The day I saw the Stone family ... from Brazil
World Surf League and Facebook will be changing the way we watch our favourite sport 29
AS MERE mortals, most of us are thrilled when we get to hang out with celebrities.
Angus and Julia Stone were in Cape Town this week to perform a one-off gig at Kirstenbosch.
I had heard they surfed. As proof, I had found an Instagram shot of Angus in the barrel taken by Justin Crawford.
The waves were pumping at Muizenberg. A solid swell had came through last Sunday courtesy Cyclone Berguitta, blown in by a fierce southeast out to sea.
False Bay had filled up with swell, and offshore westerlies were blowing. By Monday, beautiful clean 2-4’ lines came through at Muizenberg.
Out in the backline, I saw them. He was bearded and slightly bedraggled – a cross between Californian rock balladeer Donavan Frankenreiter, who I interviewed once, and Italy’s answer to Dave Rastovich, Chris del Moro.
She had wet brown hair that framed old fashioned, vaguely square-cut good looks.
Both had beautiful new longboards that would have been the pride of many a hipster. Old school. Very rounded nose. A shiny deck separated by three faded bands of colour. The sort of board that features on Instagram a lot. Think Sierra or Nashville filters. Hmm. Maybe Amaro.
“Wow, it’s Angus and Julia Stone,” I thought, and paddled over. The brother- and- sister duo are a folk or indie group from Australia who play a croony sort of coastal rock interlaced with soft songs about the sweet anguish of love, unrequited and over-requited.
They play beautiful music. Call it perfect surfer music – soothing sounds when surfed out and too tired to use your brain to listen. Their gig on Thursday night was sold out.
I approached the duo as they sat quietly on their boards, but didn’t wish to intrude until the final proof. I listened for an Australian accent, but a set of waves appeared, and we dispersed.
Julia kneeled as she paddled for the wave. She slid up to her feet as effortlessly as breathing, and arms akimbo, she danced the wave to the beach. Not only could she sing like an angel - tremulous tones that lilt like fynbos honey – she surfed like one too. I was smitten.
I didn’t see them again until three waves later. They were chatting loudly and excitedly with a third person, a young woman in her twenties.
Ah ha. They’re stoked about the surf and excited about the concert. They’re vibing with their manager/media officer/ assistant. How cool is that!
I paddled closer to hear what they were saying. I was about to blurt out my introduction, and to offer them a surf tour of Cape Town they’d remember fondly with their new buddy Spike.
They spoke loud Portuguese. Tourists, yes. But Brazilians. Besides, as I later learned, Julia doesn’t surf.
I retreated to the emotional safety of the actual gig to marvel at Julia’s one-handed trumpet play; and the soulful sync of their vocal virtuosity.
Being just a fan has its perks.
South Africa finished 10th at the ISA World Longboarding Champs in China. The best result came from Cape Town’s Roxy Davis, who took equal 11th place. A record 71 surfers converged on Riyue Bay to mark the first major ISA event in China. Team USA took the gold meal after three of its
team of four got on the podium.
Interesting to note the terms of the exclusive streaming deal between the World Surf League and Facebook. According to Dave Prodan, Senior VP of Global Brand Identity at the WSL, “once the live viewing experience is as good if not better than the current experience, it will migrate exclusively to the Facebook platform and no longer be available on the WSL site or App” but stays on the latter two for now. From the horse’s mouth.
Round 1 of the Red Bull King of the Air has been set for today. I had an interesting chat with contest director Sergio Cantagalli, who was keen for input about the conditions. They want a strong and consistent southeaster but also with enough swell to create the ramps that make them soar to such ungodly heights. Round 2 loosely looks like Tuesday. See https://www.redbull.com/ za-en/
Stiff SSE winds blow today. Muizenberg looks terrible, with messy onshores. The swell on the other side has abated and continues to get hammered by the wind. Expect wind-blasted 2-4’ sets. Tomorrow, the wind continues, with less swell and even colder water.
FEELS LIKE HOME: Roxy Davis of Cape Town surfs at the ISA World Longboarding Championship that was held in China this week. South Africa took 10th place.