Taj Burrow in 1999, shot for Transworld by the great Steve Sherman aka @tsherms.

Forty-two-year-old retired pro surfer Taj Burrow to compete at Rottnest Island WCT event! “How do you press eject from the ride? It’s a thrilling way to live!”

"(He) still displays skills neither withered by age nor retirement…"

Taj Burrow, who’ll turn forty-three in June but who still displays skills neither withered by age nor retirement, will return to Championship Tour competition on May 16 when he competes in the Rip Curl Rottnest Search. 

Burrow, who amassed a fortune as a pro surfer, twenty-five years with Billabong, nearly as long with Globe, and who wisely built a vast property portfolio to see him through his sunset years, ain’t doing it for the cash, clearly, but as an opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd.

His career was stellar, refused a seat on the  WCT tour when he was seventeen, won rookie of the year when he did turn up, was runner-up twice to the world title, won twelve events, is a Pipeline Master, and he amassed ten million dollars in prizemoney, as well as a reputation for being “aggressively virile”.

“How do you press eject from this ride?” Taj told me a few years aback, “It’s a thrilling way to live…

The Rottnest event, which is gonna be a closed-shop to spectators, lights up at Strickland Bay, a B-plus sorta wave on the west side of the island, from Many 16 to 26.

Pip Toledo, dominates final at Margaret River.

Breaking: Filipe Toledo, Tatiana Weston-Webb win Margaret River Pro, “It’s the stuff God hits your ass with when he doesn’t want to kill ya – just slow ya down!”

Brazil's clean sweep at Margaret River… 

In good enough four-to-six-foot waves at Main Break, although paltry in comparison to the epic barrels across the channel at The Box, Brazil took both gender divisions at the Margaret River Pro, Filipe, men, Tats, gals. 

Filipe, who’s just turned twenty-six, won his ninth event in nine finals, beating the South African surfer, Jordy Smith, thirty-three. A little irony is the last time he won an event, Rio in 2019, he also beat Jordy.

Tatiana, who holds duel citizenships, USA and Brazil, easily beat the seven-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore, whose slinky Gold Coast style and boards felt like an ill-fitting suit in the raw, ie imperfect, Indian Ocean waves.

Filipe made use of the poignancy that marks all great performances, his vulnerability in waves over three feet, not apparent today, although Margaret River is very different to Teahupoo, Pipe.

It was a wild day, although not always for good reason. 

First, the decision to ignore stand-up barrels at the Box, thereby denying female surfers the chance to unite opinion toward the equal work equal pay ethos. 

Second, the broadcast missed significant moments throughout the day as it cut to a static, wide-angle shot of the lineup, ostensibly a placement shot for advertising in various markets although Australia, the Americans, saw nothing. 

The men’s final was well underway before viewers got to peek behind the curtain. 

Finals day analysis, by Steve “Longtom” Shearer, to follow.

Jack Robinson hijacks WSL feed at Margaret River; transmits via Instagram Live from the Box after controversial decision to keep contest at Main Break!

Meanwhile at The Box… 

In a move unpopular with fans, the WSL made the decision this morn to finish the Margaret River Pro at Main Break and not at The Box, one of the world’s most spectacular righthand tubes.

Saving the day, and featuring bullish commentary from the channel, is Jack Robinson, who famously schooled Filipe Toledo at the Box two years ago.

Let’s recall Longtom’s report from 2019,

Local wildcard Jack Robinson who made the rest of the field look like kooks, in the same way he did at North Point last year.

“Just another day for me,” he said. “I do what I do”.

While WSL cams are peeled on Main Break, Jackie’s telephone is, or at least was, filming from the Box.

Waves, not as inconsistent as y’think, and some biggish holes.

Better, I think, than Main Break and, perhaps, unwise not to complete event there.

Very good chance for girls to prove to world etc.

Comment live, Margaret River Pro, Finals Day! “Eight-to-ten-foot, twelve-foot faces!” says Surfline

Real talk.

Ain’t no Facebook or YouTube broadcast.

Watch finals day here. 

(Griff gets walk-through to semi’s ’cause of John John’s tweaked knee.)

And comment in the pane below.

Sea turtle (pictured) mating.
Sea turtle (pictured) mating.

Florida identifies new environmental threat, the evil volunteer sea turtle nest protector, vows to destroy: “These so-called do-gooders have no place on our beaches or in our lives!”

The gall of some people.

The proud state of Florida, home to many fine professional surfers including, but not limited to, Kelly Slater, CJ Hobgood, Damien Hobgood, Jimmicane Wilson, Caroline Marks and Austin Clouse (who appears on this summer’s much-anticipated The Ultimate Surfer though does not win because Zeke Lau does) has long been an environmental pioneer.

Many wins and near wins as it relates to the protection of our earth and its sacred marine space.

Most recently, it has won by identifying a heretofore unforeseen threat and wasting no time in rooting out and violently destroying.

The evil volunteer sea turtle nest protector.

According to a disturbing just-released story in the Sun Sentinel, volunteer sea turtle nest protectors take to Florida’s beaches during nesting season to ensure that hatchlings, fresh from cozy shells, don’t get disoriented by city lights, accidentally turning west toward many parties feat. Pitbull, and instead do the right thing and head out to sea.

Ron Mezich, section leader of the the state’s wildlife commission’s Imperiled Species Management Section Division wrote, “We originally authorized hatchling recovery and release programs as a temporary measure on Broward County beaches where local governments had recently adopted ordinances to reduce lights visible from the marine turtle nesting beaches. Now that all local governments have a mechanism to address beachfront lighting, we have determined there is no longer a need for these programs to continue.”

Permits to voluntarily protect sea turtle nests at night will be halved in the coming years then cut altogether.

Good riddance so-called “do-gooders.”

Like most malicious, arrogant, altogether rotten blights, though, the volunteer sea turtle nest protector is not going quietly.

Richard WhiteCloud, founder and director of Sea Turtle Oversight Protection, said, “They’re saying they would rather have dead sea turtle hatchlings in storm drains, parking lots and in the roadways, and dehydrated on the beaches, versus having our rescue staff, our volunteers on the beach. People who are out there doing the right thing are being punished.”

Dr. Holly Wilson, a physician who has been malingering around sea turtle nests for years added, “I am absolutely going to go out and rescue these animals, whether it’s legal or not. We’re not getting a salary. We just want the turtles in the water. If this goes through, turtles are going to die.”

According to research, Florida is the most important region in the United States for sea turtle nests. In South Florida 27% of little baby sea turtles become disoriented and wander west, having to witness the breakup of J.Lo and Alex Rodriguez live whilst serenaded by Gloria Estefan.

Fucking volunteer sea turtle nest protectors.

To hell with you all.