Baby Cliff, just twenty-two, ASP world champ. | Photo: ASP

Revealed: World title trophy sold for $25,000 by US surf star to fund documentary spotted by fan in Huntington Beach! “I like that it’s floating in the free market!” says Champ

“Fernando Aguerre bought it. I went to  Fed Ex and shipped it to his address in Cali. Haven’t seen it since.” Until now.

The 2001 world surfing champion Clifton James Hobgood, who claimed his title after the tour was abbreviated to five events following the coordinated suicide attacks by Wahabi Islamist terror group Al-Qaeda on the Pentagon in Virginia, the Capital building in Washington DC, and the World Trade Center complex in Manhattan, has revealed the location of his long-lost world title trophy. 

Hobgood, who is forty-one, sold the precious cup for $US25,000, out of a goal of raising eighty k, to help fund the documentary And Two If By Sea, which tells the story of he and twin brother Damien’s ascent to sporting greatness. 

“This journey into character and emotional transparency does mark a shift in surf film-making,” wrote Longtom in a review of the film, here, adding, “I like this new wave of revealing, authentic type of film, much, much more.”

Of the “accidental world title” at just twenty-two, writes Longtom, “His humility in struggling to accept the legitimacy of the Title is refreshing. The regret overlaid onto the achievement by Damo makes it more poignant. Damo was surfing Pipe when the Title was awarded at Sunset.”

“One of the perks you could get when we were crowdfunding the movie was the world title trophy for 25k,” Cliff told BeachGrit. “(ISA chief) Fernando Aguerre bought it. I went to  Fed Ex and shipped it to his address in Cali. Haven’t seen it since.”

(Cliff elaborated a little more on Surfline a while back, “I told Dam, ‘Let’s sell my trophy! Let’s give away everything we have!’ Because [Indiegogo] is perk-based; that’s the way those things work. The idea is to give something away to let the people know that you’re invested on every level, like, ‘this is our baby and if you wanna help out and join our story, we will give you anything from our world.'”)

That was, until yesterday, when a sharp-eyed fan photographed the bauble in a repair shop and tagged Cliff. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CP5sop5HUyJ/

“People kept commenting, ‘You gotta get it back’,” says Cliff, “But honestly I like that it’s floating in the free market!” 


QLD!
QLD!

Just in: Brisbane, Australia set to be announced as host of 2032 Olympics all but guaranteeing surfing’s inclusion for the next decade!

Australian tax payers rejoice!

Surfing, you are certainly aware, is set to make its grand Olympic debut in just weeks. Tokyo’s Chiba will see Jeremy Flores, Kolohe Andino, Sally Fitzgibbons, Italo Ferreira, maybe Kelly Slater battling it out for gold it what should be “small and funky” waves.

Extremely fun with the world’s eyes on us etc.

After Tokyo, the Games moves to Paris for 2024 and the host nation has already declared surfing will be included, taking place in “France across the Water” i.e. Teahupoo, Tahiti.

Incredible potential.

In 2028, the 5-ring circus travels to Los Angeles and it is impossible to think that surfing will not also be on the menu there too. Malibu? World Surf League CEO’s own Manhattan Beach? Lower Trestles?

Somewhere certainly.

And now, just moments ago, Brisbane, Australia was announced as a shoo-in for the 2032 Olympiad.

Per ESPN, “IOC president Thomas Bach said after an executive board meeting Thursday that Australia’s third-biggest city can be awarded hosting rights as the only candidate proposed at a July 21 meeting in Tokyo.
Bach praised Australia as a sport-loving country with strong support from layers of government in the city of Brisbane, the state of Queensland and federal level.’All this together, I think, made it somehow irresistible,’ the IOC leader said.”

Beautiful Brisbane in the shadow of Surfers Paradise, a stone’s throw from Coolie Kid, and of course we’ll be there, each and every one of us, cheering Joel Parkinson’s children to gold.

Does schoolies happen in July?

A decade-plus of Olympic surfing with no end in sight.

I really hope schoolies and the Olympics collide.


E-bike-to-Trestles pilot and surf star Olympian Kolohe Andino.

US Olympic Star Public Enemy #1 as furious San Clemente residents rally against “unsafe” e-bikes “impacting the serenity” of Trestles and San Onofre!

Ban the bike!

A petition, already signed by two furious residents, is circulating with the aim of convincing California State Parks to shut down electric bicycles being used to ferry surfers to and from Lowers and San Onofre. 

E-bikes have become de rigueur for surfers in San Clemente, including but not limited to US Olympic hero Kolohe Andino, eliminating the need to pilot trucks short distances around the pretty little neighbourhood, as well as providing a sweat-free way to negotiate the trail to Lowers. 

A few pedestrians have been hit by ‘em, and there’s been a collision here and there between bikes, but a small price to pay, I think, like the people dying of catastrophic blood clots ‘cause they gobbled up the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette, as they say.

As per Kyle Stevens’ petition. 

E-bikes have negatively impacted the serenity of the Trestles and San Onofre area by creating an unsafe environment for park users on trails, beaches, and paved pathways. The walkway off Cristianitos Road next to San Mateo Point leading south into the park has become heavily used by e-bikes often traveling at a high rate of speed while mixing with pedestrian foot traffic. Often the e-bikes are being driven by children too small for the bikes who have little ability or knowledge of how to safely navigate this area without putting others at risk. Dirt and sand trails in the area have the same situation occurring as well. Many of these e-bikes are traveling at 30 mph and some are modified to go up to 40 mph. These are speeds equivalent to gas powered scooters, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles which are already prohibited in the aforementioned areas. California Parks regulates and often prohibits e-bike usage in state parks in other areas. The same should be done at San Onofre and Trestles before another serious collision takes place.

Do you sign or do you abstain?


Breaking: World Surf League cancels upcoming Rio Pro citing the dreaded “abundance of caution!”

"Disorder and lack of progress."

Oh but the World Surf League has just released a scintillating press release detailing how the rest of the 2020/21 World Championship Tour will look/feel.

Exciting?

Obviously.

Highlights included Mexico being pushed back by a month to accommodate International Surfing Association chief Fernando Aguerre’s coup, the Outerknown Tahiti Pro being pushed back two days for outerunknown reasons, Surf Ranch unfortunately still coming up next and the Rio Pro canceled.

Why?

The Oi Rio Pro had originally been pushed back from June to August in hopes of safely running the event. The WSL has continued to monitor the situation and made the decision to cancel the event for 2021 out of an abundance of caution for the safety of athletes, staff and the local community. The WSL looks forward to returning to Saquarema with the world’s best surfers in 2022.

Those dreaded abundances of caution.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, “We’re really proud that we’ve been able to schedule a truly global tour for 2021.”

Brazil, apparently, no longer “truly global.”

Disorder and lack of progress in Santa Monica, if you ask me.

On the plus side, Kelly Slater now has one less foot injury to fake.

A relief.


Cinema: Critics swoon as U.S. Olympic alternate Kelly Slater dusts off acting career and brings winning performance to Hawaiian beer commercial!

"If a commercial like this is going to work, it has to work moment by moment and scene by scene -- and 'Kona Brewing Co. Surf Lesson 30' does."

Constantin Stanislavski, a notable Russian theater actor, is famous for saying, “Remember: there are no small parts, only small actors.” A very true and honest line that has proved true time and time again including days ago when former actor and U.S. Olympic alternate Kelly Slater dusted off his laurels and re-took the stage in a masterful turn.

Slater, standing on a beach to the left of two “braddahs” made famous advertising Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company, looks both wry and relaxed as the camera focuses on him.

He is wearing a khaki Outerknown hat, khaki pocket t-shirt, teal and grey Outerknown trunks.

The “braddahs” throw him a beer, he catches it while looking straight at the camera and says, “Pretty simple. You gotta catch them before they break.”

Can a slight island inflection be heard in his voice?

Maybe.

Critics are calling Slater’s performance “inspired” and “welcome” with the late Roger Ebert writing, “I’m not a purist when it comes to beer commercials, and with ‘Kona Brewing Co. Surf Lesson 30,’ that’s just as well. If a commercial like this is going to work, it has to work moment by moment and scene by scene — and ‘Kona Brewing Co. Surf Lesson 30’ does. There are all sorts of unanswered questions when the commercial is over, but I’m not inclined to hold that against it. I enjoy beer commercials for the people and predicaments in them, not for their clockwork plots.”

Very true.