worldprosurfers

November 17, 2009

LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , , , — wpssuperblog @ 5:59 pm

Pipe. © Joli

I’m on my way to Hawaii, we’ve got an amazing world title showdown about to unfold in front of us at Pipe and my mind is just full of all of those amazing waves we had last North Shore winter. My mood has obviously been helped along by my recent run of results which has got me back into a position to achieve my goal for this year – finishing inside the Top 5.

I’ve had a chance to freshen up at home on the Goldie after the Search in Portugal and I’m frothing about what might lie ahead in Oahu. The Triple Crown is going to be awesome.

Having that little “mini-circuit” at the end of the Dream Tour is a nice carrot at the end of the season for the guys who are out of the running for the world title — and that’s all of us bar Mick and Joel!

That carrot’s pretty big this year too. It’s a nice cash prize but I still reckon the prestige of being a Triple Crown winner is something money can’t buy. If I can repeat my 2007 Crown success again, I’ll be stoked.

But most eyes are rightfully going to be on Joel and Mick. Australia wins either way because we get to bring the world champion home with us at the end of the Pipe Masters. It’s going to be an awesome show as the title comes down to the wire.

Mick has the upper hand — but not by much. Both guys have made finals at Pipe so it’s anyone’s still. I’d love to replicate my 2007 success at Pipe because not only would it cement that top 5 finish I want and prime me for a big campaign next year, I will have also achieved my other goal of winning at least
one event per year.

I’ve done that the last three years running, so the pressure’s on at Pipe!
My recent run gives me some confidence, though. I last blogged after the event in France where Mick beat me in the final. I followed that with a 5th at Mundaka and then reaching the final in Portugal against Mick yet again. So I can’t be too bummed. Two seconds in France and Portugal, a third at Trestles and a fifth at Mundaka gave me the consolidating run through California and Europe that I needed.

It was a bonus to also be involved in one of the more memorable tour days. I’m talking about the third round and quarter final day at the Search.

We’d missed the best surf in years at Mundaka by a week so everybody was amping for Portugal.

We had fun waves before the event started. There are so many set-ups there and that coast gets so much swell. Everyone was stoked to be surfing some good waves because we hadn’t had much the rest of the European leg.

I felt right at home among the punchy beach breaks. Growing up on Straddie Island, we encounter those sorts of waves all the time. The only bummer is they are board breakers too! I snapped my favourite board on my first wave in my heat with Marlon Lipke. I was so bummed. It was the magic board I won in Brazil last year and that I had used in the final in France. I loved that board!

Peniche. © Joli

It was hard to get my head around it for a couple of minutes there but then I said to myself: “I’ll get another magic one”, and got on with the heat.

The third round and quarter finals were pretty insane. We scored some of the best waves of the year in round three. There were a lot of closeouts in the quarters but the odd perfect one would sneak through. It was one of those that saved me in my quarter with Jordy. That’s a heat I’ll definitely remember. I knew he would be fired up to beat me because I had knocked him out in the last comp the week before. And sure enough he had me on the ropes and just about beat. I needed a 9.67 to win, which is pretty much a 10. But I just had this weird feeling that if I was patient I was going to get it. Luckily this bomb came through and it went to plan. That wave – and being awarded a 10 – was such a rush. And the crowd made it even better. They were insane to surf in front of, probably the best I’ve seen on tour. They made it so much more exciting to surf.

My semi clash with Parko is also something I’ll remember for a long time. I knew it was going to take a big heat to overcome Joel given he was obviously back in top form. The swell had dropped off from the previous day but it still looked fun. Joel got a couple of good scores early then the wind changed halfway through the heat and just went to crap. I needed something like a 7.8 and I couldn’t see much hope of that given how the barrels at the start of the heat had pretty much disappeared. Time was ticking down and this left came. Parko didn’t go it and I thought ‘I’ll just go it and see what happens’. It turned into a 7.3 and then I only needed a 5.5. I paddled back out and pretty much got nearly the same score. If only all heats went that well!

The conditions were even worse for the final. Mick and I were both scrambling for whatever we could find. It was really hard to find a wave that ran off and let you get in a few turns. I fell on a good wave and that probably cost me the final. But it was still good to finish on a high note after a good trip.

Bring on Hawaii!

– Bede

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