On This Day: Robo almost rings the bell

Stu Nettle
The Rearview Mirror

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:

Comments

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:22am

Fuck, OK, I just realised Kelly Slater did win a CT as a wildcard. Twice in fact: Pipe in 1999 when he was 'retired', and the next year at Chopes.

Anyway, carry on...

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:38am

....but did he have to fight through a trials event or was it just gifted to him to compete (kinda like this year) ?

knB

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:40am

Wildcards both times, so yeah, a little different to Robo's case.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:29am

Based on that footage Parko was the clear winner. What was the event where Robbo got three barrels at Winki on one wave but didn’t go thru the heat caus’ winki isn’t scored on cover ups ?

knB

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 1:38pm

The year later against Jordy I think. I reckon he won that one easily the best and biggest waves and barrelled at really solid Winki.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:34am

Jeez Robo looks like a young TC.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:36am

Ha...knew that heat would come up so I've come prepared. It was 2011 against Jordy:

Slightly better angle of the wave, plus shown in full, on this vid Starts around the 40 sec mark:

 

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:55am

Ha ha Stu yeps that’s the one. On the first clip I thought oh know I’ve got it all wrong and Jordy was the clear winner but then the second clip restored my rage - Robo was robbed. Anyways I would so love to see today CT crop competing in Winki like that....maybe next year.

knB

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 10:07am

Gary remembers the back page of the Geelong (city of dreams) Advertiser had a full page shot of that with the headlined 'Robbed' or similar - Anyone got a photo of it?

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Tim Fisher's picture
Tim Fisher's picture
Tim Fisher commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 11:44pm

Thanks for dusting that off, Stu. Bonus to see Bobby Martinez again. Amazing backhand surfer.

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:42am

That Winki footage is off the chain! They've got Buckley's of scoring it like that this year.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:55am

So so good

knB

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 10:54am

Sorry to be a wanker. What about Bruno Santos??

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 11:19am

Fuck, him too!

Next time I might backup my statement with a bit of research, eh?

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 2:36pm

was a good story any how. i'm allwayzz mayking mistaykes but no-one see's myne

tux's picture
tux's picture
tux commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 12:06pm

Watching him surf the bowl and it still looks like he could win

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 12:19pm

Bruno Santos defeated Manoa Drollet in 2008 in an all wildcard Final at Chopes.

I thought Robbo beat Jordy from watching the heat live.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 12:50pm

An all wildcard final - would love to see that this year.

knB

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 1:03pm

I went the other way. Thought it was a fair result, including the wave of Robo's that everyone got up in arms about.

Three barrels on one wave would be a lack of variety, no?

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 1:47pm

Nooooooo Robbo did the turns where needed and covered up the rest on a classic Winki wave! We were Robbed!

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 4:56pm

My word. Seems strange when there's all the carry-on about Beschen etc's 10-point three-barrel waves at Kirra...which is a far easier wave to get shacked on.

Champ's picture
Champ's picture
Champ commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 8:45pm

Was difficult to view as it was wide Winki , from where I was standing the last 3rd of both guys best waves were hard to see . No doubt Jordys was bigger . That I remember

Kimbos

fuhrious's picture
fuhrious's picture
fuhrious commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 12:47pm

Yep more research required Stu. It’s not like your busy or anything. Happy Easter to you and the family mate!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 1:01pm

You too, Fuhrer.

wally's picture
wally's picture
wally commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 2:30pm

Not to forget Bruce Irons at Pipeline in 2001.

big wave dave's picture
big wave dave's picture
big wave dave commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 3:21pm

Another great Swellnet yarn.
How different does the crowd look compared to 2019. Hardly a brazzo to be seen!

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:07am

Looking at those winki highlights I don’t reckon the rail work is any better today. Those blokes would not look out of place in any of today’s heats

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Wednesday, 17 Apr 2019 at 9:59pm
simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 18 Apr 2019 at 5:51am

Margos a beast...would have won any heat with surfing like that.

simba

mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner's picture
mibs-oner commented Sunday, 21 Apr 2019 at 1:01pm

How cooked is he in the interview fuck me