“Hotel, motel, Holidaaaay Inn.”
On Friday, competition at the 2001 NSSA Nationals was plagued by strange surf. What do I mean by strange surf? Well, the supposed start of a Southwest never showed up and a fairly unpleasant Northwest wind swell came instead. The one- to three-foot peaks made it a guessing game for today’s competitors in the Open division heats. Not only were surfers fighting for waves, but once they weaseled it, they realized whether or not they made the right decision. The rights were mushy. Anyone thinking they were gonna get a good score hopping down the line and finding the occasional power for a turn was wrong. Money meant going left. The angle of the swell and the steepness of the lefts made getting fast, more powerful turns easier.
The heat of the day had to be the first quarter of the Open Men’s. It’s superstar soldiers included Dane Johnson, Dane Reynolds, Travis Mellem, Nathaniel Curran, Nathaniel Carroll, and Justin Ellingham. The heat was somewhat wave starved yet Mellem, the local, always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. Carroll also was blessed with some wave help and worked into second while Johnson’s first left, an eight, squeaked him into third.
Another guy who did well today was Sean Moody. He’s always a contender in the Nationals and this year is his last. On Wednesday, he was on his way to advancing when, with a minute left in the Explorer semi’s, he got caught up in a double interference. “I was so pissed,” said Moody. “I didn’t even need that wave. It’s like when you break your board and think, ‘What if I didn’t go?’ I guess if you learn from it it goes to your advantage.” Sean’s an incredible surfer and he’s looking forward to travelling, doing contests, and getting photos.
The highlight of the week hasn’t actually been at the contest but the Comfort Suites in San Clemente. Apparently Wednesday night was a big night for the young lads staying there with their respective teams. According to a witness who wanted to remain anonymous, the night included 60 or more surfers roving the halls in wolf packs, some clutching 40s of apple juice, peeing in elevators, and throwing chairs and tables into the pool. He also said the final straw for the front desk lady was probably the coffee table being thrown from the third story. “Bandidos are wanted and at large,” he said. “We don’t know exactly who it was, but it was complete havoc. Kids were running down the halls in packs¿like a bunch of wild Australian Dingos.” The debauchery culminated in all the young lads being escorted out of the building by the police this morning¿two days later.
Tomorrow’s the finals and a “new swell” is coming on Sunday. The final results will be announced Sunday night at the awards so look for the results on Monday.¿AC