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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlQw5yijbbn/?taken-by=lfioravanti

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.”

So?

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.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlRScdyAym4/?hl=sv&taken-by=laurietowner

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlRx9OKFiMA/?taken-by=hughietowner

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.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkpgkqmnqwo/?hl=en&taken-by=tylerwright

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…

https://www.instagram.com/p/BlNAgbeAEIg/?hl=en&taken-by=owright

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?


Rosy Hodge
Rosy Hodge towers over her subjects, projecting a comely blend of intimidation and sex appeal. Often, and now that I’ve mentioned it you’ll notice it, big names, household names, stare wide-eyed with their very famous mouths fixed open. “Ah, can you repeat the question?”

Dreams do come true: My date with Rosy Hodge!

A comely blend of intimidation and sex appeal!

Several years ago, while editing a print surf title called Stab, I tried to arrange a photo shoot with the virtuoso of the post-heat interview, Rosy Hodge.

Don’t you even dare tell me you’re unaware of her broad South African vowels and hair that flashes like warped gold or of the way she towers over her subjects, projecting a comely blend of intimidation and sex appeal. Often, and now that I’ve mentioned it you’ll notice it, big names, household names, stare wide-eyed with their very famous mouths fixed open.

“Ah, can you repeat the question?”

Initially, I felt as if I’d over-extended my flank with the offer. A brief email exchanged was followed by silence and then a terse refusal.

Two years later, after explaining that she’d “just got nervous” and that she could be “persuaded to give it a go” Rosy was leaping like a gazelle into my borrowed Mercedes Benz, folding and unfolding staggeringly long limbs into the passenger seat.

“On the beach we bawled our eyes out,” said Rosie. “I ran home crying and hid in a corner cradling myself.” These experiences have given Rosie a constant feeling of attack, by shark, even when she’s many thousands of nautical miles from her home country (Rosie has a Great White tracking app on her telephone).

From four-thirty pm until a fingernail before midnight, I collected much data. While the photographer soaked up what we might call a brazen corn-fed beauty, I learned from my pestering that she possessed an undeniably strong and moving personality.

Rosy said she was reared in East London aka Slumtown, although Queensbury Bay where she learned to lick her chops in the surf ain’t exactly Soweto. That if you stand on the lawns surrounding her parents’ house, you might see giraffes, zebra and perhaps a lion. That the righthand point in front of her house was the stage for a much-viewed YouTube clip where the viewer watches, horrified, but secretly fascinated, as two Great White sharks attacked, but not fatally a pal.

And, where, just three years ago, Rosy watched Greg Emslie, the former South African professional, be charged, bumped and circled by a four-metre White.

“On the beach we bawled our eyes out,” said Rosie. “I ran home crying and hid in a corner cradling myself.”

These experiences have given Rosie a constant feeling of attack, by shark, even when she’s many thousands of nautical miles from her home country (Rosie has a Great White tracking app on her telephone) and says she is much more respectful towards the animals and henceforth never surfs when the sardines are running at her home beach however good the waves might be.

Now let’s examine five immediate impressions. 

1. She is taller and slimmer than the squished rectangle of your laptop allows. Clearly, it is the unflattering jackets she wears on the beach in Autumnal France during the Quiksilver events there that gives Rosy a slightly thick appearance, although I had taken it as evidence of a terrific bust. But, in light clothing befitting the last day of summer, I see a woman close to six feet, rather narrow, and pretty as hell. 

2. Pretty ain’t the word. When Rosy swings into the Byron Bay rental the producer pulled me aside to whisper, My God, she’s beautiful. 

3. She ain’t one to poison her mind with forgettable literature. Within sixteen minutes, yeah, I glanced at my watch, she’d referenced the 1938 travel classic Enchanted VagabondsNew York writer Juno Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and David Eggers’ What is the What? I could question every single one of my preening writer pals and not get a response half as worldly. 

4. She breezy as hell. Most times, it’s the gang behind the camera that slugs the champagne and takes front stage with the wisecracks. Rosy didn’t guzzle, that just wouldn’t be her thing (class!), but her flute was thirsty enough and that mouth of hers held its own in tough company. 

5. Adventure, above all. Rosy told the story of how pals of hers rowed across the Arctic Ocean from North America almost all the way to Russia, a thousand sea miles. “Listening to their stories of rowing their friggin’ little hearts out and then getting stuck in a labyrinth of ice and then getting hit by a hurricane is heartbreaking but they still killed it.”

Rosy told me she dreamed of finding a boy whom she could adventure with, ready to take on whatever the world might throw at her (this would happen in Rosy’s thirtieth year when she married the astonishingly attractive and capable Ian Foulkes).

Envision her now, smoking with a contemptuous scowl and yelling derision at you in a rough harsh voice.

You return her gaze with blank and tender eyes.