Team Wright after another remarkable world title win. | Photo: @tylerwright

Woman charged with a staggering 749 counts of stealing for a total of $1.5 million from two-time world surfing champion Tyler Wright and brothers, Owen and Mikey.

Three-quarters of the loot spent on gambling and poker machines, “while the rest of it was wasted"

A fifty-tree-year-old woman from the NSW South Coast has been hit with 749 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception with police alleging she stole more than $1.5 million from Tyler Wright and brothers Owen and Mikey,

Shane Maree Hatton, a family friend of the Wrights, although one must now presume that friendship has become somewhat strained, was a bookkeeper for the Wright’s plumbing biz.

When the kids started to rake in the sponsor cash, Hatton took on their finances, too.

“There is a trend of family friends and relatives, who are less than qualified, managing large amounts of money and they can’t resist the temptation of taking some of the money for themselves,” the State Crime Command Director, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett told The Daily Telegraph.

Red flags went up when celeb agent Nick Fordham, who handles Tyler’s sponsorship deals, saw the books, and noticed the balance was a little lower than expected.

He called the cops, they got the fraud squad in, and the woman was arrested.

“They have a limited window for earning so they need to protect themselves,” Detective Bennett said. “The first thing they need to do is employ reputable companies, not family friends to handle their careers. They need to get contracts, and with legal advice. Then they need to take an interest in their money day to day and the movement of money in their bank accounts.”

Cops allege the woman spent $1.2 million on gambling and poker machines “while the rest of the money was wasted.”

Which brings to mind the wonderful George Best quote, “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

Bookkeepers, accountants, whatever you want to call ‘em, are notorious for sticking their fingers in the honey pot, although their lifespans can be shortened considerably depending on the victims.

One man who ripped off Andy and Bruce Irons for a mill, as well as another thirty or so people for a total of fifty-mill, ended up at the bottom of a canyon after a mysterious car accident.

Police said the day was “very windy.”

Breaking: Mommy blogger, surfer, Gwyneth Paltrow approaches cancellation for providing inappropriate sunscreen advice!

Much trouble.

If there is one thing surfers know, it’s sunscreen. Or I guess should know. I generally don’t apply before paddling out, as one of my goals as a surf journalist, is to someday look like Nick Carroll but I see many in the lineup, much white covering nose, ears, etc. and legions more in the parking lot rubbing.

Very appropriate.

Sunscreen is our birthright though star actress and mommy blogger, surfer, Gwyneth Paltrow has just recently come very, very near to cancellation for advising her fans to put it on gently, like makeup.

Very inappropriate (apparently).

Dermatologists were horrified, calling for a severe retraction.

Barry D. Goldman, M.D., a clinical instructor at Cornell NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital said, “I do think it’s a bad message. 80-90% of all skin cancers are on the face and neck. I’ve seen many tumors on the eyelids or around the eyes, the forehead. Basically, the whole face should be covered… We think of the whole face as a high-risk area for skin cancer.”

Fans were outraged, calling for an execution.

Some lady on Twitter wrote, “Gwyenth Paltrow really made a video telling people to apply SPF like a highlighter to your face… That’s literally not how it works. It goes on the entire face, neck, & the back of hands.”

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly entirely pleased.

But what is your sunscreen advice?

Care to weigh in or are you sharpening your axe, heading to Goop HQ?

More as the story develops.

New terror strikes San Diego beaches as lifeguards warn of bootleg surf camps ahead of summer: “The ocean is inherently dangerous and when you have non-permitted surf instructors providing instruction, you are just increasing the chance for a mishap!”


Bootleg booze can get you sick. Bootleg movies can provide an unfortunate cinematic experience not intended by the director. Bootleg music robs Aerosmith of much-deserved royalties but bootleg surf instruction? Well, bootleg surf instruction can get you killed.

San Diego lifeguards, bracing for an epidemic of bootleg surf instruction ahead of the Summer of VAL, issued a stern warning overnight.

“The ocean is inherently dangerous and when you have non-permitted surf instructors — who, again, are not really familiar with the area — that are providing instruction, you are just increasing the chance for a mishap.”

They suggested that VALs should sign up for a surf camp that has an actual storefront as opposed to a Brazilian man standing on the beach waving a flag reading “happy fun surf learn.”

Fines for that Brazilian man will range from $50 for his first offense up to $700 for his third.

Grumpy locals were not asked to paddle around lineups cursing VALs and chasing their instructors around issuing non-actionable but still serious threats, though it should be taken into consideration.

Or maybe we should gather a grumpy local version of The Untouchables, that Eliot Ness led band of misfits and outcasts that brought Al Capone and his bootlegging to heel in the 1930s.

We could call it “Da Hui.”

Very cool.

Midtown, beloved. Real nice paint.

Beloved Santa Cruz surf shop gutted by fire; blame falls on towns’s flourishing population of drug enthusiasts, “You got 5,000 feral human beings throwing needles everywhere, stealing garden shoes, rakes, anything they can.”

"It sucks to see stuff catching fire everywhere…"

Midtown says they’re all about “warm smiles, rad surfboards, good vibes, and cool apparel” or “rad smiles, good surfboards, and cool vibes” or some combination of.

Either way, it’s a happy place save for the structure fire. 

The shop, known for hosting locals and the well-heeled alike, was left smoldering.

Fire authorities labeled the blaze as “suspicious” (which sounds suspicious). 

Here are the details from the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

The Santa Cruz Fire Department was able to control the two-alarm blaze within 20 minutes after responding to reports of a fire at 11:19 p.m. at the back of the Midtown Surfshop at 1126 Soquel Ave., according to a release from fire Battalion Chief Josh Coleman.

The fire and heavy smoke apparently extended into the single-story surf shop’s back storage area from the outside. Fire damage was limited to the rear of the building, with most inventory saved and protected from fire contaminates, according to Coleman.

There were no reported injuries in the fire, which authorities estimate did about $40,000 worth of damage to the business.”

Fortunately, fire fighters were able to save upwards of two-million bucks worth of inventory. 

Midtown wasn’t up for a chat (There’s an investigation going on, after all). But we did get some insight from local brass Danny Keith, owner of Santa Cruz Surf Shop.  

“Suspicious? Hell, yeah. But it’s not other shops trying to put them out of business. Midtown’s a good shop. It sucks to see stuff catching fire everywhere,” he says in reference to the frequent blazes set by drug addicts “tweaking out of their minds” behind stores and dumpsters across town. 

Danny loves Santa Cruz but is frustrated by the increasing drug problem, whose effects include the damage done to Midtown.  

“You got 5,000 feral human beings throwing needles everywhere, stealing garden shoes, rakes, anything they can.”  

“I want to help; I wish I could. It’s a horrible circle of life here in Santa Cruz for those people. It affects everybody.”

Just take a look at the back of Midtown for proof.

Opinion: World Surf League hits Banksy-levels of social commentary performance art on April Fool’s Day Newcastle contest!

Bravo, bravo, bravo.

But did you watch yesterday’s Australian quad kick-off under the sun on a sun dappled shore? The World Surf League back. Professional surfing finally back. And of course a day of professional surfing is not over until Longtom sings. Sing he has, beautifully per the norm.

Hitting all the right notes at all the right times.

There’s nothing I can add except my experience, across the Pacific, was slightly different than his.

I was in awe.

Absolute awe.

As social commentary performance art, day 1 of the Newcastle Cup presented by Rip Curl rivals anything Ana Mendieta ever attempted.

Beats Banksy cold.

I don’t know, exactly, what the social comment was but assume it was a reflection on the absurd.

Absolutely smashing Camus.

I don’t write that lightly as Camus is in my pantheon but truth is truth and he would certainly agree.

From Surfline’s patently ridiculous 8 ft call, to the grunting, grimacing faces of the professional surfers grinding turns to that sun dappled shore to a Wall of Positive Noise that had been spit-polished to perfection since Pipeline.

All on April 1st.


Joe Turpel used the phrase “big hand jam.”

Awe and I am very nervous for today because, as social commentary performance art, day 1 of the Newcastle Cup presented by Rip Curl belongs in its own wing of the Louvre. Separate ticket like the Mona Lisa.

Bravo, bravo, bravo.

A rose thrown on the stage, hucked from Cardiff-by-the-Sea, landing in that merry weather.