Sunday, July 27, 2008

The U. S. Open

What with one thing and another, I actually missed most of the U. S. Open this year--nearly heretical, I know. I mean, some years I've been out of state, but this year I was a mere 2 and a half miles away and still didn't get to the beach on time most days.

However, I did manage to make it to the men's final heat today, and by dint of being slightly pushy and resolutely non-claustrophobic and by standing in the water (together with a few hundred other people), I got a pretty good view.

The surfers spend an awful lot of time bobbing about between waves (says the spoiled viewer used to watching crowds of amateurs), or at least, there's a lot when the surf isn't cooperating, which it wasn't today, but when they do catch waves, it is pretty spectacular.

The one in red1, by the way, is Tim Boal of France, who won the next-to-last heat by some tenths of a point. The guy in white is Nathaniel Curran of the U.S. I guess this one must have been close, too, because, though I couldn't hear most of what the announcer was saying (a pity, that's half the fun), I did hear him lamenting at the end that the computers were down so they couldn't figure the final score.

Ultimately, the representative from the U. S. won. That's him, there at the end, not very visible as the crowd carries him in.

1 At least, I'm pretty sure that's the right color sorting. I tried to double-check it online, and one picture shows one and one the other. So, if you can confirm or deny, I'll be quite happy. Edit: Yeah, further checks indicate this is correct. Whoever had the red pic must have been using an old one from another heat--or even another contest.

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