"Intentional, unsportsmanlike and of a serious nature..."
Rules are funny things. Live by them, die by them, as they say. For certain you either watched, or heard of, Gabriel Medina’s dying seconds burn of Caio Ibelli during his Round of 16 heat at Pipeline. Medina, and/or his step-father Charlie deduced that Ibelli would not have enough to win even if Gabe was served a priority interference.
And so Medina burned.
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In the dying seconds of @gabrielmedina and @caioibelli’s Round of 16 heat, Medina dropped in on Ibelli to keep him from having any chance at getting the score he needed. Even with an interference, Medina will advance into the Quarterfinals . “This might have been one of the cleverest tactical maneuvers we’ve ever seen in the history of the sport” – @barton_lynch #BillabongPipeMasters #VTCS @billabong
Savagely beautiful to watch.
In the post heat interview, Medina shrugged the whole thing off as “…that’s a rule in the book. I used it to my advantage.”
…Did Medina consider Rule 171.11 and let us now read together from the World Surf League’s performance manual.
171.11 Serious Unsportsmanlike Interference
If the Discipline Director and Commissioner’s Office determine that an interference during an Event was intentional, unsportsmanlike and of a serious nature, notwithstanding any penalty available under Article 188 (which may include suspension from Events or an entire Tour), a Surfer will lose the benefit of counting their best Event result when calculating their Ranking on the relevant Tour (e.g. if this Article is violated at a QS Event, their QS Ranking will be effected). Notwithstanding any resulting discipline being imposed by the Discipline Director, the heat in question can be re-surfed if determined by the Head Judge that the result was affected by the Surfer’s conduct referred to within this Article.
Medina admitted himself that he intentionally interfered and I don’t see how the Discipline Director could see it any other way.
Calls in etc. and, as always, more as the story develops.
(Thanks to @drewcantreid for the head’s up…)