On This Day: Robo almost rings the bell
It's a feat so rare that it's only happened a handful of time in pro surfing, and not even Kelly Slater has achieved it. Peter Harris did it, Joe Engel too, plus Nicky Wood, Johnny Boy Gomes, Parko, Mick, JOB, and of course Tom Curren did it a few times during a celestial streak in 1990.
So OK, maybe it's best measured with two handfuls...
And the achievement..?
Winning an event as a wildcard.
The last time it happened was 2006 when Steph won the Beachley Classic, but since then no-one has qualified for an event through the trials before pushing the CT aside and claiming the whole damn thing.
But in 2009, exactly ten years ago today, Adam Robertson from Torquay went painfully close. It was the fourth time Robo had won through to the Bells main event from the trials, but to date his best result was Round 3 (knocked by AI in 2003 and KS in 2004), and he was heading a similar way in 2009 when he had a stroke of luck.
Listen to enough winner's interviews and you'll hear the victor explain how the win was due in part to good fortune - especially in a sport such as surfing. So Robo rode his luck past his previous best then hit his stride through the quarters and semis.
He came up against Parko who'd already won the event once and come runner up twice.
It was mid-arvo Bells, right on the bowl, the wind edged south just before the final, and Robo breaks it all down in this video recorded by Craig Baird at Australian National Surf Museum:
And here's the highlights of the final: