Amid much hoopla in 2017, the WSL announced it had bought a 30-acre hunk of land in Palm Beach for six-and-a-half-mill and was going to stick a Surf Ranch on it.
Palm Beach County commissioners loved the idea.
“(Surfers) don’t like some of the slop we have here,” the mayor told Kelly Slater.
“We’re trying to fix that,” Slater said.
Slater predicted that the new Surf Ranch, only the second in the world, would be running by early 2019.
Yesterday, the WSL announced it was abandoning the plan.
“The WSL is disappointed to confirm our decision to cancel the development of the wave basin planned for West Palm Beach,” said the WSL in a statement. “The nature of this site, including the extremely high water table, exposed unforeseen challenges that made the decision around this unique project clear. These projects are complex and in many ways without precedent, and we have learned important lessons in this process.”
As if yesterday’s bald-faced expression of entitled greed wasn’t enough. As if two old white people barking guttural swears at a workaday surfer before having him arrested wasn’t the peak. And why were they barking? Why were they cop calling? Because the workaday surfer dared to dream that a North Carolina beach might be accessible. A crime, apparently, against decency and as if that wasn’t the height today we have 350 old white people, this time in Florida, banding together in order turn previously public beaches private again.
Can you believe it?
I wouldn’t be able to if it wasn’t for the NFW Daily News and let’s turn there together now. Let’s get all lathered up.
About 350 beach property owners say they plan to intervene legally to prevent Walton County beaches from becoming public again.
A coalition called Florida Coastal Property Rights, established by owners that include “individuals, associations and condominiums,” issued a news release Monday to announce the number of residents who had requested to be named as defendants in a lawsuit the county filed Dec. 11.
“It is not surprising to see hundreds of parcels, owned by thousands of owners, intervening,” FlaCPR President Tammy Alford said in the release. “Many owners wish to preserve their property rights, which will be diminished should Walton County prevail in this lawsuit.”
The county’s lawsuit asks Circuit Court Judge David Green to affirm customary use along its coastline. The county contends it is the public’s right to recreate on all 26 miles of Walton County beach, including those dry sand areas deeded as private property. It claims the county’s coastline has been shared by everyone through time immemorial, and is public by virtue of that customary use.
“If Walton County is successful in affirming customary use on all private beachfront property in the county, the action will remove private property owners’ legal rights to decide who can use their property,” the FlaCPR news release said.
By filing the lawsuit, the county is following a path laid out by House Bill 631, passed last year, that it must travel if it wants to re-establish a customary use ordinance. When the state law went into effect July 1, it impacted Walton County alone by eliminating an ordinance approved by county commissioners in 2016.
Chaos ensued as private property owners sought to prevent trespassing on their stretch of sand and beachgoers protested their sudden lack of access. County officials and law pfficers were caught up in the fray. HB 631 became a political football in an election year, and debate could heat up again as tourist season opens and visitors start flocking to the beach.
A hearing was held Monday in which Green ruled to allow the great majority of those who had thus far requested to join the lawsuit as defendants to do so. It was the first hearing held since the lawsuit was filed.
(Thanks to Marc Keene for the lead.)
Eat the rich: Brave surfer fights for right to access beach, gets arrested!
“I don't care what you think, it was deeded to me!”
Nothing unites the entirely disparate surf world like rich bastards buying beachfront mansions and blocking access to The People™ or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe only my blood boils when I hear tales of the ultra-wealthy buying homes in Malibu or Montauk or Montecito, throwing up gates and having security guards wag ugly fingers into crestfallen faces.
Oh how it riles. How it infuriates. I’ve got the nasty sort of temper when it comes to these things that doesn’t lead to resolution but feels good and that’s why I’m always so impressed by salt-of-the-earth folk who make access for all their mission. Who go to town hall meetings, petition citizens, start signature drives and try to do things the right way i.e. not waiting until darkness falls and throwing rocks through windows.
Salt-of-the-earth folk like surf shop owner Bob Hovey from the town of Duck, which is on North Carolina’s outer banks.
Now, Duck doesn’t sound like a fancy pants town name but apparently rich blow-ins have scooped up the best property and disallowed access to locals and let’s learn about the situation first. Let’s get all caught up in the Virginian-Pilot:
Surfer and businessman Bob Hovey pointed to a small sign at the end of Plover Drive next to a boardwalk leading to the beach.
“No trespassing,” it said.
Hovey hates that sign.
“This spot right here is so prime to be a public beach access,” said the 48-year-old owner of Duck Village Outfitters. “I’m going to keep fighting for public beach access in Duck. It’s doable.”
Hovey has created a Facebook page to promote his passion. Several people post comments supporting his cause. He has appeared at numerous town hall meetings to plead his case. He filed suit last year against the town, but a judge ruled against him in May. He started an online fundraising effort that garnered $1,000.
After all of that, he has made little headway.
He owns a home in Duck’s Osprey Ridge, but it sits on the soundside of N.C. 12. Businesses and homeowners who are in one of the ocean-to-sound neighborhoods do not have access, he said. Construction workers and shop owners and employees who do not live there cannot easily get to the surf, he said.
The Town of Duck incorporated in 2002 after private neighborhoods had already enveloped the oceanfront, said Town Manager Chris Layton. Its seven miles of beach are open to the public, but without public access points, people have to cross private property to reach them.
In Duck, the federal government owns about 150 acres around the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility, the long pier set up for ocean studies. Decades ago, people could drive to the pier parking lot and use a path to the ocean for surfing, said Jon Britt, a Duck town councilman.
“Then, unfortunately, times changed,” he said.
The officials, planners, etc. used every excuse in the book, nothing changed and today Bob Hovey was allegedly arrested while standing near the path and let’s dip into his Instagram.
I got arrested and taken away in a cop car thanks to Donna Krieger and Allan Dald pictured in this video. I was using the Sea Breeze Dr. beach access in Duck, NC. that was deeded to the public in 1981. Sorry to anyone I offended but I felt adamant about sticking up for beach access rights. The beach is for everyone and something needed to be done to protect beach access rights in Dare County. The town of Duck has received millions of Dare County taxpayer money for beach nourishment and other beach services. Anyone that can help with my cause please contact me at 2526796575. I have been told by Police Chief Cuito that I would not be arrested for using the state road beach accesses in Duck so it was a bit of a surprise to me. My court date is July 5th. I am hoping this will get thrown out of court based on the fact it was deeded to the public and we will have our beach access rights reinstated. I bailed myself out and am heading to work now so I am ok.
Oh the bastards. Oh the rich bastards or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe this is just the way things are and we should all thank the rich for succeeding where we failed.
Should we be satisfied eating our cake?
If you don’t like cake, call Bob! 252-679-6575
Watch: Captain Cook’s hometown locals are crazy about the “Pastime of Kings!”
Captain Cook, as you well know from the historically significant book Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell (buy here), was likely the first European to witness surfing and let us honor the work by reading a passage together.
The history of surfing itself is as shrouded in fog as any ancient art and it certainly was an art as practiced in Hawaii. It involved praying, carving boards from giant koa trees, and showing off for topless babes on the beach. Tongans, Samoans, and Tahitians all take credit for being the first “wave sliders.” It was the Tahitians who were first observed, by a European, riding waves in 1767. Captain Cook and his men witnessed surfing in 1769, also in Tahiti, on their first journey and in Hawaii on this their third.
Well, it turns out that Captain Cook was a beach living man himself, hailing from the small town of Marton which has since been swallowed by the larger Middlesbrough there on jolly England’s north east side. Our J.P. Currie might know of a worse place to surf but I can’t seem to find one. The waves, freezing and toe-high, are unable to push an anorexic VAL on a 12-foot softboard. The sky, perpetually grey but these facts don’t even begin to dent the locals’ passion for the “Pastime of Kings.”
They love it!
And I love the sorts of little BBC interstitial programming that gets shown on long haul flights to London Heathrow.
Let’s watch together and pretend that’s what we’re doing. Flying to London Heathrow together on some fun adventure like… I don’t know to Piccadilly Circus.
Jordy Smith rides six-three, dominates wave, heat. WSL
Margaret River Pro, Day one: “You can’t let the hair in the salad spoil the salad!” says Jordy Smith
Gorgeous backlit peaks, Gabriel, Toledo, Smith, Italo and John John dominant…
Three events and one day down on the fourth, I think sufficient time has elapsed to make some judgements about the format changes for the CT this year.
Over-lapping heats: brilliant, transformed what would have been a debacle at Bells beach into an historic day.
Seeding Round and Elimination Round: Bollocks, as our English Pals would say.
They front load the contest with inconsequence. Drag it out interminably. Even the great Assenter, Joey Turpel, after another long, long fatally unspecific day, was wont to drift off script. Towards the end of the day, in gorgeous backlit peaks whose silken dresses were shunted skywards by professional surfers Turpel riffed that he couldn’t think of a more open-minded sport than surfing.
Emboldened, he proffered the first original thought I have heard him utter in, what, ten years?
“What about a shot clock for priority, Pottz?”
For a bloke who has never once stared pro surfing in the eye and wondered “why is there something and not nothing” it was revolutionary.
You know if Joey is visibly drifting the action is slow. Pottz shoved him back in the box, quick smart.
“What about the bloke who waits all heat for priority?”
Bad idea. Or words to that effect.
Not much more controversy today than Joe’s blue-sky thinking. I spent the duration of the time from the end of Keramas to Margies going over each of the scoring waves from the heat analyser. Kanoa’s 9.1 in the final still makes no sense.
Therefore the first question of day one at Margs: Would judges recover their composure and bring the scale back to sanity and comprehension.
By and large, they did.
Second question. Would John John Florence show up with 2017 form and potentially create an almost unassailable gap between himself and his pursuers?
One of the favoured cliches uttered in the pressers is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Not really true. John had the Title wrapped after Margs in 2017. Kelly had many won before the halfway mark. Poor starts have cost Gabe Medina at least one world title, possibly more.
JJF overpowered Kelly and Jaddy Andre in heat one. His 2017 form looks within reach. It was good to have Barton back in the booth. He said Kelly looked great. He did not look great. He looked terrible. Board choice is a nightmare for him. The Akila Aipa seems locked in a goldilocks zone, too easily overpowered by Kelly today in textured-up mainbreak.
Is there a bigger irony than the fact that the only guy on Tour who owns his own surfboard company can’t get his personal whips dialed? Kelly’s next heat is likely to be in ten-foot surf.
Will he have a board to deal with it?
Third question. Would Italo Ferriera bring an injured repertoire into Margs from Keramas. The ugly moon boot was there, but infringement on the repertoire there was not. In twelve heats Italo launched the only successful rotation and was highly rewarded for it.
But there is something rock and roll: it’s you and me against the world babe, no?
Gabe Medina is in tenth spot on the rankings. That is an aberration. Gabe Medina has been the best surfer on Tour this year. Cruelled by the decision to sit out perfect three-to-four-foot D-bah and hold the Finals day in slop on the Gold Coast, loser of a line ball call against JJF at Bells and one landed huck or tube ride away from beating Fioravanti in Bali.
The second I wrote Gabe: Whats wrong? In my notes he exploded into the best wave of the day. No one comes harder and more definitively off the bottom on the opening manouevre. It was the first and best excellent score of the day.
Kelly Slater rode a 5’8” and looked short changed. Jordy rode a six three-and-a-half and was alpha. Big turns, full turns. He admitted to Rosie Hodge that the Keramas loss had really hurt but had come to the conclusion that you “can’t let the hair in the salad spoil the salad.”
Which would be the opening line of the opening lesson in kids’ sex education classes if I ever designed the curriculum.
I know this will sound silly but hear me out.
After J-Flo’s tight loss to Igarashi in Keramas and watching him surf today the top turn match up I would most like to see in big Margs, or even tube-riding at the Box is JJF and Jezza Flores.
Jezza lost the heat. Sorry, there are no losers in the Seeding Round. Barton waxed lyrical about the Seeding Round, about how it could incentivise you and make the seeding bracket dynamic. Eyes glazed over here, Barton.
You can’t explain it. No one can. John Florence doesn’t understand it. I bet Jake Patterson is the only man in pro surfing who does.
Jesse Mendes threw the biggest golden showers. Jack Robbo missed his heat, on the way back from Chile, which seemed a very Robbo thing to do. God I would love to see him give Kanoa a good old fashioned flogging at the Box or North Point.
Not to hate on Iggs, we are all learning to love him. Each in our own imperfect way. Such is life.
Twelve heats in very nice surf, three excellent rides, no losers: was the return on investment.
Margaret River Pro Men’s Seeding Round (Round 1) Results:
Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) 12.84 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.64, Kelly Slater (USA) 10.34
Heat 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.73 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 11.80, Yago Dora (BRA) 9.33
Heat 3: Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 10.56 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.27, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.17
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.03 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 12.84, Frederico Morais (PRT) 11.90
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.70 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.94, Jacob Willcox (AUS) 11.60
Heat 6: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.73 DEF. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.00, Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.77 DEF. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 9.14, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.93
Heat 8: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.70 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.23, Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.73
Heat 9: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.57 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.77, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.57
Heat 10: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 13.53 DEF. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 12.67, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.50
Heat 11: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 14.60 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 9.70
Heat 12: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.10 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.00, Michel Bourez (FRA) 5.33
Margaret River Pro Men’s Elimination Round (Round 2) Matchups:
Heat 1: Wade Carmichael (AUS) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)
Heat 2: Michel Bourez (FRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 3: Willian Cardoso (BRA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kelly Slater (USA) vs. Caio Ibelli (BRA)