Australia's most famous beach closed, bodyboarders immobilised, kayaks sunk! Shark season arrives with terrific fanfare in Australia.

From the horrors-looming-in-the-deep department: “Fifteen foot shark” closes Bondi; Canoeist hit by Tiger shark in Queensland!

So many possibilities!

As mentioned three days ago, shark season has arrived in Australia with as much fanfare as the aromatic jasmine flower blossoming all over the country.

In a month or so, there have been six attacks: a bodyboarder in Western Australia (“traumatic leg injuries”), three swimmers in the same North Queensland harbour, one of which was fatal, and a surfer at Ballina with leg injuries caused by a juvenile white pointer (those kids).

At Bondi and nearby beaches, shark sightings have become commonplace.

Yesterday, the lineup was emptied at Tamarama when a shark surfaced so close to a surfer he gave it a little stroke as he jack-rabbited to shore.

And, today, the Bondi surfer and former semi-pro, Beau Walker, had beached his final wave when he saw a “fifteen-foot” shark shadowing another local surfer, Mick Malouf.

“He came running down to the water yelling, ‘Get out of the water!’ I asked him how close it was and he said it was two metres behind me,” says Malouf, who saw a wall of salmon in the wave in front “belly flopping” out of the water. “He’s seen a few sharks in his time (Beau grew up in Byron Bay) so he knows what he’s talking about.”

In response to that, and an earlier sighting at North Bondi, lifeguards closed the beach.

Meanwhile, a click or so off Moffatt Beach on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a fifteen-foot Tiger belted a man in his kayak.

Kyle Roberts was knocked off his kayak by the shark who then circled him and his sinking craft while he radioed for help.

From ABC News.

Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) duty officer David McLean said Mr Roberts was in shock when lifeguards reached him on jet skis.

“There was no blood in the water — nothing else to attract any sharks — just came out of the blue, completely broadsided him, and as he stated, he’s very lucky to be here,” Mr McLean said.

“It had punctured the kayak — he managed to get back to the kayak and hung on and fortunately there was an air bubble at the front of the kayak which managed to keep it afloat until we could get to him. 

Mr McLean said while Mr Roberts was waiting for help “he was starting to panic, especially when the shark was starting to circle him”.

“He would have been through a fair state of panic and that was evident in his voice when he was talking on the radio,” he said.

“He was paddling along in his kayak, the shark’s just hit him, knocked him up in the air, out of the kayak, and he ended up 1.5 metres from his kayak.”

Can you imagine?

Waltzing down memory lane: Monster employee sues the company for “sexually hostile work environment!”

A possible lawsuit combo?

Besides the wild success of Stab High, Monster Energy has had a legal shocker of a year. You read this morning that John John Florence is suing the beverage company for failing to pay him at all even though they plastered his face across many 7-11s. A rough one seeing as John John is hands-down the most popular surfer in the world, currently. Well-loved in all corners.

The year began, though, on much the same note with employees suing Monster for creating a “sexually hostile work environment.” Let’s peruse the suit a little:

Plaintiff alleges that, beginning in July 2014, her supervisor, John Kenneally, began making unwelcome sexual advances toward her.5 Plaintiff further alleges that another Monster Energy manager, Ted Cook, made comments about her breasts and grabbed her inappropriately.6 Plaintiff alleges that she experienced retaliation after rejecting Kenneally’s sexual advances and filing a sexual harassment complaint against Cook, and she was eventually terminated on October 16, 2015.7 On June 22, 2017, plaintiff filed a complaint for damages alleging violations of Title VII because of a sexually hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation.8 Defendant now moves to compel arbitration, and to dismiss, or alternatively stay, these proceedings.


I’ve done a deep dive and cannot figure out if the suit has been settled or concluded but just think of the fireworks if the two cases could be combined. Just imagine the heat. It would be like the OJ Simpson trial all over again and, to the lawyers out there… would it be possible to combine these two cases?

Is that feasible?

From the Anderson-Cooper-wet-dream Department: Nazare set to run Friday in 25 -35 foot range!

"You don't ride it, it rides you!"

You read here, just two days ago, that the surf forecasting website Surfline has called off Christmas in the Pacific informing surf hopefuls that there will be zero big swells do unfortunate climate indicators. A real bah humbug moment but… what is that faint cheering I hear? The clinking of crystal goblets filled with Salon Blanc de Blanc?

Is that Anderson Cooper and his best pal Garrett McNamara celebrating?

It is! And they have every right for while Surfline may have pulled the plug on the Pacific, it appears the Atlantic is ready to put on a show with the first World Surf League Big Wave Tour of the year to kick off this Friday at Nazare and let’s turn to the World Surf League’s official mouthpiece for more:

“We’ve officially issued a Green Alert to run the Nazaré Challenge on Friday, November 16,” said Mike Parsons, WSL Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “The conditions we’ve been closely tracking still look favorable for Friday. We hope to see epic waves for the surfers to paddle into in the 25-35-foot face range. The swell and the winds are expected to all come together and be very clean to kick off the Big Wave Tour season.”

Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca (BRA), reigning Big Wave Tour Champion Billy Kemper (HAW), and Kai Lenny (HAW) are a few of the competitors on this year’s roster.

“I’ve been doing some big wave training and feeling out some new boards,” said Kai Lenny. “Nazaré is usually too big and we are waiting for a swell that is not 100 feet so we can paddle it. It is more survival. Just survive. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally right now. If you go to Nazaré, you will probably get smoked no matter what.”

Jamie Mitchell, 2016/17 Nazaré Challenge winner, has recently recovered from a shoulder injury. The Australian is coming back stronger and motivated to claim his second event win.

“Nazaré is a crazy wave; you don’t ride it, it rides you,” said Mitchell. “The boundaries continue to get pushed here. I’m coming off a shoulder surgery this summer and have worked hard to be ready for the Big Wave Tour, so it would be special to do well again here. I am jumping on a plane, heading over there now and am excited that we are on.”

I wonder if anyone is going to #metoo Nazare for riding them without permission?

John john florence
Despite not getting paid by Monster, the surfer claims he “repeatedly saw Monster’s advertising prominently featuring Florence’s name and likeness without [his] authorization, including while in the presence of others, causing Florence to experience embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress,” according to the suit. | Photo: WSL

John John Florence sues Monster Energy! Suffers “emotional distress” and “humiliation”!

Monster, meanwhile, blames John John for a “failure to exercise reasonable care and diligence.”

I was peeling a wet blanket and sheet off my lap and removing a rubber band when this hot lil item bounced into my inbox.

Turns out, John John Florence is suing energy drink company Monster in an action that was first filed in California state court back in May.

John John, who just turned twenty six, says he cut a three-year agreement with the caffeine drink manufacturer (which has 34 lines including Java Monster, Extra Strength, Import, Rehab and Muscle Monster) in 2017 and, oowee, nothing but tears since.

From the New York Post. 

Under the deal, Florence — who has starred in surfer flicks including “View From a Blue Moon” and the recent video “Space” — agreed to promote Monster drinks for $350,000 a year plus $150,000 toward a marketing production that recounted his pursuit of his world surfing title, court records show.

Nevertheless, Monster “has refused to pay any amount whatsoever under the 2017 agreement,” according to the suit.

That’s despite the fact that Monster has plastered Florence all over “its websites, social media channels, and in print and digital ad campaigns,” according to Florence’s suit.

Monster, meanwhile, counters that Florence hid “material facts” during contract talks. The company didn’t elaborate, but claims it “would not have signed the contract if Monster had known such representations by Florence were false.”

Earlier this year — well after the Monster contract was signed — Florence tore his ACL and hasn’t surfed competitively since.

It couldn’t be learned whether the ACL injury was a bone of contention between Florence and Monster.

Reps for Florence and Monster didn’t return calls seeking comment this week.

Despite not getting paid by Monster, the surfer claims he “repeatedly saw Monster’s advertising prominently featuring Florence’s name and likeness without [his] authorization, including while in the presence of others, causing Florence to experience embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress,” according to the suit.

Florence likewise claims that the Monster relationship has been a series of broken promises and last-minute switches to the contract.

After getting lavish promises from Monster’s sports marketing executive, Tim English — including an emailed pledge for retroactive pay in the three-year deal — Florence says Monster sent a longer-form version with watered-down pay provisions.

In response, Monster blames Florence’s woes, without elaborating, on his “failure to exercise reasonable care and diligence.”

In September, a judge declined to dismiss Florence’s suit. Attorneys for Florence and Monster are slated to meet on Wednesday for a conference hearing in Riverside County (Calif.) Superior Court.

From the milk-a-story-bone-dry Department: G-Mac and Nazare back in The New York Times!

Come relieve the greatest story in surf history... again!

I am not an expert in surfing. I am not an expert in technique, in wave forecasting, in critical analysis, in board building, in surf travel. I am not an expert in surf history, in competition, in judging, in reading a wave. I am not an expert in anything but turning one surf story into three, four, five, even infinite. I am an expert in Mick Fanning, Ashton Goggans, Paul Speaker, Backward Fin Beth etc.

And I thought I was the best in the world at this but I am not. Garrett McNamara beats me like a drum. He kicks me like a dead horse and he is back, once again, with wall-to-wall coverage of Nazare.

You saw him on CNN with Anderson Cooper, again, and I thought it was a replay from years ago but it was fresh and today he is in The New York Times, saving the little Portuguese fishing village from the monster waves that used to terrify them and let’s read just a touch, just a smidgen.

NAZARÉ, Portugal — At the market in the ancient fishing village of Nazaré, Portuguese pensioners shopped for their fruit and vegetables. Retired fishermen chatted over coffee. And a record-breaking American surfer sipped on a cucumber and celery smoothie.

It was Garrett McNamara, a 51-year-old from Hawaii who until recently held the world record for the highest wave ever surfed. And who, for most of his life, had never visited Europe and had to take some time to find Portugal on a map.

“I never envisaged this,” said Mr. McNamara, who tended to surf in the Pacific Ocean. “Portugal was never a destination.”

For centuries, Nazaré was a traditional seaside town, where fishermen taught their children to avoid the huge waves that crashed against the nearby cliffs. But over the past eight years, those same waves have turned the place into an unlikely draw for extreme surfers like Mr. McNamara, their fans and the global companies that sponsor the athletes.

Etc. Etc. And you know the rest of the story because you’ve read/seen it 100 times, 1000 times, infinite times.

I tip my cap to you, Mr. McNamara. Game recognizes game.