Carissa Moore, thrilled.

Just in: Carissa Moore wins fourth world title; worst result all year a fifth!

Honolulu surfer scoops quad-pack of crowns.

You want consistency? Carissa Moore, the twenty-seven-year-old natural-footer from Honolulu who was crowned world champion moments ago, didn’t finish worse than fifth in any event in 2019.

Two wins, J-Bay and France, two seconds and a bank of thirds.

Hence, despite a little heat from Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks, Carissa scooped up her fourth world title by virtue of a quarter-final win at the Lululemon Maui Pro.

Carissa, who was identified as a world title contender when she was a tweenie, won two events in her rookie year in 2010 and a first world title as an eighteen year old in 2011, still the youngest surfer ever to win a world title.

In that same year, Carissa received a wildcard entry into the two WQS events of the Hawaiian Triple Crown, at Sunset and Haleiwa.

Carissa competing against men wasn’t exactly new.

In 2007, she finished tenth in a men’s WQS event in Mexico.

Seconds ago, Carissa lost her semi-final against Stephanie Gilmore despite hitting the biggest wave of the heat with twenty-seven seconds left. An eight-and-a-piece instead  of the required nine-plus.

Not that it matters.

A weight lifted from her heart, ready to fly up to paradise etc.


Peter Mel (pictured), elated.

Peter Mel on heartbreaking losses at Sunset: “Let’s just focus on the elation!”

Long live the Wall of Positive Noise!

The Vans World Cup of Surfing, there at Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA is an undeniably wonderful event. So many storylines collide in the bowl. Championship Tour surfers angling for Triple Crown bragging rights, Qualifying Tour surfers trying to scratch their way into the big dance.

Right now, Kelly Slater is in the water, fighting for his first ever win at Sunset. Does that surprise you that he has never won here before? It does me, I suppose.

Jadson Andre is there too, attempting to win the entire Qualifying Series. Are trophies given for that? I hope so.

Stuart Kennedy is getting interviewed after advancing to the quarterfinals and seems almost happy.

Carlos Munoz, stylish surfer from Costa Rica, was in the same heat and lost thereby squashing his 2020 Championship Tour dream.

He sat alone on the beach, afterward, gazing out to sea, clearly upset. The camera lingered for a moment until Pete Mel willed it away, “There’s going to be some of those today, the agony of defeat, but there’s also going to be lots of elation. Let’s just focus on the elation.”

Long live the Wall of Positive Noise, forever defended from the turrets.

Kelly Slater is surfing very poorly, by the way. He will not win. Would you like to watch anyhow?

Here!


Lakey Peterson, carve.

Double-Whammy: Caroline Marks, Carissa Moore knock Lakey Peterson out of World Title race and off U.S. Olympic team!

And then there were two...

The top of the women’s draw, coming into the final event of the year, was the most exciting in professional surfing. Three stars, Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks and Lakey Peterson, were vying for two U.S. Olympic team slots and one World Title.

Who would rise and seize the day? Who would be relegated to a whole ‘nother year of “what might have beens…”? Who will likely be on a 2020 Wheaties box?

The Bay (Honolua) would call the day.

Oh it wasn’t pretty, wasn’t pretty at all. Grey meatiness, windblown chunkiness, thick whitewash, Ron Blakey imploring the women to try rolling in with the whitewash and at the end, Lakey Peterson was knocked right out by the return of Tyler Wright.

Lakey, ever a good sport, told the World Surf League’s Office of Propaganda:

“That was a rough blow, but that is the way it goes. Super stoked Tyler is back, to be honest, as weird as that sounds. I know she has been through a very long road so she deserves it. Great job to Carissa and Caroline. They’ve had incredible an incredible year so whatever happens with them will be exciting. I definitely made errors and so I think I will go back and look at that and try to learn for next year.

I guess to be World Champ you can’t really make those mistakes so in my mind then I didn’t deserve it. I prepared as well as I possibly could so at least I took that off the list and didn’t have any doubts in my mind with boards or equipment or preparation. I really did my best there. I think there is a lot to learn for me and hopefully it will just make me better and one day I will walk up this cliff happy.”

In truth, I would imagine Lakey is happy right now. She is heir, lest we forget, to a mighty Egg McMuffin empire.

But who do you have for the 2019 champion? Carissa or Sweet Caroline?


"I am four-fifths salt water and I may be going back to Mother Earth after my three dozen goes around the sun. I’ve done my time watching the tides. Sandbars form and melt away. Storms. Rock ledges. Learning winds, and how they swirl down valleys, equating it to long period swell wrapping around seafloor features. All little tidbits of info with no relevance to my now landlocked life, but it gives me joy to know the natural world by force of confronting it and understanding my place in it." Offrocker, in Tasmania, Australia. | Photo: offrocker

Quit-lit in the face of cancer: reflections on my last surf ever (maybe)

Surfing is brutal. Bobbing around the lineup with my ten kilograms of weight loss and the dead fatigue of metastatic cancer eating me from the inside, I was easy pickings for the hungry mob.

It’s three am and I can’t sleep.

I have had a pretty heavy fortnight, diagnosed out of the blue with metastatic colon cancer at the age of thirty-five. It’s all through my pelvis, and I have secondaries in the liver.

I’m currently lying in a hospital bed awaiting my second operation in ten days, this one to fix complications of the first. What I would give to eat solid food, and sleep in my own bed.

I have been probed, scanned, pumped with radioactive dye, and spoken to three specialists in five days. My odds would not tempt even our most inveterate gamblers. The word “inoperable” is bouncing around my head.

Why, at this time, do I even care enough to write an article for the Grit degenerates? Because I learned something invaluable on my last surf that I want to share with the quitters. An ethic you won’t find espoused in the sanitised corpo-surf culture, an attitude you won’t find in the hearts of those that wade around in the shorebreak between the flags.

So why, at this time, do I even care enough to write an article for the Grit degenerates?

Because I learned something invaluable on my last surf that I want to share with the quitters. An ethic you won’t find espoused in the sanitised corpo-surf culture, an attitude you won’t find in the hearts of those that wade around in the shorebreak between the flags.

And that’s the reality that no-one gives a fuck in the lineup. I got backpaddled by smiling hipsters on twins. I got dropped in on by murfers on logs. I got shoulder hopped by aggressive entitled adolescents unaware that their post-grom transition is complete and they are now legitimately bottom of the foodchain, no longer protected by minority.

That day was just like every other day, except it was my last surf for the foreseeable future and maybe forever.

It has given me reassurance that the world will go on, with or without me. Everywhere else I go, I’m surrounded by crying relatives, well-meaning do gooders who “have just heard the news, I’m so so sorry.”

No-one gives a fuck in the lineup. I got backpaddled by smiling hipsters on twins. I got dropped in on by murfers on logs. I got shoulder hopped by aggressive entitled adolescents unaware that their post-grom transition is complete and they are now legitimately bottom of the foodchain, no longer protected by minority.

Life in the ocean is fast and brutal. Bobbing around the lineup with my ten kilograms of weight loss and the dead fatigue of metastatic cancer eating me from the inside, I was a weak and easy mark. Easy pickings for the hungry mob. They had no idea, but knew just what to do nonetheless.

It was the only time since I was diagnosed I felt normal, and at home in the order of the world.

And in the midst of this, I had my own perfect moments of peak existence. Crystaline waves, sliding across poorly formed sandbanks. Mini-closeout shoreys giving me that one last moment of vis, aka orders of magnitude less, but the only order magnitude I could currently handle.

This aspect of surfing gives me strength as I face a long road of multiple operations, chemo and radiotherapy: knowing that peak moments of transcendence intersperse the shite even on the worst of days in the worst conditions.

Also that I am four-fifths salt water and I may be going back to Mother Earth after my three dozen goes around the sun.

I’ve done my time watching the tides.

Sandbars form and melt away.

Storms.

Rock ledges.

Learning winds, and how they swirl down valleys, equating it to long-period swell wrapping around seafloor features.

All little tidbits of info with no relevance to my now landlocked life, but it gives me joy to know the natural world by force of confronting it and understanding my place in it.

Surfing has taught me to not be greedy with my expectations, to take opportunities as they present themselves, to fight and hunt, and the capacity to dine out on those very few peak moments for weeks and months – and that’s just what I need now to get me through this medieval ordeal.

I might be dying, but I’m not quitting.


Hello, Fabien...

Horrifying: Universally accepted “world’s sexiest explorer” nearly eaten by Great Whites as shark-shaped mini-submarine malfunctions!

We live in incredibly harrowing times.

I’m going to be honest with you here. When I read the headline “world’s sexiest explorer” I was expecting a lot more. A whole lot more. I don’t know what, exactly, but… more. Cascading blonde hair? A come-hither stare? Peter O’Toole playing T.E. Lawrence? Yes, and nothing against Fabien Costeau at all. His father, Jacques, obviously a legend in sexy exploration but…

…I don’t know. World’s sexiest explorer?

I’ll let you be the judge.

Thoughts?

First impressions?

Let’s not get needlessly hung up. Let’s continue learning about how the, arguably, world’s sexiest explorer was nearly eaten by vicious, woke Great Whites and let’s then celebrate his overcoming incredible odds.

Fabien Cousteau, dubbed the “world’s sexiest explorer”, has revealed how he risked attack whilst swimming with dangerous great white sharks after his underwater submarine broke down.

This forced the Frenchman to swim to shore entirely unprotected in an area heavily populated by sharks. The incident took place during the filming of ‘Shark: Mind of a Demon’, a documentary for CBS, in 2004.

To get close to the apex predators Mr Cousteau used a mini submarine, shaped like a shark, called Troy.

However he was exposed to danger after it stopped working and the explorer was forced to swim to shore through shark infested waters in the dark.

Etc.

Of course Fabien survives and later delivers a stirring TED talk on the harrowing encounter but…

…really?

The world’s sexiest explorer?

I’m having a hard time here and wipe that smirk off your face. What I meant is that I’m having a difficult time here.

Who, in your opinion, is the world’s sexiest explorer?

I have been places in Yemen that no white man has ever trod just FYI.

More as the story develops.

Also, today is not a good day to surf. Maybe stay out of the water for at least one week. Many sharks.

Many, many sharks.