Okay, okay, this is how we get it through. First we urge, we cajole, we fly the premier and the minister over to Lemoore, dazzling ‘em, usual. If that don’t work, we tell ‘em we’ll pull the whole thing and move it across the border. Tell me that ain’t gonna get these weenies moving.

WSL threatens to pull “incredible” $1.2 billion wavepool resort development planned for Queensland flood plain and move across border: “We certainly have…other states of Australia available to us to activate.”

"We need to seek alternative options…"

Nothing like a little brinkmanship to get the levers of power moving.

In part two of a series of stories by surfer-reporter Greg Stolz for Brisbane’s The Courier-Mail on the WSL’s “billion-dollar” wavepool-eco resort slated for Coolum on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the WSL has threatened to ice the whole deal and move it to rival state NSW.

Yesterday, it was reported that self-described environment and wildlife advocate Kelly Slater had “urged” the Queensland government to push the development, which is to be built on a flood plain and had been stalled because of environmental concerns.

The Courier-Mail also noted that Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones had visited Surf Ranch last year and “publicly welcomed the Coolum proposal.”

The paper reported that the development would create twelve-thousand jobs and pump over two billion dollars into the local economy.

Now, the WSL has said it will “need to seek alternative options” if the Queensland gov doesn’t override the local council and get the deal done.

The WSL’s boss of getting pools built, Andrew Stark, said, “If the state government, however, cannot provide the necessary way forward for the project very soon, then we need to seek alternative options. We certainly have these in other states of Australia available to us to activate.”

Queensland’s Tourism and Development minister Kate Jones said it would be an economic “wipeout” if the state was to lose the development.

“Queensland is the home of surfing in Australia,” she told The Courier-Mail. 

Pat Curren, eighty-eight and "drowning in poverty", thanks benefactors.

Surfboard design pioneer and daddy of three-time world champ Pat Curren addresses benefactors over controversial $100,000 GoFundMe: “Just…beyond what I expected!”

GoFundMe hits sixty-five k of hundred gee goal…

The great Pat Curren, just turned eighty-eight and living in an Encinitas carpark with his wife and special needs kid, has addressed surf fans who’ve so far contributed sixty-five gees of a hundred k goal via GoFundMe. 


But this is a story in three parts. 

In part one, New York shaper Paul Schmidt bumps into the wife of big-wave surfboard design pioneer Pat Curren in Encinitas carpark. Is introduced to the legend, who also happens to’ve fathered a three-time world champ, and the pair hit it off. Moved by the family’s plight, which includes living in two vans in a carpark along with their special needs kid, New York shaper gets legend’s approval to launch a GoFundMe with a goal of a hundred gees. 

“You can help raise funds to get a more permanent roof over their heads, room for them to breathe and get some much needed rest, health care, food, and space for Pat to work,” wrote Schmidt. 

A common theme among comments on IG was, why aren’t his kids Tom and Joe helping the old man out.

In part two,

Pat’s second-most famous son Joe Curren responds on Instagram. 

I’ve been getting a lot of questions and reading stories about a go fund me campaign recently set up for my dad asking for $100,000 to help him with financial issues. Yes, it’s true he’s struggling financially. The truth is, this has been going on for a long time.

We don’t know the person who started the go fund me. We first heard about the campaign Sunday morning on my dad’s birthday, after it was launched. We were surprised and disappointed that we were not notified about the campaign beforehand. 

Comments revealed a friction between the family and GoFundMe organiser Paul Schmidt. 

joecurren: @paul.surf We’re all having a difficult time understating why we weren’t contacted before this was launched.

paul.surf @joecurren I don’t think you are, I fully understand, and have explained in my past correspondence with you that this was a gesture made on behalf of your father and Mary, who are my friends. I was given permission by them to create the campaign and to post the story. They have had a hand in every step of the process. It was not my place to contact you, as I do not know you. If either Pat or Mary wanted to contact you, I imagine they would have. 50k and counting 🙂 we are excited for Pat and Mary to received some no-strings-attached help from all of the people in the community who support and care for them. 🙏

paul.surf @joecurren I’ll be sure to pass that message on to Pat and Mary for you.

joecurren I speak for the entire Curren family when I say, it would have been the right thing to do

paul.surf@joecurren not sure why you deleted your original comment, but again, I’ll be happy to pass that message on to Pat and Mary.

A few other readers turned on Schmidt, one writing, “Gag me with a spoon.”

Part three is the still-burning friction between Curren’s extended family and good samaritan Paul Schmidt.

Under Pat’s message, you can read,

“Unreal that you’re so blind to the damage you’re doing to this family as a whole.”

From Tom Curren’s kid, Nathan, “My dad has been helping and loving his father and his family so much it’s very painful for us to read those negative thoughts about him. You should have contact them before create the gofund.”

Schmidt, meanwhile, has remained pretty dignified throughout the thing.

“Let me just again say simply, we here at @paul.surf apologize for any unintended hurt the rest of the family may have felt in relation to the post and GoFundMe, which we made public on behalf of Pat and Mary. Our objective was to help our friends out of a tough situation.”

The now-familiar site of a rescue chopper with victim of Great White inside. | Photo: 9News

Australia’s Great White Shark Crisis: Port Macquarie surfer survives hit by 10-foot Great White after husband punches shark: “It was a tremendous act of bravery!”

"Pretty full-on, really heroic…"

Thirty-five-year-old surfer Chantelle Doyle has been flown to Newcastle with serious leg injuries after being hit by a ten-foot Great White at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, a pretty fishing town on Australia’s mid-North Coast.

According to reports, it was an act of bravery by her husband that saved the woman.

“This fella paddle over and jumped off his board onto the shark and hit it to get it to release her…pretty full-on, really heroic,” said Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce.

So far this year, there have been five fatal shark attacks, including two on surfers: fifteen-year-old Mani Hart-Deville at Wooli, two hours north of Port Macquarie, and sixty-year-old Rob Pedretti at Kingscliff, another couple of hours north.

Two weeks ago, at Bunker Bay in Western Australia, twenty-eight-year-old surfer Phil Mummert was hit by a “freakishly large” Great White.

He survived the attack but remains in hospital.

A local surfer on the scene said, “The White came out the water and inhaled the board pretty much. The guy managed to roll out of the way and then a longboarder got him to the beach.”

The Great White shark has been protected in Australia since 1999.

As Longtom posited one month ago,

We’ve created a world tailormade for our old pal the White shark.

But if you create such a world, and the White Shark Recovery Plan makes clear such a world is a desirable and wondrous thing then ain’t there a slight ethical obligation to consider the kiddies and old sea dogs who wind up in the jaws of nature’s most long lived apex, opportunistic predator?

The people who have to drag them in, watch them turn grey while they wait for the chopper to arrive?

The Mums, Dads, school mates, drinking pals, girlfriends and boyfriends etc etc etc?

Is there an end state where we can say, OK, too many, let’s go fishing?

Two Canadian surfers save “starving, cold, terrified dog” from a beachfront cave proving once and for all that Canadians are beautiful saints!

Get the tissues ready.

“Surfers are the worst…” “We’re all horrible selfish bastards…” “Surfers drain natural wetlands in order to build wavepools and call it environmentalism…” are common refrains among our kind. A sort of acceptance of our fallen natures.

As Scottish surfer and highlander J.P. Currie declared yesterday, “Surfing delivers the highest concentration of kooks and losers outside of ultimate frisbee.”

But he was certainly not meaning Canadian surfers. Beautiful saints. Perfect in every way.

Have you never seen Pete Devries in his log cabin all lumberjacky?


And now we also have Zach Regan and Matty Johnson, two other Canadians, who planned an exciting overnight surf/camping trip to a remote stretch of Vancouver Island’s west coast.

They were almost to their final destination in their aluminum boat when, out of the corner of his eye, Matty saw the brown legs of an animal sticking out of a cave.

A dog. A starving, cold, terrified dog.

A thick storm was coming but they decided to save man’s best friend anyway, their own safety be damned.

According to the Good News Network: The pair’s rescue mission involved a “wetsuit, a surfboard, a lasso, almost being bitten in the face, a reef, big waves, and awesome teamwork.”

Once the creature was safely in their boat, they snuggled her in a bag to keep her warm. Then, once on dry land in Canada again then found her owner.

Photo courtesy of Saint Matt Johnson.
Photo courtesy of Saint Matt Johnson.

Also they did not kick her, even lightly, in the ribs.


Every Canadian.

We'll bulldoze it all then build, get this, an "eco-resort" and…hee hee…an "environmental education centre based on the site’s wetlands and nearby waterways” and an “indigenous cultural centre.”

Kelly Slater “urges” Queensland government to approve WSL’s $1.2 billion wavepool-and-six-star eco resort development on former cane farm; will transform Sunshine Coast into “surfing Mecca” says champ

The paradox of the environmentalist businessman…

Self-described pro-environment and wildlife advocate Kelly Slater, eleven titles, slayer of Instagram trolls, has “urged” the Queensland to approve the WSL’s billion-dollar development on 510-hectares, or 1200 acres, of “highly constrained land” near the Queensland beach town of Coolum.

Speaking to Brisbane’s The Courier-Mail, Kelly said the development, which has been stalled by environmental concerns, would create a surfing mecca.

“When people start thinking about surfing in Australia they generally think about Bells or the Gold Coast… this wave would become somewhat of a mecca and put the Sunshine Coast back on the (surfing) map…it will bring a lot of interest to the area and it will be a place that I know a lot of people are going to want to surf and have an ongoing impact on the local area…we have had so many people asking for so long where we’re going to build the next wave including Australia,” he said.

The WSL’s boss of getting pools built, Andrew Stark, described the development as the economic boost the state urgently needed.

“Given the current COVID climate and economic crisis that Queensland is facing, to bring such a sizeable investment and number of jobs to a regions such as the Sunshine Coast is extremely important,” he said.

In a piece written last year, Longtom visited the site and interviewed locals.

His conclusion?

Drive-time from the airport is fourteen-minutes at a hundred k’s heading due north up the Sunshine Motorway. Glancing left at the site which is bordered by the road the presence of water on the ground, despite the drought, is startling. Fifteen hundred residential lots, commercial, retail, hotels plus the wavepool on some of the lowest lying floodplain in south-east Queensland.

What, as they say, could go wrong?

I put boots on the ground at the site. I know this country very well. It’s in my blood. My people come from the Queensland cane swamps. They are Danes, Swedes, Sicilians.

Practical people.

They would understand the necessity of bulldozing the bush to make way for jobs. But I do not. The developer’s eye eludes me. I see trees and bush. Birds, insects, frogs. I feel sad that surfers will be the ones behind the bull-dozers, erasing this wildlife, this bush from history.

From what I can see though, although there is ambivalence, distrust and even hostility to the Coolum wave pool development, that is unlikely to stop the bulldozers.

The greenwashing on the project will be immense.

Next level.

But I wonder, when Kelly thinks about what is being done in his name and looks in the mirror, does he still see an environmentalist looking back at him?

The Courier-Mail also noted that Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones had visited Surf Ranch last year and “publicly welcomed the Coolum proposal.”