Who owns the record for the world's shortest sporting retirement? Sugar Ray Leonard or Carissa Moore?
Shortly, before Christmas the four-time and reigning world champion of surfing, Hawaiian Carissa Moore, shocked fans when she announced she’d be taking a year off the tour.
“I have dedicated the last ten years of my life to competing at the highest level and want to continue to do that well into my thirties,” said the twenty seven year old. “This break is a press refresh so that I can come back to the tour happier and more excited than ever in 2021.”
The announcement came as Hurley’s new owners Bluestar Alliance were winding down their vaunted surf team, the best ever assembled, unable to see that the sponsored surfer is the magic elf of the industry, paid hundreds of thousands, millions, for their ability to influence sales and define brands.
If you had a termination clause in your contract you were gone.
Filipe scraped under the wire with a contract until 2024; Kolohe Andino’s was good until 2022.
Carissa, however, started appearing in IG posts without Hurley stickers, even with a contract reported to be until 2025. The ol Olympic Clause, which forces surfers to ride logo less boards in the games, was a convenient deal-breaker, according to our source.
“This Carissa thing ain’t what they’re saying,” said the source. “She was gone via notice at the end of the last year while still basking in her world title glory. And mightily pissed how it was handled. Now they’re paying her and Eli Hanneman more than they were before. It’s fucking crazy.”
And now, despite the pre-Christmas announcement and the need to refresh, find happiness etc, Carissa has flown a dozen hours across the Pacific to Australia to compete in the Sydney Surf Pro.
As I said, a mystery, and, almost, the world’s shortest sporting retirement.
(Sugar Ray Leonard retired five times during his career, once for a week.)