The greatest day in Masters competitive history - in pro surfing's history, and the surf was bad.
Everyone there knew the stakes were high, everyone there had some kinda skin in the game. There was Kelly Slater on a comeback. There was Andy Irons, the amazing young champ getting on a roll. Everyone was in one camp or the other. And the surf was BAD.
Windy, small, breaking on the sandbar bad. It wasn't even Pipe.
And it didn't matter.
Not even the famous moment when Kelly came down to Andy as they were about to paddle out, put one arm around his shoulders, and said quietly, "I love you, man." Not even that mattered.
It didn't matter because on Showdown day, AI out-surfed everyone and everything. He out-surfed Kelly, he out-surfed the crowd, he out-surfed the spot, as bad as it was.
He even out-surfed his own surfboard. It seems too dramatic to be real, even for that day, but Andy rode the winning wave of the final on a broken board. He'd creased the thing while paddling back out and waved to the beach for a backup. Thought, I should go in right now. Then thought, Nahh, just wait, catch a wave. And this sneaky little right came right to him. Andy pulled in, could feel the broken board flexing around under him in the tube, willed it to stay together, made it to the sand. 8.33, the high score of the final.
The surf was bad. And there's never been a day like it.