Well, I got fourth last year, so it was a step in the right direction. I hadn't given it any thought until a few days before. I thought I might be lucky to scrape into the top five, so getting a second was a surprise. I was the first non-American, the first non-Kelly. He seems to win it most years. The guy is so huge over here in the States it's no surprise he keeps winning it. But I was almost happier about Still Filthy winning Movie of the Year than me finishing second, because I worked really hard on that. I got the last section so I felt like a big part of the movie. That was a win in itself. That was pretty rewarding.
What were your thoughts paddling out against Machado yesterday?
I fully thought, the way Trestles breaks, that in a half hour heat it always throws up a bomb wave at some time, and whoever has priority when it comes through usually wins. Well a bomb did come through and Rob got it, but luckily for me he didn't really connect with it so well. It wasn't even in his top two. When he stood up on that wave I went, 'Okay, I'm in trouble,' but luckily for me he only tagged a five or something out of if. I was behind, but all the way through I was thinking I'd get my shot at pegging him back. Then when that last second wave came through I thought really had a chance. And when I took off on that wave on the hooter I thought, okay, this is it. I was only chasing a 5.77 or something. I got up, heard the hooter with a second to spare, and fully thought I'd got it. But with the delay between the hooter and the lineup, a two second delay or something, I was a second too late I suppose. I fully thought I'd got it in the water, but got to the beach and found out I hadn't. Lucky I didn't claim it, hey?
What was your initial reaction?
I was walking up the beach when I heard the last wave didn't count. I was blowing up, going, 'That's bullshit!' But I just didn't allow for the two-second delay. They reckon they're going to look at the situation. It's happened before with Kelly at Bells before. And if you thought I blew up, you shoulda seen him!
It's just about the only close call that's gone against you all year. Were you waiting for it to happen?
I've had enough of those things in my career; it's just like water off a duck's back. It's sport. I've had so many close calls go my way this year, had a few get out of jail cards this year, it was due. At the Quikky with Davo, stuff like that, you've got to give and take, and it was a close call and I'm totally fine with it. I'd just rather channel my energy somewhere better than being bitter about that.
You seemed okay later on.
When I got home I was really angry. When I left the beach it was probably the angriest I've ever been after losing a heat. It took me a couple of hours but I rang a mate at home who put a bit of light on the subject, and I hung up laughing. It put it all in a better light. I thought of all the good calls I've had.
The plan for the rest of the week?
Yeah I'm staying here in California for a few days before flying to France. I might train this afternoon. I gave my ankle two days after the contest without surfing or training on it, but it's feeling really good. I think I'm probably a week away from full steam running on it. I could beach run now, I reckon, I might go this arvo. Surfing on it has been fine, it's just time to get it a little tougher. I'm happy with the progress I made on it over here for sure.
It's all about France now. I can't wait. I always seem to get really surf-excited in France cause I love the waves over there and I always get pumped on surfing them. You can have three long surfs a day. Coming here to California I don't get quite as pumped about going freesurfing. Apart from surfing Lowers around the comp I don't get quite as excited about the other waves nearby, whereas in France there's always a little wedgey something down the beach.
Do you attribute the fact you've gone out early here to the fact you haven't surfed much lately, between the ankle and the lack of surf at home?
For sure. I need to build some surf momentum. That's why I'm looking forward to surfing three times a day in France and doing some half-hour heat drills with Louie, getting that real high wave count up. That's what's going to happen in France. They've had some really good waves there this year; I'm just hoping the swell doesn't run out of steam. And I always to seem to do really well at places I feel comfortable, and France is one of them.
Are you going to watch the final day at Trestles?
Depends on the waves. There's supposed to be a nice south swell hitting, so I'd much rather be out surfing it than watching it. If the waves aren't that great I might go down and have a look for sure.
What's the plan for today?
Off to Laguna for lunch with the tribe. There's no waves today, and there's a big kids park up there. We're gonna get -em out and burn some energy off. Apart from that I'm taking it easy today cause I'm gonna be up at two tomorrow morning watching the Titans' semi-final.
Are you missing finals fever at home?
It's killing me. Especially when the Titans have got a realistic chance at winning the competition.
They do! you idiot. It's going to be a real bummer missing all that. I've got my jersey ready to go, I'm going to bed in it. Ahhhh s@#, Macy! [Joel's 2-year-old daughter has just smashed him in the elbow with a large steel pole]. You are the devil, child!