Mackie masters waves
Whoever said surfing was not a thinking man’s sport has never watched Bruce Mackie in action.
Mackie proved to be a genius in the water on the second day of the Barbados Surfing Association’s 2013 Independence Pro event at the Soup Bowl in Bathsheba yesterday.
With the last wave of a set coming through, Mackie pulled into a wave with the three-time world champion Tom Curren on his right.
He was too far on the inside, but, more importantly, when he stood up Curren, a legend in surfing circles, had no choice but to give way on the wave.
The move denied Curren the necessary points to take second or maybe even first. Mackie’s place in today’s men’s semi-final was assured.
The heat promised to be an epic battle between the elder Mackie, who once dominated the local surfing scene, and world-famous Curren.
And with Mackie posting a 8.17 for his first wave, the battle was on. Curren, however, was up and just as quickly back down.
But the man from a long line of United States surfers showed why he has three World titles to his name as he went for the lip, shredded it, and then wrapped it around for another attack on the lip. His wave score was an even seven.
The battle for third appeared to be between Noe McGonagal of Costa Rica and Sergio Martin of the United States.
But when McGonagal posted a 9.17 for his next wave, bumping Mackie into second and Curren into the third, each wave took on new meaning.
As the surfers traded big air and slashed and carved each wave, sometimes right to the beach, Mackie signalled he wanted his score.
And on learning that Curren was nipping at his heels in third, Mackie pulled the move that effectively kept Curren in third and allowed him to hang on to his second place in the quarter-final.
The highlight of the day, however, was earned by Jamaican surfer Icah Wilmont.
The dreadlocked surfer tucked himself into what would have been the monster barrel of the day, as those on the beach roared their approval.
As the seconds ticked on, the roars increased as Wilmont looked set to pull off the biggest barrel of the day.
But mere moments from the mouth of the barrel, the wave spat out an unglued Wilmont as even the judges leapt top their feet.
And what would have been a 10 turned into a 3.3 for Wilmont.
All the while Bruce Mackie’s younger brother Dane was quietly copying his elder brother’s feat on his way to second in his quarter-final heat. He, too, advances to today’s semi-finals.
Surfing in every division of the day – the Under 12, then Under 16, the Open Men’s Pro and the ASP Pro Juniors – Zander capped his day with the highest placing of any local surfer in the ASP Juniors and a win in the Under 12 Division.
In addition, the Chelseas – Tuach and Roett – will be leading the local women challenge into today Women’s divisions.