"If they can't control it they're going to be cut off."
Covid-19 restrictions are, officially, back in vogue with whole countries going back under lock and key in order to stop the spread of the virus birthed in China. The Ok Pro, Teahupoo, cancelled, leaving Charles de Gaulle without a PCR test, not allowed, being maskless in Los Angeles, uncool.
Controls and constraints here and there and everywhere being obeyed to the letter… except for Australia’s New South Wales, which has infuriated its neighboring states, becoming a “pariah” even, with its “arrogance.”
As cases rise in NSW, health minister Brad Hazard is lashing out at men and women outside playing, saying, “What worries me is no matter what legal orders or requirements are in place, you can’t legislate against stupidity, arrogance and entitlement. Clearly, the rule is now that you shouldn’t just travel from house to another for the sake of moving to the other house. Choose the property you are living in and stay there.”
One image, in particular, is roiling Victoria, Queensland, South Australia etc. A fit, clearly handsome man wearing full, black neoprene and holding a progressive pink and blue surfboard is leaning in, hugging another man whose face reflects not a care in the world.
Proximity, as you certainly know, is extremely forbidden.
The most verboten, in fact.
The Daily Telegraph splashed the photo on its pages, full color, under the headline ‘Arrogant’ NSW becomes Australia’s pariah state.
Upon closer inspection, the “arrogant pariah” surfer is none other than BeachGrit principal Derek Rielly.
Former top Hawaiian pro surfer and co-founder of RVCA Conan Hayes revealed as a “minor celebrity” in election fraud conspiracy circles under anonymous Twitter handle “We Have Risen”; named in election data leak!
From pro surfer to toy merchant to self-appointed detective uncovering electoral frauds!
One of the more interesting post-pro surfing careers belongs to the Hawaiian Conan Hayes, a pivotal member of the Momentum Generation who would split the sport at the turn of the century to co-found a label that would eventually be worth thirty-ish mill.
In 2015, Hayes was hit with grand theft charges by the Orange County DA, who alleged Hayes had committed short sale fraud against the Bank of America “by providing Bank of America with false information concerning his financial net worth, which was in the millions of dollars, in order to qualify for short sale relief.”
In recent years (Hayes) has become somewhat of a minor celebrity in election fraud conspiracy theory circles, under his anonymous Twitter handle We Have Risen. He has worked on an election audit in Antrim County and has suggested on social media he was in Phoenix where the Arizona audit is currently taking place. He also has links to Doug Logan, the Cyber Ninja CEO who is currently running the sham audit in Maricopa County.
Now that the Antrim case is over-ish, I'd like to share some info I came across while researching the auditors involved: @we_have_risen, who was tweeting pictures from the audit before it was widely known, is former pro-surfer and co-founder of clothing brand RVCA Conan Hayes. https://t.co/moW46E3BgPpic.twitter.com/OYoOqcGALB
Further evidence that Hayes was the person who captured the images was provided by cyber security experts tracking this situation, who found Hayes’ initials in the downloaded files:
Clevenger confirmed to VICE News on Thursday that it was in fact Hayes who had provided the data from Mesa County to Watkins. What Clevenger, who represented the Seth-Rich conspiracy theorist Ed Buttosky, was not able to say for certain was if it was Hayes who also provided the video clip to Watkins, who Gerard Wood was, or if, as some open sources investigators tracking this situation believe, that Hayes and Wood are in fact the same person.
More to come, got our investigative boy Hobbsy onto it.
It seems deeply ironic to me that in this desperate state of Australian pro surfing where money is being pumped in via Surfing Australia and the HPC, our sole winner has rejected that system and chosen to run with Coach Leandro Dora. A vindication likewise for Jack's old man Trev who kept his boy away from the middle men.
Corona Open Mexico, finals day analysis, “Deeply ironic winner Jack Robinson rejected Surfing Australia system; vindication for daddy Trevor who kept his boy away from the middle men!”
Bureaucracy does not produce champions. Money does not fix the problem. Money is the problem.
Two thousand and six seems a long time ago now, Kelly Slater being the only “surviving” link to that bygone era, but I remember it like yesterday.
Somewhere in Mexico, the first time I really connected with a pro surfing webcast. Maybe there were bits and pieces before that but Mexico was when I really tuned in.
Full-rez webcasts couldn’t have been going for much longer than that could they? Maybe three years tops, apart from Pipe.
The overwhelming impression after digesting pro surfing already “pre-chewed” by surf journalists, whatever tidbits were served up by mainstream media was “Wow, this is so different when you see it with your own eyes”.
I wonder how much of the history of this sport would have to be rewritten if the eyes of the world were on it, instead of handful of vested interests with the good of their clients the primary objective?
Imagine the paucity of your understanding of pro surfing if all you had was Turpel’s take on it. I don’t mean to be cruel, but as Chris Cote so eloquently explained, they are working for a client, and their interests are prime.
A subject for another day.
To Finals Day.
To be honest, I’ve never been less interested in the results of a Finals Day. Better surf was ahead in the waiting period, so that carrot was gone. There was zero consequence left in the outcomes. Top five decided. Jack already requalified, as had Silva. Leo was a solid mid-ranger, a genuine CT surfer with a win or two ahead of him, but no Title run. And Herdy had shown his credentials: easily a CT standard surfer, next cab off the rank from Brazil.
Why are we still here? Had no obvious answer.
The biggest takeaway is Jack Robbo prevented a clean sweep of this year’s tour by Brazil*. In lully dreamboat point surf he sat behind the rock in both semi and final, threading tubes and launching airs on the opening section.
Herdy had the nicest moment in their semi. An air reverse and with the front foot still locked forwards a neat and nifty tube-ride. It was as if the nineties and the seventies had been thrown into a blender. Jack’s much loftier alley oop was the determining factor in that heat.
The final could have gone either way. Silva rode three almost identical waves for a brace of high sixes and mid sevens Either of the sevens could have been juiced by a half point. Perhaps judges, like me, found Silva’s slightly wooden-legged stance a little unappetising served up three times in a row.
Or maybe they didn’t get the memo that Slater had identified Silva’s backhand as the best on tour. It did suit the tight transitions on the outside and shorebreak.
The crucial wave in the final was ridden with nine minutes to go. Silva ahead by a clear two-point spread. Jack speared a frothy, raggedy outside section and launched an equally scrappy air reverse. The ride lacked the power and flow of Silva but judges paid the repertoire, which had the full diversity quotient.
Lesson to upcoming Aussie pros: bring a full skillset or GTFO.
It seems deeply ironic to me that in this desperate state of Australian pro surfing where money is being pumped in via Surfing Australia and the HPC, our sole winner has rejected that system and chosen to run with Coach Leandro Dora.
A vindication likewise for Jack’s old man Trev who kept his boy away from the middle men.
Bureaucracy does not produce champions.
Money does not fix the problem. Money is the problem.
An Australian example.
Remember when Bondi was Scum Valley and had a huge pool of what my old boss Lester Brien, banged up in a Royal Commission into drugs for refusing to grass up clients, used to call “surf peasants”. Bondi produced an insane number of champion surfers out of that pool.
Could you imagine a pro surfer coming out of Bondi, now?
Not everyone shares this view but gentrification destroyed Sydney as a producer of surfing talent and it’s now working it’s way across the rest of the country. The single greatest factor in previous Aussie pro surfing dominance was what Camus termed a “sumptuous poverty”. Working class kids near the beach with fuck-all to do except surf and all the time in the world to do it.
That’s all gone.
As quaint as the Monterey Bay described by Steinbeck in Cannery Row. Which means Australia is now like California. A handful of pros will come via a dynastic process. Surf parents carefully grooming kids from a young age, or even in the womb, as in the case of Kanoa Igarashi. Spontaneous surf talent that can germinate out of nowhere like mushrooms in a cow paddock is over.
Breaking that line, the greatest advantage of Teahupoo’s cancellation accrues to women’s winner Stephanie Gilmore. The Queen of Australian Surfing is not of a temperament or skill set to huck South Pacific ledges at this stage of her career.
Head-high Mexico to Trestles is the perfect runway for her to stop a rampaging Carissa Moore, who suddenly and amazingly, looks beatable. Pro surfing is a very peculiar game and the League may rue the day they put the integrity of the World Champ in jeopardy by increasing the luck factor in a quixotic attempt to harvest American attention.
*Yeah I know JJF won Pipe. Last year.
Breaking: Australia’s Jack Robinson, Stephanie Gilmore, win the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver at Barra de la Cruz!
And it is now official. The Ok Pro in beautiful Teahupo’o is cancelled due Covid and the 2020-21 World Championship Tour season is at its merciful end. Oh the year was fun, or fun enough, starting at Pipeline before moving to Australia for four events then heading to Lebore then Barra and now all that is left is the final five of the year, men and women, headed to Trestles to duke it out for the second-ever “CJ Hobgood Professional Surfer of Distinction and Grace” award.
The first, if you recall, was gifted to CJ Hobgood himself after the 9/11 shortened 2001 year.
Pipeline, Australia, Kelly Slater’s tank, Mexico, Trestles. A fine smattering of waves, a perfect amount for the Hobgood (minus the tank) which brings up an important question. Would you rather win the Hobgood or the regular old Championship Tour cup?
After much consideration, I would go for the Hobgood. As the name suggests, it takes both distinction and grace, an ability to not only compete, but live, with gorgeous flexibility.
Any Kelly Slater, with a competitive drive like a steel trap, can win the Championship Tour. Artists win the Hobgood.
David Lee Scales and I discussed the 2020-21 year on the program today, in any case, and how next year might look. The Delta variant is, of course, thriving and do you think it would be wise for the World Surf League to set up plan A and plan B when it comes to the schedule? Do you think Santa Monica would be remiss in not so doing?