Tue, 21 May 2019

Coming across a comment by Aussie legend Gary "Kong" Elkerton on Facebook, Spike sifts through the deluge of reaction to Jordy's exit from the Corona Bali Protected.

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PROPER HACK: Jordy Smith made a few mistakes, falling short by under a point. Photo WSL / Dorsey

Kong, like many others and some using stronger language, had a go at the WSL judges on Facebook following Jordy Smith's 10.33 exit from the Corona Bali Protected at the hands of Jesse Mendes and his 11.2 score. "If I was Jordy Smith I would be pissed off. What a joke. WSL judges in fine form again??" His comment was liked by many people, including another Aussie legend Ian Cairns. And hey, these guys are not whining Saffas like we are.

The judges want heavy barrels. Well, some are asking: "What do little cover-ups count for?" How do they compare apples with pears? A big power carve with elastic recovery on a pivotal part of the wave versus a little head dipper? We've spoken already about Jordy's big frame and his big power style with flow that a. make the wave look smaller and b. make his moves look like they're performed too easily, and therefore don't look intense.

That begs the question: Do the judges understand degree of difficulty, or at least, are they applying their template of reference correctly? Should we even be judging surfing? It's a highly subjective matter, and one that is endlessly debated so in a sense that argument is moot.

Someone called Louis Rice agreed with Kong: "That carve alone (for Jordy) was a 6+. Marginal barrel, a 5.60 (Mendes)?"

Saffa surf journo Craig Jarvis, writing in Tracks Mag, said: "There is the contention that if the judges were clearly scoring for the air games and the huge punts, then how did a backhand barrel from Jesse get the winning score?

"It was mentioned in the criteria for the day that for a barrel to get the big score, it needed to be deep and throaty, and Jesse’s neat backhand barrel was far from that. With less than a point in it, the loss was a crushing blow to Jordy’s chances on the world title chase at a venue that is almost tailor-made for his style of power surfing."

"Time for new judges," cried Chris Burdine on Facebook. It would probably not be okay if it were only South Africans pointing fingers and jumping up and down at the judging, and how the criteria on the day are applied. Are we moaning without reason on this score, so to speak? Or do we lack the gravitas to comment because we'll just be seen as blindly following our boy?

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BACKSLASH: Jesse Mendes represents the new powerhouse that is Brazil. Photo WSL / Dorsey

Not judging by the outpouring from many other non-Saffas out there. One question asked was: "Do these Judges surf??" Kong chimed in again, "Not sure I bet they have never won a club contest tho they need to explain there actions which they don’t?"

Now I am not sure the grammar was quite on point there Kong, but the sentiment is. Like in most sports, match officials can come under review by a panel of referees. Who is the review board for the judges on the WSL? Do they get performance reviews?

Even commentator Luke Egan appeared shocked. Veteran captain of the South African surf industry Barry Wolins, who now lives in the US, had to stop watching, saying he was just too disgusted to continue.

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DEEP AND THROATY: To get tubed or get an air. What to do? What to score? Photo WSL / Dorsey

However, our Saffa representative on the commentary team with Rozy Hodge, Gigs Cilliers, who is there after all and watches it first hand, disagreed with the general complaints and agreed with Durban surfer Ryan Bisset's appraisal that "Jordy did not dominate the heat at all and left the judges unconvinced. The only person that should be disappointed is Jordy with his own performance."

Celliers said: "I’m on beach commentary here in Keramas and despite being disappointed the deal wasn’t sealed by Jordy. Also, his air reverse didn’t have height and projection. Next stop Margie’s, which will suit him."

Either way, it hurts.

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AERIAL ROUTE: Deep and throaty would be required to top this height. Photo WSL / Dorsey

Remaining Men’s Round 3
Heat 13: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.73 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.00
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.73 DEF. Mikey Wright (AUS) 6.50
Heat 15: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.90 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 7.60
Heat 16: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.20 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.33

Men’s Round 4
Heat 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.67 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.77
Heat 2: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 13.87
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.17 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.00
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.16 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.67
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.93 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.47
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.46 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 14.27
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.23 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.80
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.66 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 5.86

Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups
Heat 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)

Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
QF 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
QF 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
QF 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)

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