Blood, tears. A victor?
And it is all, apparently, officially over. The war between the International Surfing Association and the World Surf League for the hearts and minds of professional surfers everywhere has ended with ISA chief Fernando Aguerre, allegedly, finally laying down his sword, blinking painfully in the blinding white of WSL CEO Erik Logan’s front teeth.
The fight, which had captivated the globe, began when surfing was officially introduced as an Olympic sport some too-many-years-to-remember ago. Aguerre’s organization, the ISA, would be the governing body, the top two WSL surfers, per country, on the Championship Tour would represent their United Stateses, Brazils, Australias, Frances, etc. and things were all fine and good until Covid-19 wrecked everything.
The WSL’s season destroyed. The WSL, itself, on the brink of destruction.
Aguerre with an advantage which he pressed, forced anyone who wanted to participate in Tokyo down to El Salvador for his World Surfing Games and not just a cursory appearance but opening ceremonies, heats, closing ceremonies.
Even those who had already qualified via the WSL.
Surfers were, allegedly, furious as was Logan but Aguerre was unbent and nothing could move him.
The World Surfing Games were his showcase and he would prove to one, to all, that it was the best show around. Could he take over professional surfing entirely?
Repechage to the moon!
Except, once again, Covid-19 wrecked everything.
Outbreaks in the El Salvador bubble caused even more furor and a highly placed source has just revealed, “Fernando blinked. After word got back of the positive tests and, allegedly, less-than-secure protocols, Logan, lawyers, agents, representatives continued to hammer Aguerre until he agreed that surfers only had to surf one heat then leave. A full concession. There is even talk of having him removed as nobody wants to go through him again. Lots of bad blood and grumbling.”
Oh, I can only hope that Aguerre is unbent, not broken. His pluck, his zeal, during these dark days is exactly what professional surfing needed.
Repechage to the moon?
This story will most certainly develop and as a former war reporter, I will be there.