Durbidge Castle in Bali © Shield
I guess you could call it an opportunity lost. Not just for me, but for a few of us in the top 10 who were trying to chase down Kelly’s big lead going into The Search in Indonesia.
With Kelly having a third round exit, a few of us got excited about making some headway on that points gap: but then most of us, including myself, go and bail out in the very next round!
With the exception of Taj who reached the quarters, those of us who went into the event ranked from two to eight weren’t really able to make a dent.
I was spewing but you have to get over it quickly and move on. Which means getting the focus right for the next event at Trestles in California. Fortunately, that’s not hard for me because I have a soft spot for the Boost Pro. I broke through for my first WCT win there two years ago when I was able to beat Kelly in the final. I’ve always enjoyed Trestles as a wave and California as a place, so I’m confident of being in the right zone for the event.
Boxing with Elko last year. © Shield
I’ll tune up ahead of leaving with a few training sessions with Elko and get some time in with my shaper Wayne McKewen on my quiver. I’m away for six weeks on this next stint so it’s important to get things right before I go.
Reflecting on The Search, once again it was an insane event. We had really good waves at different times. So much so that the event was wound up within five days which is a rare occurrence on tour. Bali was such a great choice of location and I hope Rip Curl come up with somewhere just as good next year.
Occasionally, the event was a bit frustrating when it got super tidal. You could have one heat with guys getting nines and the next heat with guys getting fives and still getting through. The conditions could shift that rapidly, so it was often really hard to know what kind of waves you were in for in your heat, or where to sit. But your competitor is in the same boat so it kind of added an extra element and edge to each heat.
Master shaper (and surfer) Wayne McKewen. © Mt Woodgee
Some amazing surfing went down during the event. I was caddying for Timmy Reyes in that heat he had with Kelly. I’ve never seen surfing like that … it was freakish. Freddie P was also on fire the whole time we were there and Bruce Irons’ barrel riding on the final day showed he was a worthy champion.
As per usual, Bali also delivered out of the water. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. I took my wife Tarryn and we had an awesome time. We fit pretty easily into the Bali lifestyle!
In terms of the tour, my strategy from here is to just keep chipping away without giving up. I am due a win and I know it’s there soon.