worldprosurfers

December 30, 2009

WHAT A WAY TO END 2009

Filed under: Bede Durbidge — Tags: , , , — wpssuperblog @ 7:26 pm

Celebrating Mick’s title at Turtle Bay. © Joli

Another year down but what a way to end it! I’m back home on the Gold Coast now and we’re locked into that October to early January pattern where the surf is the pits. But I’m coping because one of the best Hawaiian winters I’ve ever had is still fresh in my memory banks.

I’ve been going to Hawaii for 10 years now but this last season was definitely something special – one of the best I’ve had there. It was kind of a slow start through November but the moment December hit, it was on!

The whole month just pumped. We got bombarded with huge swell after huge swell and there were some perfect days at Pipe. I stayed at a place down at Rocky Lefts this year which was cool because it’s really central to all the breaks. I lost count of the excellent sessions out the front at Rockys but I was often lured down a bunch of times to Off The Wall, Sunset and Pipe.

The best surf I encountered was during the third day of the Pipe Masters. It was six to eight foot with a five knot offshore blowing. The waves were absolutely flawless – just like the waves you would draw in your school books when you were a kid. I don’t think it was possible to get better conditions.

Out front at Rocky Lefts. © Joli

For the pros there, the Triple Crown was very much on our mind early. My campaign didn’t get off to the best of starts when I got knocked out in my first heat of the World Cup at Haleiwa. The waves were good when they came but it was incredibly inconsistent and only one good set came through during my heat. Unfortunately I didn’t get one!

Joel Centio won it — awesome to see. Joel grew up surfing there and he had all his family and friends down the beach watching. It was a day he won’t forget for a long time and good on him.

I went a bit better at Sunset in the next event where I made the quarters for an equal ninth placing. The waves were huge. Some locals were saying it was the biggest surf they have ever held the contest in. Joel Parkinson got his third win out there. Parko was on fire all event and Mick must have been anxious watching Joel in such hot form ahead of the world title-deciding Pipe Masters.

But as it turned out, Parko had an unfortunate early exit at Pipe and Mick had the championship in the bag midway through the event. The Masters pretty much developed into a backdoor shoot-out. There was the odd sick left (CJ Hobgood got one that was one of the most perfect waves I’ve ever seen).

The only bummer about the event was it dropped off a bit for the final day, although the waves were still really fun. I bowed out in the quarters. My heat with Taj was a tough one. As mentioned, the swell had dropped off quite a bit compared to the previous days. It was a pretty close heat and I had the wave to get the score I needed near the end of the heat but I didn’t make the drop
– my board was probably a little small.

Taj kicked on to win the contest. He didn’t do any of the other Triple Crown events, preferring to concentrate solely on Pipe. That paid off and he was in great form the entire comp. It was a amazing finish to the year with Taj taking out Pipe, Mick winning his second world title and Parko grabbing his second Triple
Crown. My result at Pipe gave me an end-of-year finish of No. 3 so it was
definitely a good year for Australia. We ended up filling the top four spots which we were stoked with.

Andy at the Eddie. © Joli

The other bonus this season was getting to watch my first Eddie Aikau Memorial.
It was the best surfing comp I’ve ever watched. There must been close to 20,000 people down on the beach and it made for an insane atmosphere.
I found it really exciting. The guys out there were putting it all on the line every wave.

It was so cool to see Greg Long win it. That guy blows me away. Plus to have the contest go so well and get so much publicity around the world was really neat for the Aikau family and Eddie’s legacy. Like I said, I’m now back on the Goldie and the 2010 tour is just around the corner. I’m already excited.

I’m stoked as I picked up a new major sponsor while in Hawaii. I’m riding for Fox now. They’re a great company, although I can’t see myself trying out any motocross action with them. I came a cropper on a scooter last year in France and I won’t be racing to get on anything more powerful! But I’m frothing about the relationship and I believe 2010 is going to be a great year. I hope it is for you too.

Catch plenty of waves and remember to keep it cool in the water. We surfers are the luckiest people alive.

– Bede

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