What a difference a day makes. The Ninth 9ft & Single

Wow, what a day? Coming into the carpark at dawn, my first thing thoughts were this was somewhere else. Everything was in the right place but it was the difference between chalk and cheese. Overnight the howling winds and crashing seas had buggered off for destinations unknown. Perfect swells lined up single file and fed themselves onto the reef one at a time. Man - O - man, what a difference a day makes, from the chaos & calamity of yesterday to this calm & controlled place it was today. We got to work setting things up real nice like, people waltzed into the Deus Beachside Grandstand, for the most part, cheerful and chipper, they might have been affected by the weather, and before the first ladies heat at seven got underway, the place was a buzz. People were chatting, the music was playing and the smell of coffee wafted across the lot of us brightening any last little pockets of gloom as it’s want to do. Normally, it’s kind of a no man’s land this early. Just the contestants for the first couple of heats, the officials and those trusted die hards like us, but this morning it was as full as a catholic school before our first siren ripped a hole in the serenity. Surreptitiousness, refinement, finesse and elegance and another hundred odd adjectives can be grabbed and thrown together to describe women loggers, but this morning the audience spoke louder than all of them put together. Everyone was here for the same reason and it wasn’t to try our new coffee blend. Nor did the ladies disappoint. The conditions still had some size and weight. Perfect poise and elegant executions were tested time and time again when walls of water pushed through the petite paddlers picking their boards up and ditching towards the shore. There was a boil on the inside where all the water seemed to gravitate and more than one lass came unstuck. Big thanks to the local lifeguards who came to the rescue on a few more than one occasions. We’d started with a field of twenty one and across twelve heats and with a strange formula that would have made a chess champion dizzy we finally managed to whittle it to the last two, three lady semi’s, which will be followed by the ladies final, all of which we’ll run in the morning tomorrow. Then we flipped back to the men, and where we left off yesterday. The wind was in and the tide was heading out. Whatever wonderful conditions the ladies had enjoyed the men didn’t see much of it all. They were seeing more and more of the rocks though. There were still two more heats from yesterday’s men’s second round to get through and then the three quarter finals to finish, once again leaving off before the semi’s and final which we’d dip into tomorrow. The vibe at the beach remained on high the whole day through. Tomorrow we’ll be back to finish the logs, and time permitting get into the Fish Fry. For now, though it’s time to get home, shower and head to the Temple for the art show. Andrew Wellman’s hung the Deus gallery well with his “Lookbacks & Laybacks” show. You won’t get a sneak peek here but there will be more of that later in the week when we recap the nightly activities. Images by Didit Prasetyoadiwibowo, Keli Bow, Giang GAW, James Bruce, Damea Dorsey