THE MASTERS SHOW HOW IT’S REALLY DONE
16 MAY 2015 – 17 MAY 2015
By Jo Kennett
The hotly contested 2015 Tweed Coast Masters at Cabarita proved more entertaining than the the Oi Rio Pro (are those Brazo’s trying to flog our Oi or what?) even with Parko’s jetski aerials.
I missed the morning heats but by the time I got there for the Saturday arvo session, drunk surfing seemed to be the order of the day, despite contest director Ricko’s attempts at maintaining some semblance of control.
One bloke with a couple of dodgy knees, Chippa’s dad (who used to have his own name once when Chippa was just a snotty nosed little grommet) surprised everyone by dropping into the wave of the day. He rode it right in to the shore as if trying to prove that he wasn’t just Chippa’s dad, he was a legitimate human being with hopes and dreams of his own.
His mate with the dodgy hip stood up and claimed that as a manoeuvre. Standing up, I mean. It was certainly on a par with the best we witnessed that wind-blown, rain-soaked afternoon.
One chap in the same heat did a very slow wipe-out where he kind of rolled off the back of the wave with one leg cocked high in the air for what seemed like an eternity. We watched with baited breath to see if it was some groundbreaking new manoeuvre or if he was just showing off his ballerina skills before he landed in full slow mo in the drink.
There were face plants aplenty and one poor misguided lad was so inebriated he went out for his heat two rounds before it actually started. He sat out there for an hour probably thinking his rivals were too shit scared to face him before they paddled out and set him straight.
Another lad, Youngy, who can actually surf but don’t tell him I said that, was heard mumbling, on the way down the stairs for his heat that he had drank eight beers and thought he was going to spew. Apparently he didn’t think he was supposed to be surfing again, or so he said.
They had given him a yellow rashie but there was someone else on the beach in a yellow rashie (which indicated the Beach Marshall may have had a shandy too many as well) so he went back and got a white one. As it turned out he would have been better off in camo.
The weather had turned even more horrible than the surf – cold with rain squalls – and Youngy looked pretty tentative about throwing himself into the maelstrom in such a state. He dipped a toe in and stood there as if considering just pulling the pin on the whole operation but changed his mind at the last moment.
Nick, who is usually pretty handy in the surf too (but don’t tell him I said that) had paddled way out the back to wait for a bomb. When it came he took the drop like a hero, did a beautiful big bottom turn while everyone yelled WHOOAAA, then hit the lip and disappeared from sight as if he had been torpedoed. Note to self for next year Nick, beer is not a performance enhancing substance. On the bright side that wipe-out will go down in local legend.
Every time Youngy paddled for a wave the judging tent erupted in screams of encouragement.
“GO Youngy, GO Youngy, PADDLE!” but it didn’t seem to help. He’d paddle and miss it then paddle off somewhere else as if the shitty waves were the only problem. He stuck his nose over a few two-footers like it was Chopes and he really was going to spew.
“GO Youngy, GO Youngy,” we screamed as he paddled for another wave and then cheers erupted as he got to his feet. Tragically he wasn’t there long; he slipped straight off as if someone had waxed his board with a banana skin, and did a funny little face-plant. It was more of a face-plop really.
It was a roller coaster of emotions in the judging tent with shouts of encouragement turning to cheers of excitement, followed quickly by cries of horror and then roaring laughter. With five minutes to go Youngy gave up, belly-boarded a wave in and walked off for more beer without a backward glance.
Things could have got ugly because someone went to the esky for a shout and came back to the soggy little judges tent – which was just about getting blown off the rocks – with light beer. Not only light beer but some dodgy Aldi cheapskate light beer. People were ripping the stubby tops off, hooking in and then holding it at arm’s length going; “What’s this? Light beer? It’s bloody light beer. I can’t drink this shit.” I guess it was all part of Ricko’s plan to try to keep the boys sober enough to make it back the next day but it was too late by then.
Chippa’s dad was called in to judge but seemed to spend a lot of time pissing over the side of the little headland, which made me wonder whether the knee op would be shortly followed by some sort of bladder surgery – perhaps having a spare inserted. Just a thought…
A mate with two dodgy shoulders surprised even himself by winning his first two heats. If I remember correctly he was the only one who got a wave in the first one which isn’t to say he wouldn’t have won anyway. Just a coincidence I’m sure.
Another mate paddled out, the hooter went off (the hooter was some drunk guy going toot toot over the p.a) and he pulled straight into a cranking wave which he proceeded to tear into tiny little sore and sorry pieces all the way down the line. Legends were born that day.
I missed the surfing on Sunday – apparently it wasn’t nearly as funny as the drunk surfing on Saturday apart from the bit where Chippa’s dad dolphin-dived into the path of Ricko who was about to take out the final – and arrived just in time for the presentation.
It was a sombre affair with lots of hugging and crying – that was all the losers. The runner-up won a beer glass and the winner won a beer glass half filled with beer with a little blue ribbon stuck on the side. They were proud and happy especially when they got to skull the beer.
Some hooligan was running around with a whistle in the shape of a tiny pink plastic penis which put a whole new spin on whistle blowing and kept the boys entertained for hours.
Youngy won a custom surfboard in the raffle which seemed only fair after the humiliation he had endured. There were some highly emotional speeches, with Bruisa dedicating the contest to a great waterman, our sorely missed buddy Marcus.
Shortly afterwards a little grommie called Van grabbed the microphone, said he was starving and pleaded with someone to feed him. I told him I bet there was food in the fridge in that house across the road and maybe he should duck over and check it out.
Van’s dad won his division but he did have a crack team behind him. Kimmy the personal trainer was there to keep Robbie in peak physical condition. Youngy the coach was there to pay out on Robbie and flog all his waves and I’m pretty sure there was a nutritionist there who had him on a liquid only pre-contest diet. All highly qualified of course but that’s what it takes to win these things.
Shan, who was taking the group photo, nearly got dacked by Powelly in front of a large crowd of men who were obviously quite excited after the whistle blowing. There was talk of holding the contest every two years instead of four, though some people actually pleaded for them not to do it.
All in all it was a top weekend with future champions born, legends created and no serious injuries, apart from deeply bruised pride and some rip-roaring hangovers. I’m just pencilling in the Saturday arvo session for 2019. Should be a cracker.