Rip Curl Pro Somewhere in Mexico – I

Rip Curl Pro Somewhere in Mexico – I
July 11, 2006 Kaja Cencelj

Rip Curl Pro.
Though surfing is supposed to be more a lifestyle than a sport, ASP
tour has big sport events all over the world, sponsored by different
companies like Rip Curl. But this event was not like all the other
events. RC Search is a campaign seeking the best surf possible in the
most remote regions around the world.

The famed lefthander of St Leu in Reunion Island last year was the
first location of The Search on ASP tour. This year RC decided to place
the event somewhere in Mexico. The location remained known as "La
Jolla" – Jewel, a secret spot somewhere in Huatulco bay. After having
millions of problems to get things done for the contest, making sure
the deal is not just an empty promise, some things were actually being
taken care of. We picked boys at the airport, made sure that they got
their car that they made reservation for (which was easily said than
done – the second day Huatulco's car rental announced they are running
out of big cars, vans and jeeps, so Mick Fanning had to squeeze into a
yellow golf, and yeah… his mum was left with a convertible. Who would
wish more at hot summer night at 10 pm after hours and hours at the
airport's or airplane's air-conditioned rooms?… stories about cars
don't end here… Fred Patacchia's car broke down or run out of battery
and they got stuck on the site for hours) and a room in a hotel they
were supposed to stay for the whole contest. That was another disaster.
I know people from the Hotel Association were working hard on this
project, but just imagine being Perry Hatchett, head judge, arriving at
the airport, two girls (yeap, Kaya Papaya was there) that didn't even
know who he is gave him just few information about the town, without
any direction… it was funny listening to his story later, knowing that
it was partly my fault. But he made it. He rented a car, found his
hotel (there was no reservation on his name, though), followed the road
to the even site and has never got lost! Oh, yeah, the other judge,
Wade Sharpe. He had to sleep on the floor of one of the staff's room in
the seed hotel. Such a shame treating judges like that. Even though I
was working for the RC, I must admit the whole contest was a freaking
mess. There was not a day or a moment that something went wrong.
Building castles in the sky, transforming deserted beach with a palapa
and one restaurant just one week before the contest into a surf contest
site…No sign of a judges tower, competitors area,… Maybe it was just
unorganized, not coherent, well-ordered or maybe we were just too lucky
with the waves. Well, I love Mexico and Mexicans, but I know that
working with them is not an easy job. It takes more than hundred
mañanas to get things done. Luckily people from states and Aussies were
willing to help with their equipment and knowledge. Picture having a
contest somewhere where there is no electricity, water… A contest with
wireless internet, mobile phone network, stage for announcers with
sound of a good quality, webcast on line all the time, music, fax
machine… Where u have to serve cold water or hot coffee at any moment.
Andy, Arnaud, Damo and Angie were working their ass out all the time.
Not just them. Everyone working on the site, backstage or in media
center. 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night for two weeks, that was the basic
rule if we wanted to make an Indian village into a Californian little
town. Fortunately waves were amazing so the contest last just for 4
days, without the waiting period and ancillary events. Waves were
killing. No fast sections in the wave meaning that you can race the
wave for as long as you want. "Best wave I've surfed in past few years"
was the most common remark from the surfers. Even the locals. So we
were damn lucky. Blessed by the Mother Nature. For sure surfers have
sexy body, but it's more than just that. Their eyes are shining like a
diamonds (most of them have bright blue eyes). When you see them
ripping, charging, coming out of an unmakeable tube, you can't help
falling in love with them. They are like ballerinas dancing on a wave,
being married to the ocean. Nature lovers and down-to-earth boys, who
don't freak out if there are no toilets on the beach, if they have to
leave their car and climb on a truck to take them to the event site.
All they care are the waves. They soon forgot about the problems with
renting a car, getting a hotel room and even about a curvy road that
they had to drive to get them to the spot. They were rewarded every
time they got to the end of the road. The view of a perfect left waves
was… The first morning of the contest I didn't get a ride to the site
with RC people, because I was 10 minutes late (that means I came to
reception at 6:15 not 6). All I could do was beg Taj to take me and my
friend Astrid with his car down there. It was one of the moments u
can't forget. Tuesday, just a day after the biggest waves, 7 am, sun
was rising, spreading his rays on the whole bay. Mario stopped the car
on the top of a hill, put the music down to let us enjoy the view of a
perfect loooong barrel after a barrel. A picture of a paradise. Crystal
blue with white foam, big red-orange ball sending yellow waves to the
lip of every wave, shining all the way to the grey sand and green palm
trees. Pure 10. …. story continues

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