It was a fitting end. There, on the stage at the the 2014 Vans World Cup of Surfing, dripped a hulking Tahitian. His name was Michel Bourez and he’d just won the second diamond of the 2014 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Dusty Payne, Sebastian Zietz and Ian Walsh stood beside him on the podium and behind a figurative sea of people, there was an actual sea of 6-8 foot waves at Sunset Beach. The sun had just started its dive into the Pacific. And everything felt right, fitting, like a glove but not the kind that Richie Collins used to employ for a paddling advantage.
After three previous suns of competition at Sunset in conditions that ranged from chunky noodle to impotent, the final day was everything you’d wished it would be. Big enough, with good winds — the kind of Sunset that you dream about when you’re 45. Nobody, not even Josh Kerr, considered an air all day and there was nary a surfboard under 6′ or stubby. Rail turns were king and floaters might have just been queen. Barrels were Jacks and Ace Buchan was ace. Sure was a good day for the purists.
And it all ended as Michel dripped, while nobody did so much as raise an eyebrow. Guy’s got more power than an entire house of cards and his Tahitian home is practically on the same longitude as this big green rock. So there he stood, $40K richer within striking distance of a second Triple Crown, next to a newly WCT qualified Dusty Payne, grinning. And it just felt right. Like a glove. Like a new pair of jeans. Like Sunset Beach in December.