2014 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Day 2

The Rainbow Place Death March
After a freesurf on the Superbank this afternoon, I returned to the Rainbow Place apartments, where the SURFING team stays when we’re on the Goldy. We’re not the only ones. About half the tour stays here which means that Mark and Vicky, who run the place, know everyone. I passed Vicky as I came back from surfing and she had a sort of worried look on her face. “Looks like you guys will have plenty to write about today…” I stopped to chat with her. “Just upset city.”

Welcome to Upset City, population: You
“I told Mark that I almost closed reception and crawled back into our apartment there were so many of our guys going down today,” Vicky said. She’s referring specifically to…
…Jordy Smith…looked at Vicky when he came in and “Just shook his head and said, ‘Oh my God.’” Jordy’s heat loss came at the hands of Tiago Pires, who took advantage of some inside growers while Jordy sat out the back and inexplicably waited until the last 30 seconds to try and back up a 7.17. He punched his board after the heat.
…Kai Otton…surfed well, but Dion Atkinson was surfing like he had something to prove. And he did. He’s been getting pretty written-off lately. Even the beach announcers were giving him verbal head pats like he was a cancer patient surfing in a Make-a-Wish heat. “Dion Atkinson’s first ride on a Jet Ski in a WCT heat, ladies and gentleman…Enjoy it, Dion!” Let’s not forget the man qualified for the WCT, and today he posted two of the top-5 waves of the day. After Kai was ousted, he returned to Rainbow Place and passed Vicky and said, “Well, up to the room for a beer and a coffee.” Call it a combination.
…John John Florence…didn’t say a word to Vicky as he walked through reception. “I think it’s just because he’s young,” said Vicky. “Each event seems to matter so much when you’re that age.” Which is true, the veterans remember that this event is worth the same amount as any other this year, shake it off and move forward. But I suppose you want to hit the ground running, so the loss to a razor-sharp Travis Logie wasn’t an easy pill to swallow.
…Filipe Toledo…is staying here, too. I spoke with Vicky before his heat so I didn’t get Filipe’s last words, but he surfed a heat similar to Jordy’s and wound up losing to Mitch Crews. I spoke to Mitch earlier in the day and he was admittedly disappointed in his Round 1 performance and nervous for his heat against Filipe. He must have shaken it off by the afternoon because he surfed in ‘CT-fashion and earned himself a nice confidence boost.

They say that tomorrow…
The show must go on. Jimmicane said that Mitch Crews said that Joel said that with these southerlies blowing, tomorrow could be really good. They’ll probably squeeze in a couple heats before the tide peaks around 11:30 a.m., then run again on the other side of it. Earliest the comp can start is 8 a.m., which is a shame because you can live three lifetimes by 8 o’clock around here the sun rises so damn early.

—Taylor Paul