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

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - Steve Pike

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.

ISA/HAIN

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.

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