I SHOULD have known Teahupoo wasn’t going to go well for me when I got there, found it close to flat by its standards and then failed completely to catch a fish the whole time!
That was an omen.
Beautiful as the surrounds of Teahupoo might be, it can be frustrating waiting for the swell to kick on and after the great couple of days the trials event had, the early wait for decent waves early on was frustrating for everybody.
So what do the pros do on an island when you’re waiting for waves?
Fish, wakeboard and play touch footy are some of the popular pursuits.
Basically, that was all we had to do for the first three days of the waiting period.
It meant you couldn’t get in any decent practise sessions, and you had to do other things to keep yourself occupied.
For the Aussie brigade, that quite often means impromptu games of touch footy.
It’s something we probably take a bit more seriously than we should sometimes – but that’s usually when we Queenslanders start giving a bit of lip to the New South Wales boys.
Anybody who has spent time on the east coast of Australia in winter knows that rugby league is a big footy code and that the annual State of Origin series between Queensland and NSW is about as brutal and raw as pro football can get.
So the old passion bubbles only a little bit below the surface with some of the boys!
Luke Munro carries a Gold Coast Titans football around with him on tour and it saw plenty of action in Tahiti.
The competitive instincts come out, and some of the guys can really play!
Tom Whitaker’s brother Chris has played rugby for Australia so Tom knows his way round a footy field. We Gold Coast boys fancy ourselves too. “Parko”, Mick Fanning and Dean Morrison all go hard. Kai Otton knows his stuff and Dayyan Neve and Luke Stedman go hard too.
There was the odd mishap. Nevey ended up with a cut nose courtesy of a Parko high shot….unintentional of course!
It wasn’t much fun when the ball landed in the eel-infested river by the side of our “field”. Punishment for any culprit responsible for that was not only retrieving it but 10 push-ups as well.
Away from the touch footy, I went fishing and exploring to kill time.
No fish was an omen of things to come but the exploring was a bonus. I went and checked out Moraea island and was pretty impressed. I want to come back there when I have more time.
Another bonus during the waiting period was the free concert put on for Teahupoo locals by Donovan Frankenreiter at the marina. Most of the ASP Top 45 got there for an unbelievable night of great music. Parko, Occy and Bruce Irons were among guys
As for the comp, what can I say?
It’s been a long time since an ASP Tour Event has had the current top five ranked guys all bow out within the first three rounds.
That was the only upside of my third round loss to Chris Ward (who surfed unreal in our heat). At least Kelly, Taj, Mick and Jeremy Flores didn’t get any further than me.
It means I slip back to No. 3 behind Kelly and Parko (who made the semis) going into the Globe Pro in Fiji but I’ll simply use the Teahupoo event as one of my “throwaways”. For those who don’t know how it works, your best nine results count towards your final ranking for the year.
With 11 contests in total, you can afford a couple of slip-ups and still be strongly placed.
It’s already behind me to be honest.
It looks like a good swell is due for the first day in Fiji so I’m frothing over the prospect of competing in my favourite event on the tour.