Peace in our time!
Peace in our time!

New York Times, CNN et. al. lament “World’s greatest surfer misses Olympic cut…” but there is a bold way for Kelly Slater to compete in Tokyo 2020!

Syria calling!

While I am very certain there was much joy in John John Florence’s camp at his punching one of the two tickets to this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, the world’s largest media organizations only had teary headlines.

The New York Times: “Kelly Slater Misses Olympic Surfing Berth as John John Florence Qualifies”

CNN: “Surf legend Kelly Slater to miss out on Tokyo Olympics”

The Guardian: “Kelly Slater misses Tokyo Olympics as John John Florence takes final US spot”


And while the lack of exclamation mark in each is unsettling, the point is clear. People wanted to see the greatest of all time competing in surfing’s Olympic debut.

Yet there is still a bold and beautiful way forward. An opportunity for Kelly Slater to not only punch his own ticket but possibly bring peace to the Middle East.

As floated here five months ago, on my birthday coincidentally, Kelly Slater is of Syrian descent and would no doubt be embraced by the war weary Arab Republic.

Just imagine how much joy it would bring, how much wonderful warm joy, for Kelly to take an entire nation on his shoulders. To carry the hopes and dreams of children from Damascus to Homs, Latakia to Aleppo. A storyline so moving not even the World Surf League’s Office of Content, Media, Studios could botch.

Now, it might be argued that Slater’s surfing for Syria would further legitimize an evil dictator but Bashar al-Assad ain’t so bad, just a doe-eye’d ophthalmologist from London thrust into a tough spot. Just doing what he can to get by. Having Kelly Slater, and Kelly Slater’s energy healer Charlie Goldsmith, in the room would certainly help him make better decisions or at least be happier with the decisions he is making. To live in the moment, enjoy his accomplishments etc.

What is impossible to deny is the unifying power a Kelly Slater for Syria Olympic run would have. Government and anti-government forces would gather together in coffee shops and clasp hands as Slater dispatched surfers from Australia, France, Brazil. Kurds would forget their many and varied beefs while holding their breaths alongside Syrian Turkmen.

Kelly Slater’s ability to captivate would even overwhelm the most hardened ISIS man for it is impossible not to be swept away.

Would peace in the Middle East be a stretch too far?

Well, who could have ever imagined that a 47-year-old from Cocoa Beach, Florida, by way of Syria, would still have the sweetest carving 360 in the game.

More as the story develops.

Savage: 16-foot Great White shark tries to “pressure cook and tenderize” unsuspecting vacationer by dragging him out into the deep sea!

A terrifying culinary twist.

And how would you feel if you had to eat similarly prepared meats day in and day out? A squirmy, struggly, slimy pesce crudo, foca crudo, delfino crudo, umano crudo? I think bored. I think as bored as the savagely hungry Great White shark must feel.

Chase, bite, squirm, squiggle, eat, yawn.

Well, in a horrifying new twist, it appears as if the ever-evolving beasts are experimenting with new culinary techniques in order to keep things interesting, as it were.

Namely, pressure cooking.

You are, of course, aware of the method popularized in 1666 France wherein steam is increased, without release, inside a pot thereby forcing liquid into meat and tenderizing it.

Now, the vicious Great White has not yet learned how to use pots but has all the pressure he needs there in his deep blue domain and it can only be assumed that a 16-foot Cape Town monster was attempting to utilize its esculent power when dragging an unsuspecting vacationer out into it but let’s not speculate. Let’s read directly from the soon-to-be-Brexited Mirror:

A holidaymaker had a lucky but terrifying escape after he was dragged out towards the deep sea by a great white shark.

Theodore Prinsloo, 47, was spear fishing on the coast of South Africa when he caught a 9kg musselcracker fish for the family barbecue.

He tethered his catch to a flotation buoy attached to his belt by a line, but before he could bring it in it was snatched by the 16ft predator.

As the shark swam off with Mr Prinsloo’s catch, it began dragging him out to sea for about 160ft and appeared to pull him under the surface as people on the beach looked on in horror.

Rescuers raced to the scene at Salt River, a suburb of Cape Town, but they found only the buoy and the head of the speared fish about 650ft from shore.

Thankfully, Mr. Prinsloo was spared a gruesome finalé though, I’m sure Michelin Guide approved, fate but his ordeal does beg the question.

What piquant modé will the Great White dream up next?

Best not to surf in, or around, South Africa until we answer.

More as the story develops.

VAL gets prized hunk of Snapper Rocks. | Photo: Commercial Real Estate

Self-confessed VAL buys hottest piece of beachfront real estate in surfing!

Passionate newcomer to surfing plans landmark apartment building at Snapper Rocks!

Four months back, a low-rise block of ghetto apartments with point-blank views of the Supa Bank was put on the market with a price tag north of twelve-million Australian dollars.

The six owners at 1  Petrie St, Coolangatta, were rumoured to include the four-time world champ Mark Richards, who owned the top floor apartment, and a prominent boat owner currently at sail in the Mentawais, each of whom would net a couple of mill each.

VAL gets prized hunk of Snapper Rocks.

(See sales spiel here.)

Now, it can be revealed, a “passionate newcomer to surfing” has bought the block and has plans to erect a $A70-mill “landmark apartment building” on the site.

From The Gold Coast Bulletin:

The site, sitting above Rainbow Bay at Coolangatta, puts developer Paul Gedoun a stroll away from four surfing beaches.

He plans a “high-spec” 12-floor tower with 16 apartments and which will be crowned by a $10 million-plus two-level penthouse.

Buyers of the few two-bedroom apartments will pay at least $1.1 million and those wanting a whole floor will be spending between $6 million and $7 million.

The Brisbane-based Mr Gedoun, a 42-year-old father of two who “discovered” surfing at Rainbow Bay four years ago, will keep one of the whole-floor apartments for his family.

He yesterday said that before his deal went unconditional this week he already had been besieged by would-be buyers, some using “unorthodox” methods to try to contact him.

Mr Gedoun said the property was a gem, sitting on a peninsula to which there was one way in and one way out.

“There are four world-class surfing beaches a walk away – Rainbow Bay, Greenmount, Snapper Rocks and Duranbah,” he said.

“It’s a landmark site and I want to deliver a landmark project that does the site justice.

“I love everything about it and can’t believe I’ve been lucky enough to buy it.”

Kelly Slater's been coming to Pipe for the last forty-plus years. He's got two houses on the beach. He knows when three skis are working together to bring a surfer in, it ain't gonna be pretty.

San Clemente Super Grom hospitalised after two-wave hold-down during Kelly Slater’s Triple Crown acceptance speech!

Kelly Slater, "We have a rescue going on, sorry ... I'm a little distracted."

You mighta noticed, two days ago, how distant Kelly Slater was on the podium when he picked up his Triple Crown trophy.

Disappointment at missing the Olympics? An eighth Pipe Masters?


“We have a rescue going on, sorry … I’m a little distracted,” Slater told a befuddled Joe Turpel.

As best-in-the-game lifeguards Terry Ahue and Brian Keaulana, who’d been shooting a commercial with Carissa Moore, flew up onto the beach on their skis, Kelly barked: “Watch out…Everyone watch out!”

“Give these guys a ton of room and we’ll continue on, Kelly,” said Joe.

Kelly wasn’t into it. He knows three skis dragging a surfer from the water at Pipe is serious.

Turns out a thirteen-year-old shredder from San Clemente, Hayden Rodgers, who won the Open Boys, Explorer Menehune and Junior Airshow divs at HB this year, had fallen outta the lip, hit his head on the reef and been held under for two waves.

“We had just started heading back and saw that the contest was over, the competition buoys were in. Terry and I are always scanning the shoreline,” Keaulana told the WSL. “I don’t know how many times after Pipe we’ve had the same scenario happen and it was just that same feeling yesterday … driving along, scanning the shoreline and the lineup.”

Rodgers was put on a spinal board, still breathing, his face bloodied, and taken by ambulance to the Queens Medical Center in downtown Honolulu were he’s expected to make a full recovery.

Breaking: Rage explodes at World Surf League by Maui locals over “danger factor” of Jaws Big Wave Championships!

Bad parking etc.

And I am still coming to terms with the wonderful, the fantastic, the otherworldly end to our 2019 professional surfing season. Jaws delivering such a show then Pipeline, defying all odds, serving up the best final’s day since those ancient Peruvians, high on cocaine, first pushed their “little horses” into the waves (buy here).

Everyone, every single man, woman and child across the entire globe celebrating the week. Not one person, outside the extended Medina family, mad.



For rage, pure angry rage, is coursing through the usually good-natured island of Maui and directed at the World Surf League over the aforementioned Big Wave Championships but don’t take my word for it, please. Let us turn to the well-respected San Francisco Chronicle for all the juicy details.

A World Surf League competition has drawn complaints of trespassing, blocked roads and parking overflow from Maui residents.

Residents near Peahi on the island’s north shore issued the complaints about the 2019 Jaws Big Wave Championships event Dec. 12, The Maui News reported Thursday.

Residents of the main access road to the event for both drivers and spectators said traffic was backed up due to minimal parking options, construction and spectator street crossings, while some roads were blocked.

On the piece goes, growling locals sneering at our WSL. Santa Monica’s response?

The World Surf League said it has prior knowledge of the start date and event details, but cannot predict attendance at the free event.

“While we control all access to the event venue because it is on private property, we were not able to control the County of Maui-owned land where all the spectators gathered,” spokesperson Lauren Rolland said.

Resident Kolette Gunnison believes the surfing league should be responsible for ensuring road safety.

“Everybody knows that there’s traffic and the worst part about it is the pedestrians in the street, bad parking, cars are sticking out,” Gunnison said. “It’s just the danger factor of it all.”


I’m going to side with the WSL here. Grouchy neighbors are lame.