The one, and only, Tommy Gomes.
The one, and only, Tommy Gomes.

Fourth generation San Diego fisherman weighs in on WSL’s latest anti-fishing initiative: “But this World Surfing League? Where the f*ck they come from? I took Gerry Lopez out fishing off the Cortez Bank and never heard of no f*cking World Surf League!”

"The American fisherman is not the bad guy."

I don’t often interview people but when I do, it’s… better than what I normally do. Random hot takes on beach-adjacent lifestyles, books about radical Islamic terrorism and bank robbery, snowboarding etc.

Ugh.

But you have, by now, certainly been made aware of our World Surf League’s most recent virtue signal 30 x 30.

A push to get professional surf fans to sign the 30 x 30 petition in support of AB3030 which pledges to fully protect 30% of the oceans, worldwide.

Wonderful?

Certainly, theoretically, but ill-considered?

Let’s do what the WSL didn’t and talk to a 4th generation commercial fisherman and vibrant personality Tommy Gomes.

The San Diego native has long been fixture in the seafood scene, from education to advocating sustainability to running a non-profit culinary program. He knows his fish, and his fishing, so what does he think about the World Surf League’s new advocacy?

Chas Smith: So what is this AB3030 business all about?

Tommy Gomes: Bait and switch, change country of origin and all that. Bring in more unregulated, unreported seafood by the Chinese and Taiwanese. If you go on vessel locater there is 127 Chinese boats less that 1000 miles from San Diego. To shut locals out is just ridiculous. Just another ploy to get money and funding and keep these environmental organizations going, keep them going but what they’re doing is crushing the last bit of the left coast commercial fishing operations. More imported, unregulated fish that’s chemically enhanced, that’s all 30 x 30 will do. The American fisherman is not the bad guy. Those paying for this sort of thing is ConAg and Monsanto or fish farming operations or wind farming conglomerates.

The money funding this 30×30 thing is coming from somewhere.

But this World Surfing League? Where the fuck they come from? I took Gerry Lopez out fishing off the Cortez Bank, I never heard of no fucking World Surf League. I’m a 4th generation commercial fisherman. This seems like just another tactic to shut down fishing and it doesn’t make any sense. We’re all watermen. No fisherman out there wants to kill the last anything. We all want to conserve, be sustainable. We’re doing everything we can. Now all of a sudden here comes this World Surf League who is probably getting money from… somewhere.

Chas Smith: Dirk Ziff. He’s a co-Waterperson of the Year.

Tommy Gomes: (Silence)

But there we have it and, seriously, how stunningly embarrassing is the ELo era?

Ugh.


"Noa Deane was right."
"Noa Deane was right."

World Surf League backs effort to fully protect 30% of the ocean by 2030 thereby crushing small fishing operations: “Shame on you, WSL. If you like your fish caught by locals and not big corporations DON’T SIGN!”

"The ocean is our office, our playground, our place of worship..."

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, can the World Surf League find a way to somehow mess it all up? The answer is, definitively, yes and professional surfing’s governing body has stumbled on its fifth major embarrassment since the calendar flipped to 2021, one month and two weeks ago.

The latest eye-popping bit of uh-oh is the just announced its 30×30 initiative in which the WSL directs its fans to sign a petition in support of AB 3030 which, in turn, encourages world leaders to “fully protect” 30 percent of the ocean by the year 2030, or 9 years, as detailed in the bill.

Per the press release:

The World Surf League’s (WSL) fans, staff and Championship Tour surfers know as well as anyone how important the ocean is to our global surfing community. The ocean is our office, our playground, our place of worship, and whether you live on the coast, or thousands of miles inland, its health is vital to the health and well-being of everyone. To show our support for our favorite place and to ensure a healthy ocean for us and for generations of surfers to come, WSL and partners recently announced the We Are One Ocean campaign, encouraging world leaders to protect 30 percent of our global ocean by the year 2030, or 30×30. For more, visit: www.weareoneocean.org.

Well, “fully protecting” 30 percent of the global ocean certainly would add many more restrictions on fishing, especially small local fishing, and this fact has not gone unnoticed by those who make their living and/or have much fun casting line in the water.

Amongst our surf ranks, Jason “Rat Boy” Collins to to Instagram declaring, “Don’t sign this bullshit! Such a crock of shit! WSL do a bit of research before you try and push this on folks. Support sustainable local fishermen not global garbage.”

Sportfishing operator Duane Diego wrote, “Why aren’t any of the competitive athletes on the tour that enjoy fishing chiming in on the AB3030 push from WSL?”

Tyler Pahl, a San Diego fisherman added, “Shame on you, WSL. If you like your fish caught by locals and not big corporations DON’T SIGN!”

Half-baked initiatives that quickly fail and pointless and/or destructive virtue signaling are hallmarks of the CEO Erik Logan era at the League but is infuriating local fishermen around the world his greatest blunder? Well, let’s see if we, together, can’t get him and his WSL to quietly disappear support for 30×30 and/or release a statement loudly apologizing to fishermen worldwide.

As always, BeachGrit stands with The People™.

Calls are in to those People™ and more as the story develops.


Newcastle residents (pictured).
Newcastle residents (pictured).

In stunning move, Bells Beach steals iconic easter weekend Rip Curl Pro surf contest from city of Newcastle: “We are extremely disappointed with the outcome!”

Crushed.

Residents of New South Wales’ second largest city Newcastle are reeling this morning as it was revealed in stunning announcement that Victoria’s Bells Beach has stolen the iconic easter weekend surf contest from its shore.

The Rip Curl Pro, which will kick off its inaugural running at Merewether, just three kilometers east of Newcastle’s town center, in mere weeks has been the pride and joy of the town for hours. Residents were looking forward to watching their waves in the World Surf League broadcast spotlight, sharing their charms with visiting surfers and spending the expected $15m the contest will inject into the local economy.

“Newcastle has a long history when it comes to surfing – some of the greats and champions,” Deputy Premier John Barilaro told the local newspaper. “The opportunity here is to showcase Newcastle to about 10 million viewers globally. And Newcastle is a global city. It was the perfect fit for this.”

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes called the event was “a massive coup for Newcastle.”

That coup, however, was quickly squashed as the contest will move south for 2022 – 2006 as Torquay, home of Bells Beach, inked a just-announced four-year deal with the World Surf League.

Surf Coast Mayor Libby Stapleton said the surf competition will be “an integral part of our identity and economy” and estimates an $8m cash infusion.”

“I think that the World Surf League, Rip Curl and the Victorian Government recognise that this event is really unique and we appreciate their efforts in having helped ensure future events will occur at Bells Beach,” she said.

It is uncertain how Newcastle’s population will cope or if professional surfing’s governing body will move the inaugural Billabong Pipeline Masters to Merewether for the upcoming season.

More as the story develops.


KP, who is forty-four, spent almost twenty years in this joint.

Former World Surf League commissioner Kieren Perrow offloads Byron Bay-adjacent beach shack for almost $3 million!

And swoops on knockdown for $2.2 million on giant almost beachfront hunk of dirt.

Kieren Perrow has always been regarded, and correctly so in my opinion, as the owner of surfing’s best and most determined mind. 

Hardly a natural talent, although almost without peer in big surf, KP once told me that he “felt like I had something to prove in surfing. No one thought I could qualify. I was never a stand-out. I was never being touted as the Next Big Thing. It didn’t upset me but part of me wanted to say, Fuck you, I did it.”

His first year on tour? Seventh. Rookie of the year. 

KP would finish a career with two event wins, Margarets and Pipe, and a job as “commissioner” of the WSL. 

His smarts have become apparent, again, lately, with the sale of the Byron Bay-adjacent house he bought in 2002 for $525,000, sold for a bullish $2.8 million. 

The old nineties brick house, which had undergone a significant renovation but still featured KP’s Gerry Lopez Pipe Masters single-fin trophy affixed to the wall, as well as framed prints of Hugh Holland’s vintage skate photos, proved a hot item last December when it was listed. 

Here’s a taste.

The listing agent, I’m told, even pointed out to prospective buyers the spot under the mature Pandanus tree where KP buried the ring he got for his twenty-first birthday and the very spot in the yard where he married his wife Danielle.

Living in Byron Bay has suddenly become a rite of passage for middle-to-upper-class Sydney bankers, freed from the strictures of office work, to live the sub-tropical dream. 

A hedge fun manager’s Morning of the Earth epoch. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLJKAJBhucF/

Perrow’s latest joint, bought for $2.2 million last September, squats just one street back from the beach. It features an unlovely and brooding brown brick house begging to be demolished.

Another smart play. Sub-div the land, build a couple of adobe-style coastal retreats and oowee etc.

Examine here and explain your architectural plans for the site in the comments.

 

 


One-time Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson fronted Balter Beer brewer sets out to break kitesurf distance record: “I tried onion eating but that was way too hard!”

Cheers!

Brian Kiss von Soly, 36 and one-time brewer for Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge etc’s Balter Beer, is more than just nifty with hops and mountain spring water. The Ocean Shores local is a dreamer, the sort of dreamer we all were as much younger children and should have been as younger adults.

Mr. Kiss von Soly, you see, received a Guinness Book of World Records when he was 21 and his imagination became instantly sparked. “I looked through the book and thought what records could I do. I tried onion eating but that was way too hard,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald. But not too hard is the world kitesurfing distance record and set out from his northern NSW home, pointed toward to Melbourne and hoped to shatter.

Thursday afternoon, when he sailed past Werri Beach south of Wollonggong, he achieved the dream.

862 kilometers.

An unofficial new world record.

Guinness bound.

He is still headed to Melbourne, even still, a few liters of water on his back, a few puffs of wind in his sail. Sort of lame wind though, this year, with too many southerlies.

“It can get pretty gnarly out there but I do everything I can to reduce the risks and stay safe. My mum still worries about me, though.”

But what a man, what a dream, and can you remember the first time you laid eyes on a Guinness Book of World Records?

I was ten, I think, and awed by the world’s longest fingernails, though never considered breaking.

Long fingernails, especially on men, are gross.

Back to Mr. Kiss von Soly. Do you consider his world record more or less impressive than one-time boss Joel Parkinson’s world title?

More?

I agree.