World champ Italo ain't gonna get a chance to defend his GC title. | Photo: WSL

Breaking: Coronavirus pandemic forces WSL to cancel Corona Open at Snapper Rocks; Bells surely DOA; 2020 tour on rocks!

All events in March cancelled, more to follow…

Had to happen didn’t it? NBA evaporated, Formula 1 shuttered, talk show hosts playing to empty studios and cranked up laugh tracks. Old people shoved into death ghettoes by thrill-kill millennials. Planes grounded. School children sent home to mediate on the apocalypse in front of television sets.

So it don’t come as any sorta surprise that the comically named Corona Open, Gold Coast, meant to start March 26, has been put on ice, with all surfers being sent a text this morning letting ’em know that all remaining events in March, including Snapper and the Piha event, have been cancelled.

From the WSL,

“Coronavirus is having massive consequences for sporting events and gatherings of all kinds around the world, and we are no different,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “We did not take this decision lightly as we are aware that it has a significant impact on the surfing community. However, the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff are paramount. From the standpoint of social responsibility, we also take very seriously the role our events might play in accelerating the spread of the virus. We’ve been in close contact with our athletes and we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do right now.”

“The fluid nature of this situation is forcing us to evaluate things day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour,” Logan said. “As this continues to evolve, we’ll continue to adapt, endeavoring to make the next right decision each day.”

Based on the information we have at this time, we are not currently canceling any additional events beyond this time frame. That said, the situation continues to evolve, and we are closely monitoring and evaluating the status of our upcoming events, including our next CT event at Bells Beach in Victoria, Australia.

More from tour correspondent, Longtom, soon.

Watch: Ferocious sharks on “Coronavirus Vacation” from destroying humanity celebrate with “unhinged gang bang!”

"Everybody had a righteous time and no heads were broken."

But what happens to the consistent, hardworking “man-eating” shark population when humanity starts eating itself? Starts “self quarantining” and travel restricting, buying more toilet paper than will ever be needed in one lifetime, more beans that can ever be consumed and generally eating itself?

Initially depression, I’d imagine. A re-accounting of relative value as it relates to the “apex predator” status long enjoyed.

And then?

Well, it appears an unhinged, all out Hells Angeles-esque gang bang straight from the pages of Hunter S. Thompson’s strange and terrible saga.

Though should we read ourselves? Thompson and Tom Wolfe, Ken Kesey, Merry Pranksters and completely frowned upon behavior?

Of the two-day long party, Wolfe admits that “Everybody, Angels and Pranksters, had a righteous time and no heads were broken.” He again brings up the gang bang, but again asserts that “the girl was a volunteer. It was her movie.” He chalks the whole party up as a victory for Kesey, who had managed to turn La Honda into “an intellectual tourist attraction”—a place for intellectuals to come face to face with “real life,” a concept seemingly out of reach for the ivory tower crowd. It’s true that the Angels represented everything Kesey preached; they were authentically “out front,” spontaneous, anti-authoritarian, and most assuredly outlaws. In many ways, the Angels were the id of Kesey’s Prankster movement, and though taming them with free booze and LSD made for a neat party trick, there’s no denying that the men were quite dangerous.

Well, prehistoric beasts, decidedly un-PC, re-enacted the scene here.

Horrible, no?

Such very bad form and is there a way, once this Coronavirus runs its course, to get all shark locked up in Rikers Island near Harvey Weinstein?

More as the story develops.

Out front the panda exhibit. Thanks China!
Out front the panda exhibit. Thanks China!

Extravagant surfer-father and young daughter locked out of U.S. for daring to celebrate Europe’s “Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse!”

Exclusive interview from the front.

Not actually locked out, per se, as of this moment citizens of These United States of America are still theoretically allowed passage home but who knows what tomorrow will bring? Who knows how much crazier the civilized world can get by the hour?

Minute even?

I’ve been to a handful of rough places where the situation turned sour quickly. Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Palm Springs, and it was easier to sort through fake airlines, byzantine bureaucracies, exploding bombs and radical Islam/The White Party than people are talking about getting out of Western Europe. France and Germany.


It’s crazy.

“Is it crazy?” I ask my young daughter as we stroll through the Berlin Zoo, for certain the best zoo in the entire world. I snatched her, for days ago, as paranoia just started creeping. Dusting off my war reporter bona fides, smelling opportunity, getting into the muck because the muck is glorious and my young daughter needs that singular fun.

She’s laughing hysterically at a monkey’s butt and doesn’t hear the first time I ask so I repeat.

“Is it crazy?”

“Mmmm. I think people are crazy and I don’t really care about it.”

“Why are people crazy?”

“Because they’re nerds.”

“Do you know what Coronavirus is?”



“A sickness?”

“Are you scared about it?”


“Why not?”

“Because other people are nerds and only old people get sick.”

“Do you think it’s fun to be in Europe during the Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse?”

She pauses for a long minute while the monkey takes its butt and leaves.

“I think it’s fun but also dumb because we don’t even have the Coronavirus.”

“Well the actor in Big has the Coronavirus. Did you know that?”

“Good. Big was a horrible movie.”

As always, she’s right.

More as the story develops.

Intrepid surfer-father races to get young daughter into Germany before border shutters for “Exclusive Krautrock Extravaganza!”

Coronavirus über alles.

“Italians crave the sweet life. The French prefer theirs in pink but the Germans are who we need to kick this Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse up to the next level…” I tell my young daughter as she’s picking and choosing among various music boxes in front of the Eiffel Tower.

“How do the Germans like their life?” she asks through a classically Gaulish flat tire sigh, annoyed at my pontifications but also vaguely curious. La Vie en Rose plinking along at the random rate with which she is spinning the music box’s miniature handle.

“Black. Brutal. Serious. The attitude we need right now.” I tell her, appreciating her cultural appropriation, “…but they also produce some of the world’s best techno and have some of the world’s best clubs. Have you ever heard of Krautrock?”

She shakes her head no.

“Well get ready.”

The next afternoon, after many more croissants etc. we sneak a plane out of Charles de Gaulle to Berlin’s Schönefeld airport. A wonderful counterpoint to Berlin’s Tegel or maybe just a wonderful counterpoint because it is wildly empty. I’ve been traveling the world for the better part of two decades now. Traveled right around 9/11, major airplane crashes etc. and have never seen the world so entirely shut down.

Stopped in its tracks.

“Germans.” I tell my daughter while waiting for our luggage. “The nihilism that’s going to get the whole of humanity moving again. They don’t ever give up. Did you know they tried to take over all of Europe twice and failed? Failed badly too, losing millions of people and billions of dollars but they didn’t quit and on try number three succeeded. Now everyone from Italy to Greece to Spain… even everyone inFrance is part of Germany. The entire thing. Conquered. Spending German money in ways that Germans dictate. Living the German life in shades of sweet and pink.”

She pulls a coin from her purse and studies it before saying, “It says ‘Euro’ not ‘German.'”

“Exactly.” I respond. “All they had to do was rebrand the thing. The Coronavirus Zombie Apocalypse is going to be incredible there and we’re going to have some black, brutal, serious fun plus there’s an amazing zoo and I bet it’ll be so empty we can hop into the animal cages and pet them all. ”

She smiles broadly.

“Rebranding. It’s something we core surfers need to figure out so we can rebrand the whole World Surf League.”

She rolls her eyes.

F1's last superstar driver, a welcome swing back to the old days of glamorous studs who ain't afraid to wear jewels, dress pretty etc.

World’s Greatest-Ever Formula One Driver Gives Hell to Melbourne wavepool!

Lewis Hamilton, hosted by super shaper Hayden Cox, at Tullamarine tank…

Briton Lewis Hamilton is the six-time champion of Formula One, all-time record holder for most pole pozzies, like the sport’s Kelly Slater, not quite, but close.

And, Lewis, thirty-five and gorgeous, a man who would make anyone dizzy with a hot roaring in their head, surfs.

Last year he hit Kelly’s tank, middle of winter, hood, gloves, booties etc, did pretty good.

The pair remain pals, Kelly not afraid to dive into Lewis’ comments pane to express his support, love and so on.

On Tuesday, and three days before his first practice session for the Melbourne Grand Prix which runs on Sunday, Lewis gave hell, relatively speaking, to the pool at 389 Melrose Drive, Tullamarine.

Fortuitously, for Lewis, a private booking had cancelled giving him the option of spending $1250 to own the left for an hour while the regular punters lined up for the right.

Lewis, in tracksuit, left, and Hayden with quiver.

He started on a mid-length HS Plunder, in noir before switching down to a six-two Hypto, riding the pool on a variety of turn settings.

Lewis, y’see, is also a pal of Hayden Cox, the Sydney-based shaper whose boards are a popular choice at the tank and which are available for rental there, the pairing coming via their mutual connection with Swiss watchmaker IWC

Afterwards, Lewis went rockclimbing, then skydiving before his obligatory gym session.

He also indicated that post-Grand Prix he’d be skipping his usual victory party for another swing at the pool.

“He’s the full madman. He ran as fast to the water as Parko,” says the pool’s PR man Rupert Partridge.