“That was lame,” was not the quote we were expecting would sum up the first quarter-final of the Oakley Pro Bali this morning, but after Joel Parkinson and Taj Burrow played out a dud 30 minutes it was all Parko had to say on the matter. TB, the guy on tour with the most hours logged at Keramas, drifted in over the reef and trudged up the beach with but three points to his name, wondering just what it is exactly he’s ever done to the surf gods, as Joel continued on his merry way through the draw.
For a week we’ve been hearing that today was going to be the best waves of the window but it never quite clicked. Making weather calls with the benefit of hindsight is a prick of an act but there were mutterings that round two could have been dealt with a little quicker and the event could have shifted forward, but contest director Tommy Whitaker, on debut and with a million opinions in his ear, did a good job all week of working with the surfers, the winds and the seas, and all parties were happy to go with his calls.
Sure enough, and with Taj hopefully not watching, CJ Hobgood and Josh Kerr started swapping pits in the second quarter, and finals day proper got underway. There were many storylines in play, CJ’s return to the upper echelon of the tour being one of the more popular. There was also the run of Kerr, like Burrow a Keramas veteran, but unlike Taj still without a world tour victory to his name. Surely today could provide Kerrzy with his first trophy?