We all know about computer viruses – those nasty, sneaky little bits that infest your hard-drive until the point where the controlling system simply cannot function any more and shuts down. Fortunately anti-viral software can largely eliminate the invaders and allow your computer to operate relatively unaffected. It's not foolproof and the odd new virus can sneak through and ruin your fun.
But when you get a real virus in the real world of your body it's not so simple. Each year along comes a new, mutated and 'improved' virus. We don't yet have biological anti-virus protection so mostly your body has to deal with the problem with the help of a few medicinal 'patches' to direct the repair function.
Having spent the last week in a state of total non-functionality while my system battled with this year's version of the flu virus, I was amazed at the sheer volume of recovery needed to get back to a functional state. Must be the inevitable consequence of advancing age.
A hell of a lot happened over the last 2 weeks and I missed a lot of it. The SA senior surfing team trumped the success of their masters by claiming the gold medal at the ISA world surfing games with Shaun Joubert claiming the prestigious men's gold as a bonus. This is a huge achievement when you consider the industry and government support most of the other teams get. Hats off to Surfing South Africa for their amazing administration and support. It's also great to see Shaun coming of age and maturely leading his team to victory.
The ASP WCT also ran the Billabong Rio Pro in appalling conditions at Barra de Tijuca. Surely only the prospect of big money could have motivated these guys to surf in what was mostly unrideable crap surf. Being true professionals, the guys pulled out all the stops and the event produced some of the most progressive surfing seen in a CT event. By the second day all serious bets were on the Brazilian surfers until Jordy Smith hit the water and started blowing minds and competitors away. He was pretty much unstoppable and his competitive game has reached a new level. He was so obviously having fun and proving his status as THE showman. He has also shown that he is now a serious contender for the title race – watch this space!
It's almost impossible to have a contest in Brazil without controversy. This time there was a selection of controversies. Even before the contest was properly underway there was the obvious “Why Brazil not J-Bay?” screaming match. Then there was the “claiming” controversy which amusingly resulted in a couple of classic “Anti-Claims” by Felipe Toledo and Gabby Medina.
The only controversy with any merit was the way in which the judges and officials seemingly turned a blind eye to a number of rule infractions committed by Gabriel Medina. Having condoned an outright drop-in by Medina on a bitterly frustrated Ace Buchan, they then failed to call a blatant paddle interference on Adriano De Souza and completely ignored Medina's illegal use of a jet-ski assist. This is an unacceptable failure to equally apply the rules and the ASP really needs to explain their negligence.
The WCT rankings are now headed by De Souza with Jordy in second followed by Mick Fanning and King Kelly. This year it's gonna be really tight and there's not likely to be any second chances.
Thanks to my viral destruction I haven't been near the water in over a week so I can't offer much on the local conditions. We did have a few epic sessions at both Graveyards and the Beachie the previous week so hopefully the rest of the Chintsa crew have been enjoying the waves in my absence.
Last word comes from my Old Man. When he was a kid people still used to die from serious flu infections. “If you could be vaccinated against cancer you would; so why the hell didn't you have a flu vaccination?”
See ya in the water……soon