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Saturday, March 20, 2010
Kerr-azy Train


Josh Kerr, in the process of beating Taj Burrow at his own game.

"Kerrsey, Kerrsey Kerrsey!" That's all I'm hearing right now. It's a couple of hours after Josh Kerr pulled a joey out of the kangaroo's pouch by disposing of a 16-point combo situation in a matter of minutes. Trailing Taj Burrow in the final of the Drug Aware Pro with about five minutes to go, Kerr pulled two huge airs to score the only perfect 10-point ride of the week. The rights at Margaret River, with a side onshore wind, were providing the perfect ramps for airs. Kerr punted again on his next wave to hit the lead, leaving Burrow needing better than an eight-point score with 90 seconds to go.

Needless to say, things got a little weird in West Oz after Kerr's win.

Apparently, Burrow and Kerr had been joking out in the water late in the final about the roll that Burrow was on. "I was telling Taj how many points he'd have and how he was killing it in the ratings and how he'd won three contests this year, and then he didn't win," said Kerr with a laugh. "Even the beach commentators were claiming Taj had won 23 heats in a row and won three finals."

Truth be told, the facts were being passed around a little bit liberally. Burrow lost his first round heat at the Quik Pro before going on to win the contest, but as Bede Durbidge, who lost to Burrow in the semifinals reckoned, "Nobody counts first round losses, so technically he has won 23 in a row."

But if anybody was on a roll this week it was Kerr. He beat the current world champ Mick Fanning twice and then took out Burrow in the final. Maybe a drop of the Margaret River wines helped him along in the early rounds, but the night before the final he'd turned in by 8:30, stressed that he wouldn't be able to perform. An unnecessary worry, and if you look at his board preparation for the comp it sums up his whole approach this week.

Taj Burrow was a whisker away from winning his forth consecutive final.

"I only rode two of my own boards this week," said Kerr, "and I hadn't ridden them for over a year. I've been riding everybody elses boards and then today I jumped on a board that I'd never even seen before. It was a 6'0", and I've only been riding 5'8"s, 5'6"s and 5'5"s for months ... it was strange riding 'normal' boards this week and I certainly wasn't prepared for the contest, but I've enjoying riding them again."

Interesting sidenote, it was the first-ever WQS win for Kerr. He's won plenty of air shows but never a WCT or a WQS stop. He said later he only came over to the West because Rusty was one of the Sponsors and he'd wanted to hang out and have a little fun. He did all that, and somehow ended up winning the darn thing.

Sunny Garcia caught some of the biggest waves -- and took some of the biggest lumps -- of the contest, certainly that's worth something.