The Cobbles Classic is coming up this weekend. Gregg Clarke takes us through what to expect from this epic lil comp:
"Nah, I dont enter longboard comps cos the style is now all like shortboarding on a longboard...its lost the whole classic traditional soul that longboarding is all about. Give me a single fin event with more traditional scoring criteria and im in!"
That’s pretty much how the whole Cobbles Classic idea came about. Simple supply and demand. There are loads of longboard surfers in SA who have been hooked on the glide of the traditional longboards and love the very essence of what traditional surfing is all about. Im not talking about the current hipster movement where all things retro are considered cool, instead I am referring to the individuals, some who quite sometime back, gave up the whole high-performance-super-fast-surfing for a more style focussed, flowing kind of a thing.
At first, I also didn’t get it! It looked boring as all hell! Just cruising.... trimming the board, walking, stepping back, cross stepping, walking, nose ride into tight five, walking back, soul arch kick out. I mean it looked pretty, but it wasn’t for me. That was until I actually got onto a proper single fin in running 2ft waves (which loggers commonly refer to as 'nuggets'). I was hooked! I had just found a sensation a close second to a barrel- perching on the nose of a log, tight in the pocket of a wave, just floating along the wave face like a feather! Truly an amazing feeling! It’s no wonder 50% of the Cobbles Classic scoring criteria is nose riding!
Cobbles Classic is all about recognizing these types of surfers, and giving them an opportunity to show off their 'hot dogging" and "nose riding" skills. It’s also a contest where there is probably more focus on being able to surf, rather than the results, which is why there are so many repo rounds- so okes can just surf all day! But like in the case of any contest, there have to be winners- in this contest they get rewarded pretty damn well! Here are some of the prizes: R 5000 clothing hamper from RVCA, top O Neil Wetsuits (also providing sick contest shirts and the contest singlets), Brand new traditional resin tinted single fin by Greg Smith, classic single fins by Maisch fins, VZ clothing hampers and sunnies, weekend away to Sun City, A few pairs of Vans sneakers, Surf Centre vouchers and a whole lot more! Thanks again to all these sponsors who got on board to make this event possible.
Last years winners were:
Open Mens: Ludi du Toit
Open Ladies: Shannon Bolotin
Classics: Greg Smith
This year with such an amazing number of entrants (60 open mens, 15 open ladies, 15 classics), we are expecting quality surfing with a few individuals pegged as potential title winners. Ludi, is definitely one of the surfers you don’t want to draw in your early heats! A great surfer who has even made SA champ high performance finals while sticking to the more traditional way of surfing! Dean "Porp" Simpson, is another surfer to watch, it’s his local break and he also weighs as much as a cracker shrimp! His toes are permanently bent like he suffers from gout or something. Probably the sneakiest surfer I know is Craig Cuff (he's been surfing longboard since the 80"s), he kind of just wins his heats without making too much of a fuss and all of a sudden, boom, he's in the final! He is one of the absolute legends of SA surfing. Some of the ballies who are gonna give the young guns a serious go are Hugh Thomson and Greg Smith, both whom have surfed all around the world, against the top longboarders and have some serious accolades to their names! Plus, they have probably shaped more than half the competitors boards!! One for the male egos! We have Simone Robb (the current ladies world champ!) up against the mens. She is definitely gonna castrate some of us! I mean flip, I could mention half the contenders! Like Alphonso Peters, Kwezi Quika, Ryan Anderson, Miles Gilham, Jamie Morris blah bah blah! It’s a red hot bunch of guys with some awesome surfing to be had! If you want a glimpse of what it’s like go check out last years action on Youtube (RVCA Cobbles Classic Pt 1-3).
Look forward to hanging out with the o's again! Also great for spectators to come and watch- its a beautiful part of Port Elizabeth, the Cape Recife Reserve. So pull in and be a part of a great festival of surfing, mixing the old with the new!
Cobbles Classic 19th- 21st September. Cape Recife Reserve
ClickHERE for the full program, heat draw and heat times.
Wildcards delivered major upsets in the Hurley Pro at Trestles today as Tanner Gudauskas (USA) and Carlos Munoz (CRI) successively defeated top seeds Kelly Slater (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) in non-elimination Round 1. The Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles was equally electric with Lakey Peterson (USA) eliminating reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), who will now relinquish her world ratings lead. The women’s Quarterfinalists have been decided after the completion of Round 4.
Gudauskas’ victory over Slater was a major feather in his competitive cap, given that Slater is the most proven surfer at Lower Trestles, with a total of six victories. Gudauskas used home crowd energy, full commitment and local knowledge to win with 14.93 to Slater’s 14.80, and Matt Wilkinson’s (AUS) 10.13.
“It’s a good feeling to win but there was definitely an element of luck out there,” said Tanner Gudauskas. “At the beginning of the heat I was taking off on bad waves but then I got more into my rhythm. That was fun and I’m stoked on the result. It’s unbelievable to be here and have so much support, but before my heats I really need to relax.”
In contrast, Carlos Munoz (CRI) harnessed the energy of a huge crowd of Costa Ricans before his heat, and drew upon it again in the last minute, for a final ride to victory over ASP ratings leader Gabriel Medina (BRA). Munoz and Medina delivered drama throughout the heat, repeatedly splitting the peak of the same wave. Munoz is the first Costan Rican to compete in a WCT event, winning the Hurley video trials with massive support from his countrymen. He advances directly to Round 3, while Medina will battle again in Round 2.
"I can’t believe how everything happened," said Carlos Munoz. "I got this chance, I prepared myself mentally. I heard everybody screaming and I knew I needed a score. I gave my heart to that last one, so I'm glad the judges liked it. I can't believe it. When I heard the score, I started crying."
Adrian Buchan (AUS) scored a confidence boost when he defeated defending event champion Taj Burrow (AUS) in the first heat of the day. Buchan, known for hard-charging, steep drops, showed off perfect backside snaps for a cheering crowd and stole the win to move directly into Round 3. Burrow will battle South African Travis Logie in Round 2.
"I'm paddling out confident and I know I've done everything I've wanted to do in terms of preparation," Adrian Buchan said. "We've had four or five days of really fun waves to warm up on here and we've seen some great waves today so it looks like it's going to be fun."
Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) returned to competition after a one event hiatus; Toledo with an ankle injury and Flores after a suspension. They faced current ASP World No. 4 Michel Bourez (PYF) in Round 1 Heat 3. Despite an early lead from the Frenchman and a 360 from Toledo the pair couldn’t top Bourez, who won by the narrowest of margins, just 0.03.
"I was talking to my coach before and was thinking maybe it's better just to stick to my game and go 80 percent, but I couldn't do that," Michel Bourezsaid. "You never know surfing against Toledo because he can throw airs so easy. I guess I got lucky he didn't get the score."
Owen Wright's (AUS) heat got off to a high adrenaline start after a timing issue meant he was still on dry land when the horn sounded to end the heat prior to his. Despite the urgency to get to the lineup he secured the first nine-point ride of the Hurley Pro (9.43) and the highest two-wave heat total of the men’s competition (17.43) in his match-up against Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Julian Wilson (AUS). Wright moves directly to Round 3 while Muniz and Wilson will have to surf again in Round 2.
"When I went out I thought, 'whatever comes, left or right,'" said Owen Wright. "Being a goofy, you tend to go on the lefts a little more, but the rights tend to score better. The froth-factor for the goofies is having that option there."
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.10, Travis Logie (ZAF) 9.57, Taj Burrow (AUS) 7.67
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) 12.40, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.94, Brett Simpson (USA) 10.17
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.20, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.17, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.77
Heat 4: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 14.77, Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.93, Kai Otton (AUS) 11.77
Heat 5: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) 14.93, Kelly Slater (USA) 14.80, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.13
Heat 6: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 13.90, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.70, Adam Melling (AUS) 11.56
Heat 7: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.77, Aritz Aranburu (ESP) 14.10, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.50
Heat 8: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) 15.43, Jadson Andre (BRA) 14.50, Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.97
Heat 9: Nat Young (USA) 16.70, C.J. Hobgood (USA) 16.23, Dion Atkinson (AUS) 13.63
Heat 10: Owen Wright (AUS) 17.43, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 13.44, Julian Wilson (AUS) 9.27
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.06, Tiago Pires (PRT) 14.73, Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.50
Heat 12: John John Florence (HAW) 15.27, Mitch Crews (AUS) 13.10, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 12.80
Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 3: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Travis Logie (USA)
Heat 5: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. Aritz Aranburu (ESP)
Heat 6: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 8: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 9: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Tiago Pires (PRT)
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. Matt Wilkinson (AUS)