nav fox
The Angourie shredder Nav Fox stays calm despite rough handling and ass play by lil Chinese man. | Photo: Hayden Aull/newsroom

War in the Pacific: Angourie surfers take on reef-smashing Chinese developers in Fiji!

Two surfers fight back against might of Communist developer…

Navrin Fox and Woody Jack are two very good surfers from Angourie, a couple of hours south of Bryon, on Australia’s east coast.

Two years ago, the pair threw their life savings on a 99-year lease on an acre of land on Fiji’s Mololo Island.

A third share went to a Fijian pal Ratu Jona Joseva, who gets his bread ferrying surfers to Cloudbreak and whose family is one of the three that own land on Mololo.

And this is where it gets interesting…

From Newsroom in New Zealand,

Last year they got a phone call from Joseva saying something was up. A Chinese developer had moved onto the land next door and was ripping the place apart.

When Fox and Jack flew in from Australia they found a scene of devastation.

“There were two or three excavators in the water, smashing through the reef and digging it out to create a massive channel. There was hydraulic fluid spilling into the water. Another excavator on the land was covering the beautiful little beach on our land with the material from the reef to build a hard zone. It was shocking. We knew they didn’t have a foreshore lease and what they were doing was illegal,” said Fox.

Fox and Wood felt their piece of paradise would never be the same, even if they could get it restored to the original state. In a moment of despondency, they offered to sell it to the developer Freesoul Real Estate and approached the local director Dickson Peng.

We pointed out to Peng that they were using our land to access the development site and raised the idea of them buying it. Peng replied ‘Fuck you, I am going to take your land anyway’.”

At that point Fox, Jack and Joseva went to war with Freesoul.

The battle has cost them most of their life savings and last week culminated in Fox being attacked by an employee of Freesoul when he tried to walk on to his own land at Mololo Island.

Accompanied by Newsroom journalist Melanie Reid, Fox was visiting the site to point out the environmental damage when a Chinese employee of Freesoul confronted him.  

When Fox went to access his own land through a gate in a fence Freesoul erected across the foreshore, the employee tackled him and got Fijian security guards to help him lock the gate.  

Fox reached his own land by going through a bush area but was attacked again by the same man. The local Fijian security guards restrained their Chinese colleague and appeared to tell him Fox was entitled to be there.

Fox said: “It is like living next door to a lawless monster. I am devastated for the Fijians, how can a company just come in and do this? They have no respect for anything else except money – greed governs.”

Read more and watch the hilarious vision of the little Chinese man tackling Nav and marvel at Nav’s calm.

Of course, this is the thin edge of the wedge, as they say.

For all my brothers and sisters who bemoan the USA as the world’s omnipresent Superpower, imagine, please, what’ll be like when China fills the inevitable power vacuum as US power declines.

China ain’t got no New York Times or Washington Post, no Seymour Hersh, keeping the government even vaguely in line.

No protests. Cameras on every citizen.

No, gulp, Instagram.

How would you live?


Dreams come true: Have Pete Mel, Seb Zietz, Mason Ho shout you out for $10 – $110!

Today is your birthday.

Social media is paradise on earth. A garden of delights. Where else can we peek into the lives of our favorite professional surfers and see what they ate for dinner last night, which conspiracy theories are extra-hot, Joel Tudor?

It is heaven, all we really need, impossible to improve upon.

Except.

Things just got twice as good!

Before we could only really peek, comment and maybe get a poetic textual slap from Joel Tudor. Now we can pay our favorite professional surfers to speak directly to us. To congratulate us for this or that, to tell us they care.

Unbelievable?

Enter Cameo, the new app where celebrities talk back! The service is described as

...the Mad Max: Fury Road of celebrity interaction services. In an ideal world, this would be an app which enabled you to pay Cardi B to sing happy birthday to you. In reality, it’s a place where you pay Riff Raff fifty bucks to get your name wrong and slur at you incoherently from a treadmill.

Riff Raff or:

Pete Mel $30

Monyca Eleogram $20

Sebastian Zietz $65

Koa Smith $22

Nic von Rupp $30

Phil Rajzman(?) $15

Brett Barley $10

Marco Mignot $15

Miguel Tudela $20

or Mason Ho $110

Will someone please do this? I would but am currently suffering from a migraine and can’t figure out how to plug my details in. The damn things affect me like a stroke.

Please?

The only problem is who to pick!


Double feature: Watch Lisa Andersen’s “Trouble” and see Kanga Cairns, live, launch his newish bio!

A Bondi double bill to raise money for help-the-wretched-locals charity SurfAid…

Down the end of my street, squatting like a Sphinx on Bondi Beach, is a swinging bar called The Bucket List.

It is staffed by the most gorgeous men, women and inbetweeners you might ever imagine, all with a docile tenderness that make a visit there a highlight of any trip to Australia.

And the view, the food etc. If you go, ask for Andy, he’s a dreamboat.

Tomorrow night, at seven pm, if you’re around, how about you help BeachGrit and The Bucket List raise a little cash for SurfAid, Dr Davey Jenkins’ charity that goes into remote communities and builds wells, water tanks and community health centres, hands our mozzie nets and trains and educates locals in disease prevention etc.

Mother and kid health is a big one.

We work together with communities and local government to prevent mother and child suffering and death. The latest Indonesian statistics show that every three hours a mother dies in childbirth, while every hour 20 babies die. Half of these babies are less than one month old. In remote areas these figures are worse. We provide a mix of practical support, education and health promotion that aims to change poor health behaviours into positive behaviours. Simple basic stuff, really, but with huge effects!

Anyway, to get ’em some money, we’re going to screen the Chas Smith-directed Lisa Andersen biopic Trouble and the great Ian “Kanga” Cairns, #2 in 1976, co-inventor of modern pro surfing, is going to be at The Bucket List selling his new book Kanga, telling stories etc.

Wanna come? Starts at seven.

There’s gonna be prizes from The Critical Slide Society (aka TCSS), Oscar and Frank sunglasses, Sunbum sunscreen (the official lotion of BeachGrit) and a 7S board from Rich Lovett, who once won a WCT event at Trestles.

Tickets here. 

Or donate to SurfAid here with expecting a damn thing in return.  


surf gambling
Gambling isn’t fun. I know you’re told it’s bad, don’t do it etc. But no-one tells you what the silent shame feels like. It’s like a black tide at the end of your street. You can’t necessarily see it closing in, but you feel it. Cold and insistent, like it’s pressing up against your very being.

JP Currie: “Surf gambling isn’t fun. I’ve had problems. It’s like a black tide at the end of your street!”

"I can’t believe I’m admitting this, here. No-one knows about this. We don’t do shit like that in Scotland. We just put a shotgun in our mouths…"

Gambling isn’t fun. I know you’re told it’s bad, don’t do it etc.

But no-one tells you what the silent shame feels like.

It’s like a black tide at the end of your street. You can’t necessarily see it closing in, but you feel it. Cold and insistent, like it’s pressing up against your very being.

I’ve had problems. I can openly admit that.

Well, openly, as in to a select bunch of internet friends on a men’s special interest blog.

But it’s under control, I tell myself, hopefully.

I’ve got a job. I’m not begging, borrowing (much), or stealing.

I’m only betting on pro surfing and the NBA right now. I consider that progress.

So the latest litany of shame.

I emailed Derek yesterday after my last story posted: Thanks for posting. I needed the distraction. I’m in a £370 hole for this comp.

Turns out I’d miscalculated. It was a £430 hole.

Not the worst place I’d ever been, not by a long chalk. But significant. More significant with two young uns and a single income household.

I’m sure some of you tech bro VALs spend more on lunch. Good for you. Most days at lunchtime I go out to the car park to see what’s left over from my weekend supplies. A pack of oatcakes, some bargain noodles, a handful of raisins.

I don’t do singles, for the most part. Not unless I’m desperate. I do complex accumulators, mainly on heats. There’s value in picking outright winners from the men’s and women’s sides sometimes. It’s all speculative. None of it is governed by sense, knowledge or experience. I didn’t bet on Italo pre-comp, or Medina, even though my gut told me one of them would win. The odds weren’t strong enough

Sometimes the pupils see me, clambering in or out.

Do you live in your van, Sir?

How come you don’t go to the staffroom with the other teachers, Sir?

So I was £430 ($US600) down.

Looking at my pre-comp bets I was nervous. I’d staked £200 straight off. But every bet hinged on Caroline Marks doing well.

Amazing! You might say. She won! What’s he bitching about?

But I never bet simple.

I don’t do singles, for the most part. Not unless I’m desperate. I do complex accumulators, mainly on heats. There’s value in picking outright winners from the men’s and women’s sides sometimes. It’s all speculative.

None of it is governed by sense, knowledge or experience. I didn’t bet on Italo pre-comp, or Medina, even though my gut told me one of them would win. The odds weren’t strong enough.

It’s a shitty gambler’s mistake that pros don’t make, just the dumb punters and addicts like me. I play the odds, nothing else. I’m the bookies’ dream.

Hence Caroline Marks. Ideal in every way. My gut was telling me she had a great chance, the odds disagreed.

20/1 for the outright win, 9/1 to make the final, 7/2 for the semi.

I won’t go through everything I laid down, because it’s in the region of 26 bets. That’s a lot of trying to hide the light from your phone in the middle of the night.

Roll on J-Bay, roll on Europe.

I thought Kanoa might make a semi (8/1), I fancied Freestone to do well (18/1 to make the semi), Yago was in with a shout (14/1 for last 4). I thought Owen might do well.

I was convinced Griffin and Callinan would have strong showings. In the end it was their failures that scuppered me mostly.

And when I start to lose early the faucet tends to open.

As I alluded to in comments somewhere along the way, I went to a dark place post-World Cup last summer. I’d been off betting from a long time, months. Then some mates started talking about their WC bets and I couldn’t resist. Had a 300/1 shot come in on the very first game.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, here. No-one knows about this. Maybe it’s my therapy. We don’t do shit like that in Scotland. We just put a shotgun in our mouths or slink off to the woods with a rope to find a fat branch.

After that I was back.

But I lost it, of course. Then a whole bunch more. Death by a thousand failed accumulators.

By the end of the tournament I was staring into the maelstrom again. I chased it on the horses. It went bad.

Really bad.

Like £100-200 a day bad. For a couple of months.

I can’t believe I’m admitting this, here. No-one knows about this. Maybe it’s my therapy. We don’t do shit like that in Scotland. We just put a shotgun in our mouths or slink off to the woods with a rope to find a fat branch.

Anything to avoid discussing feelings. A farmer along the road from my folks did it with a chainsaw a couple of months back. He’d locked himself in the garage. His wife had to climb in through a window to find him there.

So I was £430 down.

Laid my last bets of the comp at Men’s round four, Women’s quarter-final stage.

Luckily, I’ve been busy the past couple of days. Trying to keep the wolf from the door. Otherwise I might have spunked a lot more.

But a double on Italo to win outright (7/2) and Caroline to do the same (18/5) was sweet. £25 on paid £517.50.

Roll on Bells.

Roll on the black tide.


Mason Ho dining on Salvadorean fruits!
Mason Ho dining on Salvadorean fruits!

Revealed: “El Salvador has best surfing beaches in the world; California second best!”

But more importantly, who wore it better?

California has a new Governor, a very handsome man named Gavin Newsom who was once married to Donald Trump Jr.’s current girlfriend. He is dashing, with an iron jaw and hair swept back. He is also very liberal, very progressive and girls really go in for that (except his ex-wife and Donald Trump Jr.’s current girlfriend.)

I would like to have a discussion, here, about which people are more beautiful, liberal ones or conservative ones, but Gavin Newsom just traveled to El Salvador to be el salvaldor economico and thumb his nose at Donald Trump whose son, Donald Trump Jr., happens to be dating his ex-wife.

Donald Trump very recently cut aid to the small Central American nation.

What will salvar El Salvador?

Surfing of course and let us turn to NBC news for more. Let’s do it right now before we have any more discussion of ex-wives and girlfriends.

California masterfully markets its surfing culture and Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday he wants to share that expertise with El Salvador to help boost tourism and provide more economic opportunities for its impoverished citizens.

“There’s no doubt there’s a lot we can do together in this space,” Newsom said after a discussion about the surfing industry’s economic potential with local business owners, investors and U.S. Ambassador Jean Manes.

He’ll have a willing partner in President-elect Nayib Bukele, who he met later. Bukele has an initiative titled “Surf City” aimed at investing in beaches to drive tourism.

“We have the best surfing beaches in the world and they have the other ones,” he told reporters after meeting with Newsom. “So we want to work together.”

Newsom said the state’s tourism arm, Visit California, has already expressed interest in working with El Salvador.

Though El Salvador has among the highest homicide rates in the world and the U.S. government warns its citizens about traveling there, Newsom and Bukele said tourist areas are much safer than other parts of the country. Bukele said he’ll work to get the U.S. travel advisory removed when he takes office.

Etc.

So go to El Salvador and surf because you ain’t a sissy but there are a lot of sissies who won’t go equalling more waves for you.

Ok.

Now that we’re through with that, who wore it better?

Gavin Newsom…

Or Donald Trump Jr….

Vote in the comments below!