michel burgle a final’s berth from him at the last minute, Nat Young was nothing but congratulatory after the heat. Photo: Jimmicane

After watching Michel burgle a final’s berth from him at the last minute, Nat Young was nothing but congratulatory after the heat. Photo: Jimmicane

They don’t call him the Spartan for nothing. Michel lays into one. Photo: Duncan

They don’t call him the Spartan for nothing. Michel lays into one. Photo: Duncan

The conditions may have been a step down for a guy who just scored a 20/20, but Parko still found a way to win. Photo: Duncan

The conditions may have been a step down for a guy who just scored a 20/20, but Parko still found a way to win. Photo: Duncan

A gentleman’s embrace. Gentle, but manly finalists. Photo: Sherm

A gentleman’s embrace. Gentle, but manly finalists. Photo: Sherm

None of that volcanic black sand on these hooves. Parko, uplifted. Photo: Sherm

None of that volcanic black sand on these hooves. Parko, uplifted. Photo: Sherm

$75,000, a trophy and a spot in the title race. Bali was good to Joel Parkinson. Photo: Duncan

$75,000, a trophy and a spot in the title race. Bali was good to Joel Parkinson. Photo: Duncan


 

He was confident from the very first heat. Focused and having fun. This is how champs maintain themselves. And once they’re there, it’s hard to take them down.

But defending world champ Joel Parkinson was only barely in the title race this year.

That’s behind us now. The Champ is back. Parko surfed all the best waves of this event and, in the end, he won but gutting it out “contest surfing” style in less than perfect conditions. A champ through and through.

After yesterday’s perfect 20 heat, it seemed like Parko’s opponents just kinda rolled over for him today. Taj Burrow never quite put a decent quarterfinal wave on the boards, and after the wind turned onshore halfway through their semi-final, Josh Kerr never quite caught a second wave. And Parko was into the final.

Michel Bourez’s path was different. He never did anything amazing, but he did a lot of it. Enough to out score Mick Fanning. And in his semifinal against Nat Young, he pushed through six turns on a mediocre wave in the last minute to steal the heat. Nat Young, still sitting at sixth place in the rankings, seemed a little too okay with the result. He even giggled when I suggested he could possibly win a world title this year. Not a good sign. But Rookie of the Year, you betcha.

While the Oakley Pro Bali will be remembered as one of the best events of all time, the Finals weren’t much to watch. The swell was there, but so was the wind. Contest organizers actually put the event on hold for a full 10-minutes between semifinal one and two just to scratch their heads. Nope. No way around it.

Sitting out the back in blown out bombers, Parks and Boar realized quickly enough that they ought to start posting 6s and 7s to build their little houses. And so it went.

This is where it actually got exciting. No more five-second barrels, but two very determined surfers doing whatever it took to not be the guy standing with the trophy that read RUNNER  UP.

Down and out with just 2 minutes left, Parko slashed and smashed his way to a passable comeback 8-point-something. With just seconds left, Bourez dropped in needing a 7. The buzzer sounded. Slash. Hack. Smash. Float. Was it enough? Both surfers sat in the lineup awaiting their fate.

Only the judges knew. They’d given 9s for less and 6s for more. Keramas was proving to be a crazy variable of scoring possibilities from one heat to the next.

Of course we know how this ends. Parko got the score. The Champ is back in the hunt.

A title race much improved. With Parko, Mick, Taj and Kelly all in contention. And Nat Young right there too. If the Oakley Pro Bali didn’t turn the tide, it at least shuffled the deck.

And if mixing metaphors meant matching milestones, then an after party at Sky Garden was something munchies and weeble-wobbles should reconsider as utterly confounding.

That doesn’t make any sense. I realize that. It’s late. We’re still celebrating Parko’s win. And a title race worth watching.

Thank you for the surf contest, Bali. –Nathan Myers

 

Finals Day Highlights

Tags: , , , ,

Related Posts:


  • Drew

    Will someone sponsor CJ…PLEASE!?

    Great all-around guy, top 10 WCT surfer and oh yeah, a world championship….What more do you need to sponsor an athlete?

  • Jimmicane

    “Only the judges knew. They’d given 9s for less and 6s for more.” haha! This is true.

  • Jase

    Boures: “he never did anything amazing, but he did a lot of it.” this story is all time. Go Parko.

  • Charlie

    Must disagree with the Michel Bourez comment, to the degree that he pulled a “Kelly” at the end of the semi final heat and detonated the snot out of that last wave to win it… Plus he arrived in the finals using precision and power against other great surfing. It was a pleasure to watch (great view from the sand!) Michel and all the pros put on a clinic of great surfing and Bali stepped up and delivered. Fantastic event all around!

  • Ballin

    Poor CJ…seems like he’s almost done, yet he’s one of the best surfers in the world. Crazy.

    Parko was form surfer of the event and deserved this win. Never slowed down once. True champ. Go Joel.

  • Mik

    Hey Nathan, who the fuck are you to try to demean Nat Young? He was surfing circles around most of the bottom half of the tour when he was 14 years old. Nat may have off-guardedly laughed at your comment, because he’s polite and understated (like JJ). But to publicly try to make him look foolish with a comment like you wrote? You are totally off base. But then so is your deluded view that Parko earned that trophy. He didn’t, and 80% of the comments are saying it loud and clear. The judging is biased… It’s been biased one way or another for years, and it has to stop. There are obvious scores for obvious maneuvers, but you can’t score one barrel a 7, and then throw a 10 at the same kind of ride just because Parko is on it, or Kelly. We are not blind, and we are not stupid. My closest friend texted me that he turned it off after Bourez (whom I greatly respect) was over-scored on that last wave against Nat. Then underscored in the final. Calling it whimsical is too polite. Yeah we all have our own biases. But surely the judges need to be trained to weed it out. And the first weed to be pulled is the fact that the judging team has too many Aussies on it. One rep from every surf area is the ONLY logical system, and frankly, they should all be former touring pros.

  • Adam

    “judging team has too many Aussies on it” what???? It already has one judge from each major country in surfing.

  • DOMA

    are those chicks or dudes carrying parko??

  • matt O’Brien

    parko’s 7.86 vs Michel: Aussie judge gave it a 8.5. Seriously! That should say something about the b.s. that we the 80% majority are talkin’ about right there. Oh well, bring on the next comp. These can piss me off, but it is a great show. Just getting harder to watch blatant favoritism. Best SURFiNG wins, not best SURFER. otherwise why not just give it JohnJohn or Kelly (or Dane few years back) and don’t even bother with a comp. This event had the chance for a first time winner – but the judges Made the Call to keep in the usual.

  • Mik

    There are 5 Judges, and 2 are Aussies. And unfortunately it shows. They appear to be on a mission to keep the Trophy in Oz hands. Or something like that. I don’t really want to become the Jim Rome of surf blogs, but it is blatantly clear that scores are being thrown at some, and held back on others.

  • Kaipo Gomes

    CJ might have killed any hope of getting a “Main” sponsor with his on-air interview during the contest live. Let me say I first met and worked with both Hobgood brothers when they were 15. They are both awesome people and great surfers. With that said CJ’s rambling interview was horrible. I felt sorry for him and wanted to pull the plug so he wouldn’t do any more damage to his rep. Have to say Bruce also didn’t do himself any favors with his interview. Bruce did not look or sound good. He sounded high. High on something other than surfing. I sure hope Enich Harris is keeping a close eye on Bruce and what he is doing in Bali especially after the sun goes down. As high as the awesome Oakley contest and webcast took the sport of surfing those two interviews brought the stereotype of surfers crashing right back to the world of Spicoli. Be careful what you wished for ZoSea because that is what you’ll be selling to the world. Awesome job to Oakley and everyone associated with putting on a great contest and webcast.

  • Laurie

    Its time CJ and John John stand up on their own. C J is hiding behind his intitials, may have been cool at school but in the mature cold world of bussines it does not work,its time he stood up and announced to the media my name is Clifton Hobgood and Im proud of it.
    John John is living in the shadow of his hippy/skater/ hot mum, he will always be explaining the double name.Its time to make a break from his mum and and tell the media my name is John Florence.