Sam Hall, on a happy vacay in Nicaragua, left, and molested surfboard, right.

Breaking: Sydney surfer fights off shark at Manly Beach, “The mouth came up at me…I threw the board at it!”

"My hands were on the tail of the board and I didn't have a leggie on so then I threw the board at it and then squirmed my way in as fast as I could."

Sydney surfer Sam Hall has described a pretty wild hit by a suspected Bronze Whaler shark last Wednesday at Manly on Sydney’s northside.

Sam, a twenty-nine-year-old who works in energy renewables and is pals with shredder/artist Billy Bain, was surfing a hundred or so yards offshore at a bank between Queenscliff and North Steyne.

Sunset.

Murky water.

Had the bank to himself; another two surfers batted away a little further north.

“Then it just emerged in front of me, one metre away. I didn’t even see a fin,” he says. “The mouth came up at me and I was lying on the board so I was able to push the nose of my board in front of me. It took a bite off the side. My hands were on the tail of the board and I didn’t have a leggie on so then I threw the board at it and then squirmed my way in as fast as I could. The tide was slow so I was trying to find where the sandbank was and stand up. Not knowing at the time if it might come back. It was a frantic moment.”

On the beach, another surfer said he saw the shark circling Sam.

“I was lucky that I was facing it,” says Sam. “It would’ve taken a good chunk out of me based on the depth of the teeth in my board. They’re not thick but they’re fucking sharp.”

Standing on the beach, shaken and very stirred, Sam describes the moment as “surreal… coming to the beach and trying to explain it and not having the validation from other people.”

Later, Sam called the government’s Fisheries department and spoke to a senior biologist who surmised that it was probably a Whaler shark and that it was a hit out of aggression not hunger.

How rattled was he?

Sam says he’s still processing the event, he got on the booze a couple of days later so “everything’s put on hold”, but says he was “frazzled” and that he’s having night thoughts of the “different scenarios of what could’ve gone down.”

Still, could’ve been worse.

“There’s been a big White cruising around (Fairy) Bower and Deadies (Deadman’s), heaps of activity in the water.”

Sam laughs.

“It’s all happening.”

(Check out this White at Manly, from last week.)

 


Loyson, pictured, on the last wave he will ever catch.

Belgian pervert arrested in Australia funding lavish surf vacation by selling child pornography: “A vile and disgusting crime perpetrated by the very worst sort of human being.”

A truly bad man.

Dante Alighieri, the 13th century Italian poet, is best known to us moderns for his sweeping Divine Comedy. Penned over a twelve-year span and finished a year before his death, the masterwork imagines the afterlife and includes stops in hell, purgatory and heaven.

Hell, or inferno, has nine circles with limbo being the most chill, lusty men and women getting blown by an unpleasant wind, gluttons getting rotted away by an icy wind, the greedy having to perpetually carry heavy weights and so on and so forth until we arrive at the ninth circle where those who have treacherously betrayed others are stuck in a frozen lake of ice near Satan.

It can be certain, when he dies, the Belgian pervert Bryan Loyson, 26, will end in the ninth but until then he will be forced to endure Australian prison for a too-short portion of his wretched life.

Loyson had traveled to the Lucky Country to surf, skydive and sit in claw foot bathtubs while drinking red wine in luxury hotels. He paid for his lifestyle by selling child pornography online.

The Australian Federal Police was tipped off by the United States Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a man in Australia was using the social media platform Snapchat to advertise his ugly wares and, after a three-month investigation, Loyson was arrested in Sydney.

Police officers confiscated everything he had and had him dead to rights.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said. “Every image being shared and bought on this website was of a child being abused. Bringing these offenders from online anonymity to jail is what drives the AFP to keep children safe.”

Early last week, Loyson pleaded guilty to supplying child pornography through a carriage service, using a carriage service to access, transmit, make available, publish, distribute, advertising or promote child abuse material and received a four-year prison sentence with possibility of parole after two-and-a-half years.

Much too short a portion of his wretched life but, as surfers, we can see to it that he never catches another wave. If you see this face bobbing in your lineup drop in, punch out his fins then punch out whichever teeth he has remaining in his head.


Listen: Surfing hall-of-famer Barton Lynch talks anarchy, his brutal rivalry and friendship with Martin Potter and the hostility of the pro tour: “It wasn’t a loving organism at all. I was drowning, I was dying in there!”

One in a million… 

Today’s guest is the former world champion surfer Barton Lynch famous, now, for his oratorical gymkhanas on WSL broadcasts and for his annual, week-long junior events, less so for his former careers as a butterfly collector and anarchist.

Although warmed slightly by age, for he is fifty-seven years old, Barton will occasionally open up a front if he feels his electrons shuddering.

In this hour or so of chatter, Barton at his house at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, me performing badly by wandering away from the microphone, talk hits life, death, animism and the joy of existence.

A man who is truly one in a million.


Al Hunt, left, and Kelly Slater. | Photo: Steve Sherman/@tsherms/

World tour’s legendary number cruncher Al Hunt is selling every single surfing magazine ever made for $US150,000…

Free shipping!

Al Hunt, the legendary former administrator and head judge for the former pro surfing body called ASP, is selling his collection of every single surfing magazine ever made* for the not entirely unreasonable price of $US150,000, including shipping to anywhere in the world and an accompanying website.

Hunt, who is seventy and whose titanic girth rewarded him with the nickname Fatty Al, asks the prospective buyer to, “think about it that’s only just $8 per mag and with shipping these days it costs that much for one Ebay mag. Some obviously worth hundreds of dollars some over a thousand.

“Complete sets of nearly every major magazine worldwide plus all the highly collectible 60’s and 70’s ones. More than half of the mags have never been read or even flicked through so are in perfect new condition. In the high time of surf mags I was receiving over 70 per month so no time to look at them. These days not so many in production and only two titles are now monthly.

“Reason for selling is I am retiring the end of this year and right now my garage is full of mags and other surf items and I will be downsizing the family home so no where to keep them.

“Along with the mags there are thousands of surf event posters, mostly multiples of each, including Triple Crown and Eddie Aikau ones, stickers (Eddies) and magazine double ups around 3000-5000 (not sure). Everything ready to be put on Ebay and make some money.”

Want it?

Email Al at [email protected]

*Except, maybe, first issue of Stab. I burnt most of ’em in a (failed) bid to make ’em collectable.


Despite the misanthropic undertone post-attack the focus of shark public relations is on rehabilitation of the image of White shark as violent offender. Jaws author Peter Benchley, as reaction to the fear unleashed by his creation, led the PR effort, declaring after the 2001 fatal White shark attack on Ken Crews: "I can say absolutely that the shark was not acting with malice towards the man; not with intent to do bodily harm..." | Photo: 47 metres down

Longtom on Australia’s Great White Shark Crisis: “The White shark is a cypher, a means of taking revenge on a human created world gone mad. Judge, jury and righteous executioner!”

This avenging angel function of the White shark has raised its status as an environmental icon, above that of the whale, the dolphin, even the intriguing old man of the forest, the Orangutan.

Misanthropy is as old as the hills, from the moment we crawled out of the sludge hatred of our brothers and sisters has been a constant companion.

We all love a little revenge fantasy, from Cain and Abel to De Niro’s Trav Bickle who famously wished for a cleansing rain to rid the streets of “human scum and filth” revenge fantasies have offered succour to our sense of fragile aggrievement.

We all pine somewhere in our heart of hearts for an avenging angel to restore justice, no matter how misplaced that sense of justice might be.

Read any below the line commentary on a White shark attack story, no matter the source and it becomes perfectly clear that the White shark has become the post-modern avenging angel du jour.

“Cull fucking humans”

“Humans are a cancer on the Earth that needs eradication” etc etc – is the gist of it.

The latest attack is usually less than a day old before those comments are delivered with a misanthropic glee. This avenging angel function of the white shark has raised its status as an environmental icon, above that of the whale, the dolphin, even the intriguing old man of the forest, the orangutan. In this world view the white shark is a way of being, a cypher, a means of understanding and taking revenge on a human created world gone mad.

Judge, jury and righteous executioner.

Despite the misanthropic undertone post-attack the focus of shark public relations is on rehabilitation of the image of White shark as violent offender. Jaws author Peter Benchley, as reaction to the fear unleashed by his creation, led the PR effort, declaring after the 2001 fatal White shark attack on Ken Crews: “I can say absolutely that the shark was not acting with malice towards the man; not with intent to do bodily harm…”

This omniscience into the mind of the shark is a curious feature of most shark writing, even those of a scientific bent.

The leading shark conservationist gals like Ocean Ramsey in Hawaii and Madison Stewart in Australia are expert in this linguistic trick, casually maintaining the White shark is cautious and curious and any bite is just an unfortunate mistake.

I don’t begrudge these gals their living as white shark experts, they are, as Beck sang on Mellow Gold, “goddesses milking the time for all that it’s worth”.

And if they can make a hundred fifty US dollars for a download on how to avoid shark attack, then that counts as an honest living in my books.

Intense contradictory feelings cloud my judgement on this issue. I’m down with the White shark as avenging angel, but I wish the target was soccer mums and not my pals.

Terrible thoughts, I know.

My bairn wanted a go out at the Point this week. There’s no-one down the inside section. The White shark has created space which I am happy to inhabit. Four wheeling, fizzing constellations of bait balls getting hit by meso-predators erupt in spray showers within a hundred metres.

The feeding frenzies slip in and out of the sand bank. In the near distance I can see half a dozen late migrating humpbacks, the sound of over-sized pectoral fins slapping the water arrives a half second after the vision. Situation normal for around here.

If you avoided surfing when bait or whale were visible you’d never paddle out.

My boyo gets the wave of his life.

Another one.

Looking back I am blinded by the glare. I hear screaming.

I can hear “Dad! Dad!”.

Blood turns to ice as I sprint paddle towards the screaming.

It’s a fin chop. He wants another one.

I see a pal who was in the water when Mani was fatally attacked. Another, also present, was absent. He suffers post-traumatic stress. They worked on Mani for an hour before the paramedics arrived. It came first for one leg, then hit him again on the other. Had to be prised away from the teenager.

My pal cannot come to terms with it. The bite and spit, the “cautious” animal who had made a mistake and bore no malice; that means nothing to him now. All he remembers are the eyes of the boy. They were open, but lifeless, like the eyes of a fish pulled out of an icebox.

I can’t deny the frisson of death, the senses working overtime is a panacea, a cleansing rain, to what Rimbaud called the “horror of home”.

I’ll take this flight of fancy; this danger serrated with an Abrahamic edge over the vortex of tech addiction any day.

We paddle out because that’s what we do.

Amor Fati. Love of fate propels us onwards.