"This will be the most-watched event in Australian surfing history," says ambitious presser.
Back in March, when the coronavirus first started wrapping its fingers around the world’s neck, my boardriders club committee got together to discuss what it was all gonna mean for the rest of our season.
Comps weren’t looking like much of a chance and we wanted to keep that sweet esprit de corps singing through the dead zone.
“How ‘bout we run something online for the groms, at least?” came one suggestion. “Everyone’s got an iPhone. Let them submit clips of them surfing during lockdown and we can judge them all virtually. Keep things moving for the club even if we can’t get together in person. Plus, it’s a piece of piss to run.”
Think Taylor Steele’s Innersection, but with $100 voucher and a few cakes of wax up for grabs, as opposed to worldwide exposure and major sponsorship contract.
Fun to do.
Why wouldn’t ya?
And so the ‘”Instagrom Challenge” was born (I’ll let you know the winners in September).
As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones who had the idea.
The concept popped up in different clubs across Australia, and has now culminated in RIVALS – Surfing Australia’s made for TV broadcast surf comp.
Eleven of Australia’s iconic competitive male surfers will open up old battle scars in an innovative three month, 13 consecutive episode TV series set to air on Channel Nine from 12 pm on Saturday the 8th August 2020.
SURFERS AND LOCATIONS:
MICK FANNING – Snapper Rocks – Queensland
JOEL PARKINSON – Snapper Rocks – Queensland
DEAN MORRISON – Snapper Rocks – Queensland
BEDE DURBIDGE – South Stradbroke Island – Queensland
JOSH KERR – Duranbah Beach – New South Wales
DANNY WILLS – Broken Head – New South Wales
SHAUN CANSDELL – Coffs Harbour – New South Wales
JAY THOMPSON – Burleigh Heads – Queensland
GLEN HALL – Avoca Point – New South Wales
KAI OTTON – South Coast Slab – New South Wales
NATHAN HEDGE – North Narrabeen – New South Wales
Each surfer has two hours at their ‘local’ wave to surf however they want, on as many waves as they want, with their best three rides to be scored by the public via online platform www.clippero.com and Olympic Surfing Head Judge Glen Elliott.
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You’ll know I’m the biggest fan girl going when it comes to nineties and noughties Australian power surfing.
This line-up’s got me gooeyer in the fork than a big government intervention during an unprecedented fiscal downturn.
But also, this concept, as pointed out in my boardrider’s committee meeting, is an absolute piece of piss to run.
So easy that it took a few volunteers all of five minutes to set up an amatuer version.
So easy that Surfing Fucking Australia have signed on two former world champs and Australia’s largest commercial television station within a matter of months for the same format.
How good would it be if you set the same challenge for the top 16?
Yet, we’re still putting up with re-runs of the quarter finals at France 2009 and motherfucking Lawn Patrol.
The ball’s in your court.
I know you guys are there somewhere.
Mate, we all just want to know you’re all ok.
Kick-flip three times in your next Insta vid if you need us to send help.