Joe Turpel becomes a legend.
Accolades are still pouring in from yesterday’s best day ever in the history of professional surfing. Mick Fanning’s bravery, Julian Wilson’s selflessness, the WSL’s overall handling, the shark’s kindness, etc.
All deservedly. It was an exceptional moment but there is one name I have not heard mentioned. Joltin’ Joe Turpel. I mistakenly credited him with saying, “Holy shit! Excuse me…” but that was Pottz. No, Turpel, sitting behind the microphone after watching Mick Fanning get pulled underwater by a giant dorsal fin reported the facts, cooly and calmly:
“Looks like Fanning needing……Fanning needing some assistance. He’s swimming in to the beach as we sound the horn to stop the final. Fanning still swimming on his own right to the assistance of the jet ski. He’ll hop on the sled and reset…”
And amazing. Turpel totally unfazed by the surreality. Turpel giving the people at home what they needed to know without becoming hysterical or overly-emotional. And also without speculating. At that early point what did anyone know? Nothing at all beyond sheer conjecture.
“He’ll hop on the sled and reset” should enter the English vernacular alongside Edward R. Murrow’s “Good night and good luck.”
Bravo, Joe Turpel. Bravo.