The new-look COVID variant, Delta, has hit our brothers and sisters in French Polynesia real hard, hospitals "saturated" etc.
Straight from the desk of the WSL is news that the hotly anticipated Outerknown Tahiti Pro, an event sponsored by and tailored to its master Kelly Slater, will likely be cancelled as French Polynesia prepares to close its borders from this Sunday.
The new-look COVID variant, Delta, has hit our brothers and sisters in French Polynesia real hard, hospitals “saturated” etc.
Authorities have announced a nine pm curfew but in classic island form, the territory’s president Édouard Fritch was seen playing guitar at a wedding party with hundreds of unmasked guests, Papeete’s mayor Michel Buillard providing the vocals.
In a message to competitors from the WSL’s Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer,
“Wanted to make you aware of the latest information out of Tahiti. There is currently a press conference happening in real time or about to happen, saying they are closing the border on Sunday.
“It’s unclear what this means for us at the moment but the team is going to work on getting clarity tonight. We are just getting the information now.
Please give us the night to gather what’s happening. We will hopefully have an update for you tomorrow evening.”
Don’t look real good for the Ok Pro, and bad news for any vaccine sceptics who might’ve bitten the bullet and taken the hit just to get through the gate and into Tahiti.
Update: contest cancelled, obvs, although Tahiti tourism wanted us to clarify, no events, but borders open.
From Tahiti Tourisme’s Melissa Wisenbaker,
“I help manage PR for Tahiti Toursime and am reaching out requesting an edit for your latest article covering the Tahiti Pro. In the article you mention the event will likely be cancelled as “French Polynesia prepares to close its borders this Sunday”— they are not closing their borders. The event was cancelled due to concerns with COVID. Can you please remove that statement out of the article as we do not want people to think that the borders are closing?”
"I don't think I could explain unless we sat for a long time and you kinda understood what it is." Rhythmia resort
Did a psychedelic drug trip four years ago open a portal for Kelly Slater to launch a world title challenge, unprecedented in all sports, in his fiftieth year? “I got a miracle of information. It opened up some sort of doorway in my future”
“I just had the most profound experience of my life."
For the past two days, pro surfing fans have thrilled to an invigorated Kelly Slater performing better, according to our august corespondent, than fifteen years ago.
The source of Slater’s zeal?
In today’s contest analysis, Longtom points to the ability of psychedelics to open a gateway to perceiving the Universe.
“It flat out works. We simply have to accept this separate reality when it comes to the WSL and the Goat. How else to explain a fifty-year-old man doing the best turns of the day (opening turns on wave one and three) in head-high point surf?”
Four years ago, y’see, Slater, was a guest of theRythmia resort, “the ultimate spiritual vacation located in Costa Rica, in an all-inclusive luxury resort” where “93.26% of our guests report a life-changing miracle during their stay.”
In a testimonial posted to Facebook and presumably related to the Ayahuasca ceremonies held at the resort, he said, “I got a miracle of information. It opened up some sort of doorway in my future. It was otherworldly.”
Kelly appeared in the to-camera testimonial looking beatific and dressed in guru-chic beige.
In an almost whisper he says,
“I just had the most profound experience of my life. I literally decided to come here twelve hours before I came. It was something that was nagging at me for a few weeks beforehand, that this was something that could potentially change my life. I’ve had a lot of experience in my life. I’ve been all around the world… I’ve lived all around the world…and I’ve got to experience most worldly things. But…”
What miracle did occur?
“I don’t think I could explain unless we sat for a long time and you kinda understood what it is. It’s really bizarre. I would say I got a miracle of information and what you do with that is your own thing. So that’s the challenge and the goal now is to refresh to that knowledge and to use the what I experienced and got to understand from it to change my life and my world. I think it opened up some sort of doorway in my future.”
Day two analysis, Corona Open Mexico: Kelly Slater says “world is still beautiful”; announces world title run in fiftieth year!
One of my favourite things, if not the favourite thing, about pro surfing is how it can create its own reality.
It’s very post-modern, very “now”. In this reality retirement does not exist. It’s like dark matter. Very post-physics. We are not allowed to call a pro leaving the sport, “retired” they are merely starting a new chapter.
In this reality, Kelly Slater, beaming down on the big five-o after a Round of 32 win over Miggy Pupo, more on this in a minute, can use the post-heat presser to announce a Title run. The reasoning, according to Slater: If I win this comp and then win Tahiti, I’m mathematically a chance to make the five…..I paraphrase, but words to that effect.
But, beautiful! Brilliant. Why not?
And with Gabe and JJF out of Tahiti, along with who knows how many other pros choosing a “new chapter”, he might be right.
This crazy old man, just might be right.
Have you read the Carlos Castenada classic on Mexican shamanry “A Separate Reality”? Carlos gets all whacked on mushrooms, jimson weed and peyote with Don Juan and describes a whole new way of perceiving the Universe.
Look, it turned out to be a hoax but no matter, the concept of considering psychedelics as “allies” as we know Slater did with Ayahuasca, works.
It flat out works.
We simply have to accept this separate reality when it comes to the WSL and the Goat. How else to explain a fifty-year-old man doing the best turns of the day (opening turns on wave one and three) in head-high point surf?
OK, retirement doesn’t exist in pro surfing, Slater proves it. Julian Wilson has time to study for a Ph.D in pharmacology, epidemiology, become a real estate baron and still come back in a decade and challenge for a Title.
Anyone who has been there will testify. It made Filipe Toledo surf one of the most confoundingly inept heats in pro surfing history. He sat for forty minutes with a million runners available and a repertoire that could turn any single one of them into a seven at least with a two-point heat total.
Then shredded an eight, left wildcard Rio Waida with priority, who duly safety surfed a midsized set for the mid-four required.
Did his brain melt in the heat?
Magic mushroom omelette for breakfast?
What explanation can be offered?
Would be sufficient?
All the Mexican wildcards got knocked, which left Rio Waida, riding the Olympic high as a potential spearhead for a new surge from Indonesia and the sole remaining wildcard. Is this slim cat a CT surfer? Only question on my mind watching him surf against Toledo.
Heavily qualified, yes.
Agile, lightfooted surfers need to improve rail game to make impact at Bells Beach, Margarets, J-Bay etc etc. But Toledo did it with a similar physique and approach so no reason Waida can’t follow suit. If he gets through against Jack Robbo in the next heat the momentum surge will be huge.
Could our Aussie lambs turn into lions we asked yesterday?
Jack Robbo and Ethan Ewing principally, our non-retiring pros or whatever the correct term is for those not choosing a new chapter. You’d have to say, yes.
Ewing’s people wonder why I am so anti their man. “What did he ever do to you?” they ask me.
Not a damn thing, and that’s the problem.
My problem is people getting paid big bucks to do the business, not doing the business. People getting relentlessly hyped as top three surfers, as Andy Irons clones, who haven’t got a functioning above-the-lip game.
There ain’t a snowballs chance of surviving a day under even the shadiest Cabana in Barra de Cruz of a surfer making the Top 3/5 without a functioning air game in 2021. And so far, to my knowledge, despite an Aussie leg with two beachbreak venues, Ethan Ewing has completed zero aerials. I might not even like an aerial attack, you either, but that’s the way it is.
Ewing got the highest heat score of the day against Matt McGillvray. I thought the 9.2 very generously scored, considering the last third of the ride was essentially safety surfed. It did, however, lift the scale for Kelly’s turns.
It put judges in a quandary.
They paid Gabe’s last-minute low altitude rodeo flip on a nothing wave, fair enough. They also paid Italo’s very weird last ride against Wade Carmichael. A whipped reverse out of the lip, a whole lot of nothing and a closing turn. That score could have gone anywhere. I thought, low six and not enough. Judges went 7.33, which kept Italo in the comp and probably pushed Wade’s career into a new chapter.
Gabe vs Ewing first heat of the round of sixteen. A very intriguing match up. A solid Gabe performance steadies the ship, gives him some mental breathing space for a month. Puts Ewing in his place as a non-top three surfer. A fired-up Ewing who blows away Medina shuts up the critics (me) moves into 2022 with a first half of the tour suiting him to a tee.
Conditions will suit Ewing. Not many waves, judges in favour of his surfing.
Kanoa out, Griffin out. Ciblic in.
The strangest outcome this year is a Kelly Slater World Title. Second place, a Morgan Ciblic Title. Nothing that has gone before now is relevant. Which is lending a very weird vibe to a comp that barely matters, despite being the penultimate comp before the Finals.
Shizer, Waida and Mateus Herdy, last remaining wildcards.
In horrifically incomprehensible turn, popular Santa Barbara surf school owner arrested in Mexico after his two toddlers found stabbed to death with wooden stake.
A Santa Barbara surf school owner has just been arrested in Mexico after his two children, aged 3 and 1, were found stabbed to death with a wooden stake.
The Los Angeles Times first reported the stomach-turning news yesterday evening. Matthew Taylor Coleman, who owns Santa Barbara’s Lovewater Surf School with his wife Abby took the couple’s children to Mexico, over the weekend, without telling friends or family.
Abby became worried and alerted authorities.
Video footage from Rosarito, just south of the United States/Mexico border, showed Coleman checking into a hotel with the two children and leaving very early Monday morning before returning later, alone, to check out.
A farm worker, meanwhile, discovered the bodies of the two toddlers nearby, stabbed multiple times with a wooden stake.
Coleman was arrested as he attempted to re-cross into the United States and is being held on charges of aggravated murder with the FBI saying “a joint investigation is underway.”
The Lovewater Surf School was voted Santa Barbara’s number one school by Trip Advisor. The website is full of positive testimonials and includes a lengthy biography of Coleman, who was born in Santa Barbara, traveled the world surfing before returning home to become a local high school teacher then founding the surf school which was described as, “a company committed to passing on the love of surfing to people of all ages, ethnicities and life backgrounds.”
It’s a heartbreaking and impossible to fathom what went wrong here.
Ain't it just crazy that Kelly already had two world titles before Kolohe was spat from mammy's womb. WSL/Tony Heff
Open thread: Comment live, Day Two, Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver!