It's a pretty happening event so I thought I'd share a little of my experience, though I didn't stay long.
Today's the fourth day, and I think they're up to the last set of heats before the semi-finals and finals tomorrow
... judging by this board behind us:
Mum and I happy to be wandering around checking out the hot surfer bods
Upon arriving, we spotted a tall man with kids crowded around him asking for photographs. He was dripping wet, so it clicked that he must be some famous surfer. Trouble is, none of us really knew any names, besides the big ones like Kelly Slater, Layne Beachley and Taj Burrow.
Jane decided she wanted to approach him anyway - her mission was to get a photo with a surfer, he was tall and good looking, so why not?!
Here they are. We never mentioned to him that we hadn't the slightest clue about who he was. Haha.
But we later found out by listening to the crowd that he was in fact Owen Wright, third-place winner of the competition last year. If you haven't heard of him, hopefully he wins first place tomorrow, and then you will. And I can sell you this photograph.
So what else is there to do at a surf comp besides chasing down cute surfers for a photo? Well you could always suss out their skills in the water -
The guy in red is Kelly Slater himself, in a heat with Tom Whitaker. I actually had what would've been the BEST shot of Slater getting some air on top of a wave... but foolishly chose that moment to play around with my manual focus instead of auto ("Oooh I wonder what this button does?"...).
The general crowd loved the surfers, and wanted to be in their space as much as possible. I'm sure there were a good number of local surfies sitting back and thinking 'Gosh, give the man a break' while super analysing every trick and effort out there in the swell. But for the most part, people were shallow and strived for their souvenir photos with the spunkiest, or well-known, names.
The crowd waiting patiently, in the path of Kelly Slater at the end of his heat.
I hadn't been able to keep up with the commentator to know what the score was in the end, but when I finally got a glimpse of Slater as he came up from the beach, he didn't look too stoked. Guess it was a tough gig.
From there, Mum, Jane and I just cruised about, got a coffee, watched a guy spray-painting free stencils onto volunteered surfboards...
Mum and Jane decided, after a while, that they'd like to give surfing a crack too, maybe even show up the big guys out there...
Haha! They were actually hilarious.
Jane: "I'm going to put this photo on Facebook and tell everyone that I decided to try out surfing in Margaret River."
Mum: "Yeah! They'll never know! And you can tell them that your friend decided to try and be a starfish."
Jane: "Yes, and on closer inspection, she did a really good job of it!"
Close and funny pals, Mum and Jane
We had a last check of the ranking board, and decided we'd come back tomorrow to see the finals - who will be the winner??
I'm wondering, have you ever been to a surf comp? Or do you enjoy surfing yourself? Have you ever tried?
Maybe you should!