Bruce Irons started it off in the first heat with two draining barrels that set the bar for the day–and sent Bruce to third round. He later told Danny Fuller, Dustin Barca, our Tahitian friend Manu, and myself that we “were looking really creepy drinking beers on the point. The pot calling the kettle black?
The best caddy award goes to Dean Morrison’s girlfriend Alana Brennan. After Dean was launched over the falls on a set wave and came up with his board splintered in half, Alana, who’s drop dead gorgeous, blasted out to her dude like a bat out of hell, switched out boards, and swam back to the channel. Dean won the heat and will also move on to round three.
I was speaking with Rochelle Ballard yesterday and she got all misty eyed as she told me how this is the last time the girls are going to have an event here. Rochelle and Keala Kennelly are bummed, but I imagine the rest of the ladies are relieved, they’ve had one rough ones down here.
Danny Fuller killed it yesterday! The Kauai goofyfoot smashed Mick Fanning and much heralded rookie Adriano De Souza. Fuller, who made it into the event after a Top 44 injury opened a slot, weaved through two heaving six foot barrels to earn one of the highest heat scores of the day. I took it upon myself to buy some beers for him and his coach/publicist Dustin Barca after that display of ripping.
The best action of the day was between Manoa Drollet and Andy Irons. In their round one heat with Cory Lopez, Manoa was aggressively jockeying Irons and at one point, both of them went over the falls on a set wave and surfaced with their boards and leashes all tangled up–I though they were gonna come up swinging. Andy was visibly pissed and had some f-bombs for his Billabong teammate Manoa–for everyone in the channel to hear. It wasn’t over after that. Toward the end of the heat, Andy just stuffed Manoa and faded right, cutting the Tahitian wildcard off, and not giving a shit about interference. The best Tahitian surfer and the best Hawaiian surfer are two guys who are not going to roll over for anyone.Kelly Slater’s first wave was ridiculous. One of the bigger waves of the day, Slater ass-dragged into the pit and came flying out in a flurry of pit to the delight of the crowd packing the channel.
Back to Fuller Barca show. After watching some amazing free surfing go down with the sun and bodysurfing a couple, we cruised out to the mega yacht he’s staying on with Andy, Kelly, Kaiborg, Taylor Knox and some other people that can afford the $200 per night five star accommodations. Suffice to say, several Mai Tai’s were consumed in luxury until stowaways like myself were booted before dinner.
Life is good down here at Chopes. If you can’t make it in person, tune in today to watch the live Web cast at www.aspworldtour.com or www.billabongpro.com I’ll be the one kickin’ it in the channel almost getting clipped by the west bowl.
Thanks to the Tahitian Tourism Board, the Maoni family, Billabong, and Air Tahiti Nui for their generous hospitality!