Again this morning I arrived at the contest around 6:00 AM. This time with coffee in hand, lesson learned yesterday. Things were somehow quieter than I felt like they should be, and even though the first heat started within the hour, there was barely anyone around. I set up my spot in what I've come to call the 'computer cave' [more on that later...] and surveyed the contest site. Overnight a village of tents had popped up as well as a skate mini ramp, 2 stages, and a vert ramp that gave me a case of the spins just looking at. The competitors started to file in, some stretching, some watching, and some taking press interviews in front of the tower. I really hate to be say it, but I guess it literally was the calm before the storm. Yesterday was so hectic, still reeling from the earthquake and trying to predict the oncoming hurricane... this morning definitely felt a little too serene. Oh, and did I mention there were actually waves for the first time in the entire contest? I won't exaggerate and say 'big' waves, but the conditions were definitely better. Here are some photos from the beginning of the day. Please apply: Let me set the scene, the early bird gets the worm, and other applicable clichés here.