Coldwater Classic Day 2

Story lines from Steamer Lane

| posted on November 04, 2012

Nat Young and his hometown of Santa Cruz are both gracious hosts so far at the 2012 Coldwater Classic. Photo: Glaser

The 2012 ASP World Title will be decided at Pipe. Being the top-ranked surfer in the world trumps a home-field advantage as Parko holds off Nat Young in Round 3, while Dusty Payne’s Hail Mary inverted air wasn’t good enough to get the 9.34 he needed to upset Kelly. With No. 1 and No. 2 still in the contest, no champ will be crowned until December on the North Shore. What more could we ask for?

Goofyfooters have the upper hand at Steamer Lane. Wilko, Owen Wright, Damien and C.J. Hobgood, Ace Buchan, Travis Logie, and Gabriel Medina were all winners on Day 2—their backhand attacks well-suited to the head-high walls on hand today. On a Tour that tends to favor the regular-footed, the right at the Lane might represent a long-term addition to the schedule that actually favors the goofies.

Upsets everywhere. Round 2 saw the early exits of Mick Fanning, John Florence, Julian Wilson, Josh Kerr, and Miguel Pupo, all huge upsets, in that order. This leaves a field of unusual suspects with nothing to lose in the third round and beyond, and simplifies the whole world title conversation to a man-on-man discussion.

Claims won’t go away, neither will tantrums. Tempers were high, in the water and at the competitors’ tent. Regardless of nationalities, we saw more chest thumping, arm raising, board throwing theatrics than we needed to. It could be the arena, the hype and the crowds and the cliffs, or maybe the judging. Or it could be something way different, like the athletes.

Santa Cruz loves itself some surfing. 80-degree weather, a light breeze, and a perfect cliff-side amphitheater setup were a few reasons to get excited. Another was one perfectly-timed NW swell. Family, friends, wives, girlfriends, and anybody who is anybody in the Santa Cruz surf scene showed up and Instagrammed every moment of the Coldwater Classic today. Hometown supporters turned out in droves for Ratboy and Nat Young; this town is embracing the spotlight of the ASP World Tour.

See it all with Heats on Demand.

Round 2 Results
Kelly Slater def. Jason Collins
Jadson Andre def. Mick Fanning
Matt Wilkinson def. John John Florence
Adriano de Souza def. Adam Melling
Raoni Monteiro def. Julian Wilson
Owen Wright def. Tiago Pires
Damien Hobgood def. Josh Kerr
Jeremy Flores def. Kolohe Andino
Adrian Buchan def. Kieren Perrow
CJ Hobgood def. Heitor Alves
Alejo Muniz def. Miguel Pupo
Bede Durbidge def. Brett Simpson

Round 3 Results
Taj Burrow def. Jadson Andre
Travis Logie def. Adrian Buchan
Gabriel Medina def. Taylor Knox
Raoni Monteiro def. Jordy Smith
Alejo Muniz def. Bede Durbidge
Joel Parkinson def. Nat Young
Kelly Slater def. Dusty Payne
Michel Bourez def. Kai Otton

  • Ben

    Somebody explain the judging to me: Medina gets a mid 9 for an excellent, though seen-before air. Dusty does a superior, more difficult air and get a… 8.27? What’s wrong here? I consider myself among Slater’s most devoted acolytes, yet I can tell you in no uncertain terms that Dusty won that heat, at least according to previously used judging criteria. Much as it pains me to admit it, Parko should be the only serious contender left in the contest. Slater knows it too, and if he wins the title it will bear the taint of this poorly-judged heat.

  • Turpentine

    I agree with the above contributor. Dusty’s air was more unique and more critical than Gabriel’s. Pro-Kelly bias. I’m really losing faith in pro surfing.

  • PJ

    To all the Dusty whiners, this is a subjective sport, and there will always be disputes in close calls like this. That said, Dusty’s air, while technically impressive, was not nearly as smooth, fast, and amplified as Gabriel’s against Knox. Was it underscored a bit? Sure. Was it a 9.34? Absolutely not.

    Also, @Ben, when KS wins his 12th, this heat will never be thought of or mentioned by anyone that matters, let alone Slater himself. Not a single title has ever been won without questionable heats along the way.

  • Gamer

    I feel that Dust should have hot a touch higher but no doubt that Kelly won that heat

  • sam tosh

    I don’t really get the judges nowadays. I thought mick fanning and julian wilson should have won.
    Are they trying to help the guys who are going to lose their spots on tour? Very human, but very wrong.
    I am brazilian and I was there, BTW. This has to be the worst year for surfing judging in a long time. Judges, stop trying to compensate for mistakes done all year.
    Just focus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ben

    @PJ, In years when title races are critical these judge pushes matter quite a bit. We can argue the air if you like, but Medina was given a ten for a very similar, though not as high air last year in France. I am not sure what you mean by “amplified” but suffice to say you are wrong. Back to the point: When the races are close, these heats matter immensely. Some of us have good, clear memories: For instance, IMO AI actually won the title in 2005; he was only a heat behind Slater at year’s end and Slater had two bad calls go his way (in Finals!). I am not sure who you think “matters” but I imagine that a number of surf pundits, e.g. Gerlach and co. think that Dusty was shafted by the judges as well.

  • Dewey Weber

    The judging is not consistent when airs are involved. Andino was scored low for airs in his heat but in other heats airs were scored higher. Until the ASP takes the time and effort to train all of their judges to the same standard, controversy will continue. (There is no written, or any other type of consistent training program in place by the ASP)

  • RH

    I thought Mick rightfully pipped Kelly at Bells, and Kelly’s air in the final there was much more consequential than Dusty’s today, so quit ya whining. It HAS seemed lately that the judges are making themselves look ‘instead foolish’ by trying to make some close shaves look like more decisive victories than they were. But, just today it occurred to me that it is probably more just each judge trying to ensure that his idea of who was more deserving of eking out a victory prevails, afraid that some of the other judges will stray too far in the other direction… and they all wind up overbalancing the same side, and possibly regretting their paranoid over- (or under-) cooking, and may even all think it should have been scored much closer, but that they at least sent the right one on. And maybe it came down to that Dusty hasn’t shown himself heat-capable of doing a closeout turn quite like the one that Kelly did, (which speaks to its degree of difficulty), and yet Kelly has shown himself capable of doing a significantly better closeout air in a heat this year than this good one of Dusty’s (again speaking to degree of difficulty).

  • RH

    Oh, and there’s no point relating Dusty’s air to those of Medina, since apparently the judges think Gabriel is from Lake Woebegone, where “All the children are above average”. (JJF’s the only one that flows airs like they’re part of a transition skate run… Gabriel at least flows some onto clean shoulders like he’s landing on the deck and continuing to roll, but it ain’t the same… and too many just punt and peter out, akin to when a skater does a layback grind.)

  • 111makai111

    Should Dusty’s punt have won the heat for him? NO WAY! Should it have been scored a little higher? Yes. (To me) it was a sideways toss that he was lucky to have landed unlike Slater’s ‘hail-mary’s’ which are boosted and rotated with some amount of control and I believe that’s what the judges saw yesterday.

  • Sean

    All of you are talking about Kelly who rightfully won.. However, Fanning got screwed! He won his heat easily and for the judges to snatch it and the world title hopes is terrible..

  • JP

    If Kelly had done Dusty’s air, it would have had a 9 in front. Period. Kelly is awesome, consistently the best competitive surfer ever. Love the guy. But he is, IMO, also the most consistently over-scored. The fawning over Slater has to stop. He’s great, so let him prove his greatness without constantly putting a halo over his head. Stop the King Kelly shit. It effects the judging. It’s not fair to the other athletes. Frankly, just talking about style, he’s not the greatest, and if the judges gave more points to style he wouldn’t do as well.

  • JP

    Joe Turpel should be forced to listen to his own commentating non-stop for 48 hours. There is no one more annoying.

  • YD

    @Ben, that is YOUR opinion. You say Dusty’s air was superior to Medina’s, I say it was very far from that. Give Medina some rest, can you?
    By the way, whats Gerlach and co.? Is he some sort of superior being I should abide everything he says? Screw that.

  • Ben

    To be clear, Medina’s airs are the shit; along with JJF he is the best in the air game. Should have won Portugal. 20 more lbs of muscle and he’d be insane. And for those who think that Dusty’s air was pure dyscontrolled luck, I’ll refer you to his Lost Atlas segments. The guy is an astronomical talent with a bad competitive attitude, and he is every bit capable of repeating such an air. IMO all of the contenders are currently subject to judging bias; i.e. I thought Mick’s 9.73, though very well surfed, was an overscore.

  • Wayne

    On these one move per wave scores……is this not where the sport is going wrong? This contradicts the scoring criteria: best and or biggest wave, functional distance, critical section etc etc. Are we not now fixated on including airs at the cost of the basic principles of our sport? Wasn’t the idea to incorporate “new school” as part of thesports evolution but not at the cost of the actual principle of riding a full wave? Boosting 1 major move has become more valid than surfing a wave? Just a thought.