The World Surfing Games in stunning El Salvador has developed into a white-knuckle narrative not seen in our favorite sport since… since… well maybe since ever.
There is, of course, the stress of surfers competing for the few remaining Olympic spots. There is International Surfing Association chief Fernando Aguerre staring down the World Surf League in a bold power grab. There are already-Olympic-qualified surfers fleeing the event without completing it.
There is Owen Wright.
Already on Australia’s team, the lanky blonde from Cuburra has had a rough few events and opened the World Surfing Games losing his Round 2 heat to Spain, Argentina and Brazil with a very poor score of 3.67.
Thankfully there is repechage.
Unlike his fellow Irukandjis, whose motto remains “Deadly in the Water,” Wright decided to stay and fight and fight he did regaining smashing form and mashing Argentina, Morocco and Sweden with a series of devastating slashes in chocolate surf.
Could it be that Wright is finding his form, his momentum, at exactly the right time headed in to Tokyo?
Tell me this is not inspired surfing.
The only worry, I suppose, is the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro presented by Barefoot Wine.
Kelly Slater’s tub has undone the hopes, dreams, inspiration of countless lanky blondes.
White knuckle, I tell you.
The greatest time ever to be a professional surf fan.