John John Florence, future winner of the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. Photo: Damea Dorsey
West Oz is almost quiet again. Out of the 54 surfers (36 men, 18 women) with two feet in the draw at the 2015 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, we are left with a very lonely 4. Everyone else, gone. Even the Brazilians — a group that’s known to stick around until their last of their countrymen falters — are already back home drinking Caipirinhas and eating acai and samba dancing and stereotype stereotype air reverse stereotype.
Meanwhile, John John Florence, Nat Young, Taj Burrow and Adriano de Souza are trying to win an event. Probably, one of them will do it today. And probably, it will be John John Florence.
Keiren Perrow has been trying to surf The Box as much as possible. The WSL has been trying to run at The Box as much as possible. If the Semis and Final go down at the slab, my hasty internet claim is all but prophecy. John John is on a different level in the tube. His consistency in competition has been an issue, but two half-hour heats will not be enough to expose that weakness. After his most recent WCT win at the 2014 Quiksilver Pro France, John maybe possibly had a few wines and then maybe possibly pissed on his phone in a celebratory daze. Western Australia, if you’re reading this, I’d hide every iPhone from Perth to Albany. Like, right now. Hide ’em. Trust me.
If it runs at Main Break, John’s path to the podium will be a little bit harder. Nat Young has easily been the Drug Aware’s sharpest goof — if Mark Occhilupo had an official stamp of approval*, Nat’s surfing would surely be inked — and he is smarter in heats than Mr. Florence. Taj Burrow is having a baby and I think that when people have babies they try harder at shit? Just a guess. No matter what happens, Adriano de Souza will be the ratings leader after this event and you know as well as I do as well as Brazil does that he’d love to extend his lead and put himself in a position to finally win the Title that he craves so madly.
Still, Main Break or Box, John John wins it. Or else I look like an asshole. Either scenario is fine by me. —Brendan Buckley
*Why doesn’t Mark Occhilupo have an official stamp of approval?