great white angourie
Treacherous but exciting! Great White feeds on dead Humpback near world-famous pointbreak. Photo by @calebgrahamfilms

Hughie Towner: “One shark came so close I gave him a little pat on his dorsal fin!”

And local shaper quits surfing after Great White feeding frenzy near famous pointbreak.

Yesterday, the little beach town of Angourie was blessed with the performance of two Great Whites and two Tiger sharks eating a dead Humpback whale near the world-famous point.

Read the initial report here .

“It would’ve been a disaster if it washed up on the rocks. There wouldn’t have been surfing for months,” says Laurie’s big bro, Hughie, who jumped in his own boat for a squiz at the action. “Laurie called me and said, ‘Fuck, drop your tools and get your boat in the water.”’

The big-wave surfer and apprentice tiler, Laurie Towner, who is thirty two, was first on the scene along with David “Baddy” Treloar whose section in Morning of the Earth inspired a generation to shuck work and disappear north. The pair saw that a dead Humpback whale, fifty feet long or so, was threatening to drift right onto the rocks at Angourie Point and used Baddy’s boat to tow the giant mammal a mile offshore.

“It would’ve been a disaster if it washed up on the rocks. There wouldn’t have been surfing for months,” says Laurie’s big bro, Hughie, who jumped in his own boat for a squiz at the action. “Laurie called me and said, ‘Fuck, drop your tools and get your boat in the water.”’

Hughie, who is thirty five and runs a carpentry biz out of nearby Yamba, said that as soon as he got to the whale, one of the Great Whites came to check him out.

“Next minute, two Tigers turned up,” he says. “They were real curious. One came so close I gave him a little pat on his dorsal fin. They’d go in for a feed, come over and cruise around the boat, head back for another feed then come back.”

Hughie says the biggest of the two Whites was around ten feet, although one Tiger was slightly larger. Keen to share the “incredible” experience Hughie went in and grabbed two pals including Will Webber, a noted shaper and brother to the well-known Greg Webber.

“Oh my fuck, oh my fucking god,” Will said when he arrived at the scene.

“Will said he’s having a big board sale this weekend,” says Hughie. “He gave up surfing after seeing that.”

Meanwhile, as far as Hughie knows, the whale is drifting south towards Brooms Head.

Viva la France!
Viva la France!

Sport: Famous surfers jump onto large bandwagon!

Allez allez allez allez!

Were you glued to your television yesterday, like the rest of the entire world, watching France defeat Croatia in soccer’s (or football’s) World Cup? It was very exciting, I suppose, though I don’t really know what constitutes “exciting” in that milieu. I am an American and therefore grew up with little to no appreciation for “the beautiful game. but that didn’t stop me from weighing in on various fouls and offside calls.

Oh it was very enjoyable but I didn’t have nearly as much fun as the Italian Leonardo Fioravanti and his friend Kanoa Igarashi who were in Moscow, at the arena, in the stands, both dressed exactly like soccer coaches, for the final itself.

There they were, cheering “Les Bleus” with all their hearts. “Allez allez allez allez etc.” Now, by rights, Leonardo should be cheering for Italy and Kanoa should be cheering for either the United States or Japan just like Kolohe Andino should be cheering for his local Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim instead of the Los Angeles Dodgers like he does which makes me wonder about bandwagons.

In your moral economy where does bald-faced bandwagon jumping rank in terms of its sinfulness? Is it better or worse than online bullying? Better or worse than tipping poorly? Better or worse than cheating at card games?

By “bald-faced bandwagon jumping” I’m talking about the man or woman who lustily declares their allegiance to a recently popular team and utilizes historical gymnastics to make the allegiance both ancient and serious. Like, “My grandma was born in France and dated one of the French national team footballers when she young so I was basically born Les Bleu.” Or “My dad grew up in a town a few hundred miles away from Chris Mullins so I have always been a Warriors fan. Basically.”


Better or worse than hurting innocent animals?

Great White eats dead humpback near Angourie.

Watch: Great Whites Tear Hell out of Whale at Angourie!

The NSW north coast has never looked this unappealing…

Is there anything more life-affirming than watching the Great White shark, the world’s most misunderstood creature, in full flight?

Does its sheer daring overwhelm you?

Earlier today, Angourie surfer and big-waver, Laurie Towner, loosed footage of Great Whites and Tiger Sharks feeding on a dead humpback whale a few hundred yards off world famous Angourie Point, a couple of hours south of Byron Bay.

‘WARNING ! Do not surf the point or anywhere around home right now,” wrote Laurie. “Just had an epic experience watching a couple decent sized whites chopping into this whale that jut missed washing up on the point just now! Amazing to watch.”

Kelly Slater, who rarely misses an Instagram post, wrote: “Probably safest time to surf. They know they want that whale blubber and not some skinny surfers!”

Laurie responded, “I realised when I posted it I should of said warning if you want the point to yourself get out there hahah.”

Laurie’s bro Hughie threw a zoom on the animal.

Now, be honest here.

Did you just draw a line through Angourie on your places-to-surf-before-you-die map?

Or are you non-plussed by the damn things?

Tyler Wright Owen Wright
It was a hell of an African campaign for the siblings, Tyler and Owen Wright. One, ruined by Influenza A, the other by a bowel obstruction.

Tyler and Owen Wright reveal mysterious illnesses as Influenza A and a bowel obstruction!

Tyler and Owen Wright's "African virus" explained…

Two weeks ago, the world champion Tyler Wright and her brother Owen, the world number eleven, quietly pulled out of their respective events at Jeffreys Bay.

Both cited a mysterious “African flu”. This story was given no air time and no official statement was made.

Curiosity pricked, I asked around, called the WSL, Rip Curl. I was told the story was so insignificant it wasn’t worth a press release or official explanation.

Odd, I thought.

Today it can be revealed that Tyler’s “African flu” was the potentially deadly influenza A while Owen’s ailment was a ghastly bowel obstruction.

Last night on Instagram, Tyler explained:

Never thought the flu would stop me from competing….turns out I was very wrong. Influenza A is quite the catch, it wouldn’t leave me alone. Been out of it for a while now but had my first good day in about two weeks, still can’t do much and I’m about 8kg lighter.

Massive thank you to Alex, for not letting me die, never listening to me when I said I was fine and sticking around even though you could of caught it too.

Owen, meanwhile, revealed his battle with an uncooperative gut:

I had to suddenly withdraw from the Jbay Open due to a bowel obstruction that was causing severe pain. I didn’t know at the time, I knew I had to pull out. but it got figured out in hospital later that night. glad I got it sorted and I’m on the mend. Safe to say it was a random occurrence and I’m looking forward to competing in Tahiti…

Case closed, as they say.

Steve Sherman/@tsherms/WSL

Ultra-rich: WSL’s VIP US Open ticket!

$2,499 for shade with great views of the action!

Were you here just three days ago when we discussed the ticket prices for the upcoming Lemoore Pro hosted by Surf Ranch and Michelob Ultra Gold? You’d be forgiven for missing. World Cup soccer was in full swing and a large balloon that looks like an infant Donald Trump was getting much attention.

Quickly, the World Surf League released the ticket prices. $499 for a three-day VIP pass, $199 for a one-day VIP pass, $99 for hot sun and $7 Michelob Ultra Golds. Very very much more expensive than the region’s other entertainment options (if we stretch “the region” to include southern California’s Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, etc.).

I was still wondering, “Who on earth would want to pay for this? Am I missing some facet of professional surfing fandom that loves bleeding money for subpar experiences? Are professional surfing fans ultra-rich?” when the famous surf photographer Jack English sent over the World Surf League’s just revealed VIP ticket pricing for the upcoming US Open in Huntington Beach, California. And let us read.

VIP passes are available on a full event ($2,499 per person, July 28 – August 5) or daily ($299 per person) basis, and they include:

Access to the exclusive, shaded WSL VIP deck with great views of the action in the water, from 7 AM – 5 PM each day
Free catered breakfast, lunch and beverage
Exclusive event gift bag
30-minute behind-the-scenes tour of the event
VIP parking pass
For more details or to reserve your VIP passes today, email [email protected]. You can also purchases VIP passes during the event at the Welcome Center (first come, first served depending on availability).

Remember, this is the US Open in Huntington Beach, California.

Huntington Beach, California.

Seriously, I need to know, am I missing some facet of professional surfing fandom that loves bleeding money for subpar experiences? Are professional surfing fans ultra-rich?

Or is the World Surf League playing a giant prank?