Justine Dupont (pictured) getting robbed.

French big wave surfer Justine Dupont explodes at WSL over Big Wave award ruling: “I am especially disappointed and ashamed of this league which claims to represent our sport!”

Fireworks!

Early this morning, the World Surf League, now based in CEO Erik Logan’s Manhattan Beach bunker and stored next to his various flavors of Laird SuperFood and inspirational wall hangings featuring quotes from Stuart Smalley, released the long-anticipated winner of the cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award.

Per the press release:

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) won the cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award and set the new World Record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman. As part of the Red Bull Big Wave Awards (BWA), the BWA validated Gabeira’s ride as the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title holder for the largest wave surfed (unlimited) – female.

“This wave was during the [WSL Nazaré Tow Surfing] contest and although I say I’m not a competitive person, I was very in the zone and braver than I usually am on this day,” said Gabeira. “I was risking more than I usually like to do. When I let go of the rope, I had a feeling it could be the one but wasn’t sure. The speed was very high but the noise that the wave made when it broke made me realize that this was probably the biggest wave I’d ever ridden.”

Gabeira’s record-setting wave measured 73.5 feet, besting her own previous World Record, 68 feet. She broke the record at the infamous big-wave surf break, Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal, on February 11, 2020, as part of the WSL’s inaugural Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge event. Although the men’s and women’s divisions are separate for this category, Gabeira’s ride also beat the men’s cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave, which was won by Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii) and measured 70 feet.

Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced that Maya Gabeira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) won the cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave Award and set the new World Record for the largest wave ever surfed by a woman. As part of the Red Bull Big Wave Awards (BWA), the BWA validated Gabeira’s ride as the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title holder for the largest wave surfed (unlimited) – female.

“This wave was during the [WSL Nazaré Tow Surfing] contest and although I say I’m not a competitive person, I was very in the zone and braver than I usually am on this day,” said Gabeira. “I was risking more than I usually like to do. When I let go of the rope, I had a feeling it could be the one but wasn’t sure. The speed was very high but the noise that the wave made when it broke made me realize that this was probably the biggest wave I’d ever ridden.”

Gabeira’s record-setting wave measured 73.5 feet, besting her own previous World Record, 68 feet. She broke the record at the infamous big-wave surf break, Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal, on February 11, 2020, as part of the WSL’s inaugural Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge event. Although the men’s and women’s divisions are separate for this category, Gabeira’s ride also beat the men’s cbdMD XXL Biggest Wave, which was won by Kai Lenny (Paia, Hawaii) and measured 70 feet.

Condemnation was swift and fierce from France’s Justine Dupont, who had been up for the award. Per her Instagram she declared:

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🇬🇧 bellow in the comments👇🏼 🇫🇷La @wsl a annoncé que le record de la plus grosse vague surfée serait attribué à une surfeuse qui ne finit pas sa vague 🤯😅🤷‍♀️ J’ai décidé d’en sourire même si je suis profondément blessée de subir une décision que je juge totalement injuste. Je suis surtout déçue et j’ai honte de cette league qui se dit représenter notre sport . Ils se basent sur un rapport de scientifiques qui utilisent le mot « approximatif » devant chacune de leur affirmation 😂 Il y est stipulé entre autre que 🔸la taille des 2 surfeuses est approximativement identique :FAUX (à+ ou – 10cm)🤣 🔸 nos deux vagues se situent approximativement à la même distance du photographe :FAUX il s’agit de 2 peaks différents sur le plus gros beach break du monde 🙈 🔸Ils définissent le bas de la vague de ma concurrente à peu prêt 2m sous l’endroit où casse la lèvre de la vague 🧐🤓 🔸Des images de l’autre surfeuse ont été utilisées après la date butoir de publication😅 Et bien plus encore .. . Pour la vague des hommes ils arrivent sans scientifique à donner une taille exacte de 70ft. Pour les femmes après avoir reporté la décision d’un mois et consulté une dream team de scientifiques ils arrivent à une conclusion que la vague de ma concurrente est « approximativement plus grosse de 2 ou 3ft » 🧮🧐💪🏼 . Au début j’ai eu envie de hurler, puis pleurer mais finalement je préfère garder le sourire et la tête haute. Ils ne m’enlèveront pas la fierté et le plaisir que j’ai à surfer ces grosses vagues 😊 Je vous remercie tous pour vos messages. Merci à la communauté du surf et aux locaux de Nazare pour votre soutien 🙏🏼🙏🏼 Je suis entourée d’une équipe et de gens incroyables, je suis chanceuse d’être soutenue par des partenaires qui croient en moi, j’en suis consciente et comblée. . La saison commence et je sais que je peux surfer des vagues encore plus grosses sans attendre pour autant quelques records de leur part 😉 🇬🇧👇🏼

A post shared by Justine dupont (@justinedupont33) on

The @wsl announced that the record for the biggest wave surfed would be awarded to a surfer who does not finish her wave. I decided to smile about it even though I am deeply hurt to be subjected to a decision that I believe is totally unfairI’m especially disappointed and ashamed of this league which claims to represent our sport
.
They are based on a report from scientists who use the word “approximate” in front of each of their statements. It is stipulated among other things that:

-The size of the 2 surfer girls is approximately identical: FALSE (at + or – 10cm)
-Our two waves are approximately the same distance from the photographer: FALSE these are 2 different peaks on the biggest beach break in the world.
-They define the bottom of the wave of my competitor about 2m below where the lip of the wave breaks.
-Images of the other surfer were used after the publication deadline.

And much more ..

For the wave of men they arrive without a scientist to give an exact height of 70ft. For the women after postponing the decision for a month and consulting a dream team of scientists they come to the conclusion that my competitor’s wave is “approximately 2 or 3ft bigger.”

At first I wanted to scream, then cry, but eventually I prefer to keep smiling and my head held high.
They won’t take away the pride and pleasure I have in surfing those big waves.

Thank you all for your messages. Thanks to the surf community and locals in Nazare for your support I am surrounded by an incredible team and people, I am fortunate to be supported by partners who believe in me, I am aware of it and fulfilled.

The season is starting and I know that I can surf even bigger waves without waiting for some records from them.

Fireworks.

Other professional surfers, and stars, were quick to weigh in.

Johanne Defay penned, “garde ton sourire, tu as raison (keep your smile, you’re right!).”

Big wave hero Lucas Chumbo added, “here’s nothing to do. No worries we have many years to try again and we know who is the best.”

Motocross racer Camille Chapeliere, “You are number 1!”

Etc.

Kelly Slater’s much valued opinion on race relations in the 21st century has not been added though is certain to be soon.

But how do you think WSL CEO Erik Logan is taking the criticism?

On the chin or is he hiding under a comfortable goose down duvet eating pints of Häagen-Dazs banana peanut butter chip?

Or chocolate sea salt caramel?

Honey salted caramel almond?

Wait.

What flavor of Häagen-Dazs does Logan use to soothe his emotions?

Regular chocolate?

There’s no way he eats regular chocolate is there?

In any case, compare the waves for yourself here.

Dupont:

Maya:


One of the guys who dragged the lifeless body to shore, Jade Parker, said “the whole idea that the shark was trying to single him out is not realistic”, despite the footage showing unequivocally the shark doing exactly that. It hit him then hit him again.

Longtom on Superbank Great White Hit: “That’s the end of that fantasy. No more thinking crowded Superbank is a refuge. How far down the path are we to a Reunion Island reality?”

One of the guys who dragged the lifeless body to shore, Jade Parker, said “the whole idea that the shark was trying to single him out is not realistic” despite the footage showing unequivocally the shark doing exactly that. It hit him then hit him again.

Five pm, an hour before low tide, little off-season tradewind swell running.

My boy and his pal out scrapping around by themselves on the outer bank reforms at Lennox Pub, me feeling edgy as fuck and wishing I’d driven them up to the Pass or even Superbank… somewhere safe with more legs in the water.

Little almond-eyed tubes safe under the veil of nets and drums. Greenmount felt then, as it has since the whole shark crisis kicked off, about the safest place in the world to surf.

The most unlikely place to have that giant rooster tail of water erupt around you or a loved one and the whole familiar by now horror playing out, except this time caught in the web of the surveillance society.

Yeah, I saw the footage.

That’s where I would have sat with the kids, down the end past Little Marley, picking up some little wide runners into the afternoon glow. Probs having a little chat in between waves with Nick Slater, asking him what he thought of the Morning of the Earth twin he was riding.

Forty-six, still feeling good. Washing off the stress after a good day selling real estate. Lots of buyers, people escaping the lockdown, looking for sunshine, warm water and a safer surf compared to across the border.

It’s all changed now.

That’s the end of that fantasy. No more thinking crowded Superbank is a refuge, even if from paranoia.

You get sick of looking over your shoulder every five minutes.

Check on the Sharksmart feed and you get something like this daily: DPI advise 2.81 m White Shark tagged and released from SMART drumline at SOUTH BALLINA, Ballina at 06:15 pm on 8 Sep 2020.

Ignorance offers no bliss either. It is what it is now.

And what it is, is fucking hectic. Just how far down the path are we to a Reunion Island reality?

Further than we were a year ago is the only honest response.

Much, much farther than a decade ago.

Shallow water, it would have been waist deep on the tide. Clear water. Can’t pin mistaken identity on the shark. It must have come in like a polaris missile from the amount of water it displaced. There was no delicacy in the attack. The footage shows clubbie skis, three or four of them heading his way, to the rescue, I thought.

But they didn’t respond.

Others seemed to not notice, or scatter.

Despite the crowd, an utterly lonely way to die.

What Owl Chapman termed “the naked moment”.

He was already bled out by the time they got to him.

Contrary to reporting yesterday the nets were set, along with an array of eight drum-lines. The nets, just landward and to the north of where Slater was surfing, the drum-lines array, just seaward of the Snapper Rocks line-up. That left a corridor aimed directly at Slater of around three or four hundred metres in width in which a White shark swam before attacking the man.

The PR debate over sharks rages on.

Fanning, himself a survivor, is in full pitch mode for a documentary called Save This Shark which (unsurprisingly) runs the angle that sharks are merely “magical, majestic and misunderstood creatures”.

One of the guys who dragged the lifeless body to shore, Jade Parker, said “the whole idea that the shark was trying to single him out is not realistic” despite the footage showing unequivocally the shark doing exactly that. It hit him then hit him again.

There’s simply no other way to parse those moving images.

The footage.

The fucking footage.

Would I want that footage out there if it was my kid, my pal, gal, etc etc?

I’d be driving around with a baseball bat looking for the perps. Is it an inevitable consequence of the surveillance capitalism we all live under? A thousand times, yes. We all want the convenience, we have to accept the consequence. We are all addicted, as Tool noted in Vicarious to watching things die “from a good safe distance”.

Why can’t we just admit it?

What to do?

Pull your kids out, take a day off.

Deal with it.


Boss Move: 80-year-old man who went missing on hike surprises family, loved ones, by crashing press conference set up to mourn his demise!

No surfer has ever been so cool.

Many years ago when VAL website and perpetrator of after-the-fact wokeness The Inertia pivoted from “surf” to “outdoors” I felt it was a very silly move. What good are the outdoors that don’t directly relate to the surfing and/or snowboarding?

Camping is a hassle, ziplining is whatever, birdwatching is a snooze and hiking… well hiking is just about the worst thing a man can do with his time.

And look at the egg on my face.

Days ago, an 80-year-old hiker pulled a better move than any surfer ever by crashing the press conference set up to mourn his loss and appeal for people to go out and search for his, likely, lifeless body.

Harry Harvey, a very strong name in and of itself, had gone hiking on Sunday in northern England but became separated from his hiking partner when a vicious hailstorm hit. Police and the Royal Air Force spent four days combing the region, coming up empty.

The family scheduled a press conference but, little did they know, a wildlife photographer had found Harvey peacefully camping by his lonesome and drug him back to civilization, surprising all those in attendance.

Many hugs etc.

Harvey described his adventure thusly, “I had three really good wild camping nights where I was on my own and had all the kit I needed. The only thing I was getting a bit short of… I’ve got a hell of an appetite… and when I get hungry I’ve got to get something to eat or I can’t go on.”

When asked if he was happy to turn the mourning into dancing, he responded, “If I’d have known, I wouldn’t have come back. I could do without all of this.”

His daughter-in-law added, “He’s had a blast, we’ve had a nightmare.”

No surfer has either done, or responded, cooler.

I shall now take up hiking.


The shark tooth found in Nick Slater's Morning of the Earth, triple-stringer twin. ID'd as twelve-foot White. | Photo: Queensland Fisheries

Killer shark in Superbank attack identified as twelve-foot Great White

A surprise to nobody…

When the sirens start and the surfer’s body is dragged onto the sand on Australia’s north-east coast, Rob at Kingscliff, Mani at Wooli, Nick at Greenmount, it don’t take a marine biologist to know the hit is by a White. 

(RIP Rob Pedretti, RIP Mani Hart-Deville, RIP Nick Slater.)

And the survivors, Phil at Bunker Bay (“Freakishly big Great White”), Chantelle at Port Macquarie (“The scream was everywhere, there was splashing everywhere”), they know ‘cause they’ve seen the White, they’ve felt it drive its teeth into limbs hanging underwater. 

Three months, five hits by Great Whites on surfers, three, fatal. 

Whites. Protected since 1999. 

Sightings. Bumps. Fatals. 

More encounters. More risk.

An artificial reef at Palm Beach, ten minutes drive north of the Superbank, has become home to at least one White. 

Great White at Palm Beach.

Yesterday afternoon’s fatal attack on Burleigh Heads real estate agent Nick Slater, at drum-line protected Superbank is part of a stretch of coastline that hasn’t had one fatal shark attack since the nets and the drum-lines were introduced in 1962. 

Forster to Byron, yeah, Great Whites, no nets.

Pick a time, pray to your god. 

But the Gold Coast? 

Earlier today, Queensland Fisheries identified the killer shark in the Superbank attack as a 3.5 metre Great White, a twelve-foot bus.

A bad sign.


Leo Decap shows how it's done in The Beach: unsheathe blade, drive deep into attacking shark's vulnerable parts.

Australia’s Great White Crisis: Company markets “last line of defence” spike for surfers to “fend and fight off these apex predators!”

"We wish we could always live in harmony with them, but when we venture into the ocean, they are the top predator."

Call it the new normal, I suppose, although a better expression might be, prepare to die in the mouth of a ten-foot Great White ‘cause there ain’t the political will or the stomach to start killin’ Whites.

Along with Jon Cohen’s shark bite kits featuring SWAT tourniquets that can be stuffed in wetsuits and Ukranian-made, war-proven crank handle tourniquets kept in cars and in lifeguard towers, a Gold Coast-based surfer is marketing a stainless steel spike you keep in your wetty and, when attacked, you pull out of sheath and stab hell out of beast.

The Biteback, which sells for forty-five Australian dollars, is made from 316 stainless steel, (the second best in the game, use 304 if you wanna the best), has a plastic handle (recycled ocean plastic) and is designed, says its inventor, not to kill but to give the attacking shark second thoughts.

According to marketing literature attached to the device,

“We love and respect these gods and have a long history with them. We wish we could always live in harmony with them, but when we venture into the ocean, they are the top predator. Humans have no natural defense, except for our brains. Research has shown that sometimes, all it takes is a sharp bump or poke around its face to dissuade it of further interaction…

“Finding yourself in the company of a hungry or curious shark is not a good feeling, seeing as we have no natural defense.
We do have brains however and research has shown that the eyes, gills and electroreceptors concentrated around a shark’s snout (Ampullae of Lorenzini) are their most sensitive parts. Therefore we’ve designed and developed The Biteback to help fend and fight off these apex predators and increase your odds of survival in an ‘investigation’ or attack.”

You got the wherewithal to drive that shiny 316 blade into the White’s beak?

Examine, buy here.