Going For Broke
By Ben Bugden | 01 March 2012
Kiron Jabour uses up his luck and scores one of the waves of the day. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
I blinked my sunburned eyes as the early but already deadly Queensland sun belted into my room and slapped me into consciousness. Moving to the window and straining for focus, I surveyed the Snapper lineup from our sixth floor perch hoping for a fun wave to wash the dust off. When the eyes finally came good a surfable two-foot set rolled down the point but a building onshore was already doing a number on the lineup. The good news however, was that the onshore had swung from the hopeless easterlies of the last few days to a more friendly northwest, opening up options for the surf starved pack, in town for the Quik Pro.
You could almost see the light bulbs illuminating over the heads of the surfers as one by one they stumbled onto the balconies of their Rainbow Bay beehives for the morning surf check, and it wasn’t long before phones began to chirp with calls and texts from crew outlining their plans, and they all involved a humble Island made of sand approximately 30 clicks to the North. The circus would be going mobile.
A short drive and boat ride later we arrived on a small beach on the leeward side of the island and began the trek across the superheated sand to the ocean and the waves. After ten minutes of trudging over laser-beam-hot sand, we began to struggle and tried to imagine what it must be like for our diggers in superhot combat zones around the world. We came to the conclusion that they are superheroes and we were pathetic, unhealthy men and would meet our demise within minutes if we were ever anywhere near the front line.
Walking across the island, it felt like we were miles from the bustle of the Gold Coast but as we made our way over the last sand dune we were quickly reminded of where we were. The waves were peaky, hollow and super fun looking but the shore was lined with hordes of surfers, photographers, jetskis and makeshift shelters. It looked like some kind of pro surfing refugee camp – those within seeking asylum from the relentless onshores of Coolangatta.
Damo Hobgood was comically harassed by a big fly in the water, but it didn't affect his surfing. Pic: natesmithphoto.com
A talented ensemble was on hand to tear it apart and included, Mick Fanning, John John, Bede Durbidge, the ‘Goods, Brett Simpson, Gabriel Medina, Miguel Pupo and Jack Robinson among others. The Brazilians opting for a left bank to the north, while the rest split peaks out the front and alternated barrels with boosts. When Jack Robinson’s light frame combined with the wind to send him sky-high on one rotation, I was actually scared he might be blown away like an over-zealous kite-boarder. They surfed for an hour or so before the wind swung and began to do damage. That’s when the stooges of the media scurry out and feast on the leftovers like the lesser predators we are. Notable standouts were Todd Kline and Pete Mel who battled it out in the commentators’ cup, and in this round the win went to Kline, unperturbed by a ridiculous wax-job that he claimed was close to a year old. Occy would’ve been proud.
Soon enough skis began bee-lining for the mainland and the session died as quickly as it came into being. Meanwhile, we began our march back across the island’s steaming innards and made our way back to the beehive.
Adam Bennetts (top) and a host of unknowns lit the place up... There's our banging Isuzu truck in the mix too.
All Pics: natesmithphoto.com