This cements Starkey's future as WSL CEO and the eventual rehoming of the WSL downunder.
High, high times for hacks in the surf-jern biz. Glorious Woz Piñatas swinging in front of us on the daily.
Temperance and accuracy can go to hell when hitting the keys is this much fun.
Today tops all.
Starkey and the Australian taxpayer have double-handedly rescued the 2021 World Tour, in a stunning power move that reflects the historical and current reality of Oz as the centre of gravity of professional surfing.
Last week, Stark was riding a donkey in the desert, today he’s in the penthouse toasting four CT’s in the house and a well of human hatred run shallow and dry.
It was the brute force display of power I’d expected all along from my man.
Let’s be clear: his methods may be Machiavellian but Stark has kept the lights on in the building in a way no-one else could.
Imagine Elo trying to seal these deals across state borders with multiple political realities and stakeholder pressures?
Poor flim-flam man folds like wet lettuce and can’t even get the paperwork tight and right. This cements Starkey’s future as WSL CEO and the eventual rehoming of the org. downunder.
His pasodoble with NSW Deputy Prem John Barilaro has been legendary. Think of a famous pairing: Beavis and Butthead, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Fish and Chips, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Ali and Frazier, Batman and Robin, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, Don Quixote and Pancho Sanza, Sonny and Cher, just off the top of my head.
Stark and Barilaro best all of them without a doubt.
The line-up, as we already know, is a mixed bag, but generally praiseworthy.
Newy will be the weakest link in the chain for quality surf. Narrabeen offers a rare, quality left beachbreak with punchy rights at the Alley and excellent pies at Ocean Blend, the cafe directly across the road from the Northy carpark, the former site of Damien “Dooma” Hardman’s pie shop.
Maggie River we are well acquainted with along with the outrageous advantage offered to JJF at Mainbreak Rights and Jack Robbo at North Point or the Box.
Rottnest or Rotto, as DR has pointed out, suffers under the weight of a very dark history as both a penal colony and site of unimaginable animal cruelty when the inevitable Quokka kicking episode occurs during the islands regular Bacchanalian convulsions.
There are numerous B+ reefs on the Island with competition likely to run morning times before the dreaded Fremantle Doctor “breeze” blows out the main spot of Strickland Bay. A kind of cool-temperate reverse poor man’s Keramas if you need a mental image to sustain you. Very fun wave.
Five events locked in. Teahupoo likely. Tub, Trestles final. Australia, Hawaii, Tahiti, California. A Pacific World Champ.
Leaving aside that WA faces the Indian, it’s a concept too beautiful not to pay lip service to.
In a final sign of the ascendancy of Australia Bureaucratic Dominance and the shifting of power from USA to Aus, poor Patty O has been permanently benched from his role as Senior Vice Prez of Tours and Head of Competition after deciding “to transition out of his role to pursue new opportunities”, which I believe is polite corpo-speak for being shown the door but having as much time as you need to collect your stuff from under the desk.
Patty is being replaced by former CT competitor Jessi Miley-Dyer.
Pat’s reign was memorable for, um…..um…. I haven’t got much except missing the day of the waiting period at D-bah on a bad judgement call trying to get Snapper in 2019 when he was newly minted in the role. He brought a cheery presence and an understated credibility to video presentations with Elo and will one day have an excellent memoir ghost-written about his time at Santa Monica.
Australian Company Rip Curl, which sold 70% of the biz to NZ outdoor apparel Company Kathmandu in late 2019 for 350 mill and which has been enjoying bumper Covid induced sales has stumped up an undisclosed figure for the naming rights to Newy, Narrabeen and Rotto, the latter under the dormant Search Banner.
To the best of my knowledge I can see no resistance to holding comps at any of the proscribed locations, which makes Covid19 and the Great White Shark the only remaining challenges to getting things run and done.