We’ve been waiting for him to cut loose on this tour and we leave Snapper…still waiting. “You know the thing with this contest,” offered stately photographer Lord Ted Grambeau in a voice of deep mahogany. “The worst the forecast is, the better it gets. True.
After watching Gabe Medina surf his heat yesterday morning, I felt compelled to go and twist my own knee viciously and rupture some ligaments, because doing so had worked wonderfully well for his surfing.
Just three days ago, it was patchy with no sand behind the rock, but it’s like the sand elfs have been at work every night and every morning we get back here and the bank has grown an extra 30 feet.
I asked if he was going to shoot a lineup shot and he replied, “I’ll just shoot the next one. ” Just then, an ornate cowry shell decoration hanging behind us in the surfer’s area started clinking, and by the time we looked back at the ocean, an onshore front was blowing and would blow its tits off for the rest of the day.
I hustled through the back lanes of Coolanghetto, through the dawn crowd, and crossed the road at Rainbow Bay just in time to hear the beach announcer tell Mick his barrel had come in half a point short of what he needed. Mick splashed the water.
Two weeks ago it was forecast to be flat, a week ago it was supposed to be huge and onshore, and yet here we were looking at the best Snapper this contest has had since the first edition 15 years ago when Cyclone Des pulsed for a week across the freshly pumped Superbank.
It was a poetic draw, as Mick has been heavily (and quietly) involved with Owen’s recovery over the past year and wanted nothing more than for Owen’s recovery to continue here at Snapper…just not at his expense.
I sat alongside photographer Todd Glaser, and as we chatted about the future of surf magazines (a short conversation, sadly), a ruler-edged set rolled down the bank better than anything Todd had shot during his first visit to Kelly’s wave ranch.
I’m sure I even heard over the commentary someone pitching a sand dredge like he’s selling used cars: “If you need a sand bypass, go and see these guys!
He looked a million dollars at the Manly contest, just got hitched, and just dropped what is likely to be the edit of the year with Wayward, but yesterday, he got dusted by the Japanese-Australian rookie with the Irish name, Connor O’Leary.
Read more here: Surfer Mag