Reminder – all events can be watched live @ http://www.quiksilverpro.com/live.en.html
Today, the first elimination round began for the Quiksilver Pro at 7:30AM.
Balaram Stack went up against Mick Fanning, but wasn’t able to get his momentum together to unseat the previous champion. Fanning took the heat and advances to Round 3.
Balaram, just sharing the water with these guys already made you a winner in this City. You’ve got a long and amazing career ahead of you. I think the moment of Balaram’s WCT career will have to be paddling in on Kelly for the same way – though he did behave himself and back-off.
Remember, Balaram became sponsored at 14. Kelly Slater received his sponsorship at 18 and look how much he was able to achieve since.
What’s Up for the Rest of the Day
Round 2 will go through in its entirety (12 heats). We’re at heat 7 right now, about another 2-3 hours.
Then, they will immediately start Round 3 which will have all the round 1 and round 2 winners facing off to get into the next round.
One of the highlights of the morning happened not in the water but during one of the on-the-beach interviews. Surfer Bobby Martinez absolutely exploded – complaining about the World Tour, the other surfers – most likely because he’s losing and dropping off the tour. The series of expletives our of his mouth was hilarious.
Olympic gold medalist Todd Richards has been hilarious during his commentary, and almost made me snort my coffee. He described just how dangerous the surf was at the last stop – at Teahupoo – and how the athletes were all so hurt and then said, “and then its straight into New York, and your liver takes a beating.” I think its safe to say, the pros are having a blast at the far more relaxed stop here – being able to enjoy themselves (perhaps a bit too much for that 6:30am call)
Later, when commenting that he would go the the Art of Flight premiere tonight, he promised that he wouldn’t let anyone keep him in NYC and “And force alcoholic beverages down my throat and punch my liver till 3 o’clock in the morning.”
Todd Richards did have some extremely kind words though. He said, “People keep coming up to me and asking are we [Long Beach] doing a good job… if your’re watching this at home, I want you to know that you are – we feel more welcome than at our homes … and we thank you.”