Hamilton (left) and Slater. Happier times. @lewishamilton Instagram.
Hamilton (left) and Slater. Happier times. @lewishamilton Instagram.

F1 great, Surf Ranch enthusiast Lewis Hamilton misses opportunity to move within three championships of friend Kelly Slater after controversial loss at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

"This is a motor race!"

What a thrilling end to an altogether thrilling season. Oh, I’m not writing about the Triple Crown of Surfing, which has transformed into TikTok competition, no, I’m writing about the just-wrapped F1 world championships which found culmination in Abu Dhabi.

For the less world sporty, England’s Lewis Hamilton, an avid e-foiler, Surf Ranch enthusiast and Kelly Slater’s wonderful friend was battling all season long against The Netherlands’ Max Verstappen who rides for Red Bull which also sponsors Jamie O’Brien and Kai Lenny.

Much exciting with various barbs pitched back and forth between teams but it all came down to Abu Dhabi with Hamilton leading, Verstappen appearing done for, when a crash on lap 52 of 58 brought out the safety car.

The Red Bull team was able to convince race director that lapped cars should be able to overtake the safety car, which slotted Verstappen right behind Hamilton.

Since the Flying Belgian-Dutchman was on new tires, he blew past Hamilton who was left stalled with only seven world championships under his fire suit, still four short of Slater’s all-time surfing mark.

Hamilton’s team threw a giant fit but to no avail and Verstappen stands on top, telling his crew, “It’s insane… can we do this for another 10 or 15 years together?”

Slater’s mark in the crosshairs?

More as the story develops.

“Just stay outta my face, chump.”

Surfing, skateboarding confirmed for 2028 LA Olympic Games as boxing almost certain to disappear from card for first time in over a century due to “integrity of its refereeing and judging processes”

Juiced-up weightlifters out of the game, too!

Early days etc, like, plenty can happen over the next seven years but the International Olympic Committee has recommended “youth focussed sports” surfing, skateboarding and sports climbing, Tokyo debutantes, remain on the card for the LA Games in 2028. 

Perennial Olympic sports boxing, weightlifting and modern pentathlon, howevs, are on ice. Boxing and weightlifting have run at every Games since 1920, the pentathlon, a five-event combo dish, since 1912. 

The IOC’s prez, Tommy Bach, said boxing and weightlifting, which are on the Paris schedule for 2024, need to clean up and the pentathlon has to lose the horses to make it more appealing to “the kids.”

Bach said if The International Boxing Association (AIBA) wants back in it has to hit concerns “around its governance, its financial transparency and sustainability and the integrity of its refereeing and judging processes.”

(In 2016, an investigation found Olympic gold medal bouts were fixed by “compliant” refs and judges.)

Weightlifters love getting on the juice, that ain’t a secret to anyone, and therefore the International Weightlifting Fed has to “ensure the integrity, robustness and full independence of its anti-doping program” before their Olympic masters allow ’em to return.

Surfing, of course, was a terrific success at Tokyo, the Brazilian Italo Ferreira pushing hard against the expected narrative of a Japanese surfing gold medal with a triumphant and invulnerable campaign at Chiba’s Tsurigasaki Beach.

Of all the gold medal contenders, Italo, was the only one that carried the perpetual ecstasy of the looter.

A glorious week.

Las Vegas teenager paralyzed after suffering ultra-rare “Surfer’s myelopathy” from surf lesson in Hawaii.

Not chill.

The dangers associated with surfing are well-known. Shark attacks, drowning, slaps from furious locals, bashing off reefs etc. but, whenever I paddle out, I rarely, maybe never, consider it “dangerous.” Oh sure, I’m not paddling out to Jaws, and my heart has crawled right into my throat plenty of times, but something going wrong, really wrong, never enters my mind.

Well, an eighteen-year-old young Las Vegas mn, handsome and fit, had always dreamed of surfing and finally got his opportunity on a Thanksgiving family vacation to Hawaii. He ordered up a lesson but told Las Vegas’s NBC affiliate, “Within that first or second wave, I noticed my lower back was starting to feel tense. Soon as I touched the sand, my legs pretty much just gave out.”

He tried stretching it out but when no relief came his family took him to the hospital where it was revealed he had suffered Surfer’s myelopathy, a condition that leaves little to no sensation in the lower half of the body and is so rare that there have been less than 100 documented cases in the past 20 years.

“It wasn’t a traumatic injury. I didn’t fall, I didn’t hit a rock,” he said. “It really just happened on a surfboard, standing up arching my back, and somehow ended up with me being paralyzed.”

Doctors say the condition occurs when a surfer, lying on a board, hyperextends the back while getting up thereby causing non-traumatic injury to the T10 vertebrae.

The young man is home, now, trying to get as much sensation back as he can, pushing through and rehabbing. He said there have been ups and downs, so far, and a long road ahead. A GoFund me has been set up to help with crazy costs.

But, man, Surfer’s myelopathy? What a sneaky, sneaky little jerk.

Homer whips local surfers into voting frenzy, wins fifty-two percent of vote.

Surfer described as “one of the best barrel riders Australia has ever produced” wins prized beachside mayoralty in election boilover despite no political experience!

Very good news for UFC hall-of-famer and survivor of worst wavepool accident in surfing history BJ Penn who is running for governor of Hawaii in November, 2022.

Australian surfer Chris Homer has shocked election pundits and the political class by unseating the incumbent left-wing mayor to win the mayoral race in Shellharbour, a city on the NSW South Coast with a population of 70,000 or thereabouts. 

In a 2019 story in Tracks, Homer is described as a “semi-deity” and “one of the best barrel riders Australia has ever produced, had the talent to match the very best in the world.” 

The reason Homer never left the South Coast to chase a pro tour career was, according to Tracks, “with Redsands and Razors seemingly bending to suit his style, what was the point in leaving the jewels at home to chase sponsorship and prizemoney.”

Labor mayor Marianne Saliba had been in the job for ten years before clean-skin Homer came in swinging with promises of a “fresh wave of leadership”, which included leading a campaign to stop the council from building a 200-seat function centre and fifteen cabins inside one of the last hunks of dirt on the coast that hasn’t been flattened and turned into ghettoes of  developer cubist “mansions”, joints designed to be hot in summer, cold in winter and to crumble into ruins within twenty years.

Not everyone was under Homer’s thrall, howevs. Per the ABC,

During a mayoral forum in November, candidates were given 10 minutes to pitch to voters.

It took Mr Homer just over 2 minutes to outline his plans.

On housing affordability – a key issue across regional NSW – Mr Homer said his work as a mortgage adviser offered him an insight into the obstacles preventing locals finding a home.

But despite his industry knowledge, Mr Homer offered only a vague promise to investigate the issue once elected.
He was also unable to answer multiple questions related to bread-and-butter council business including parking, hard rubbish collection and building standards.

This prompted a question from the audience, “You seem unfamiliar with local and state planning guidelines. Why are you running for mayor?”

Mr Homer confessed on multiple occasions he was not “privy to the intimate details” of council – and it remains to be seen what impact that will have on the way council functions.

But his promise of an independent council not “tethered to the will of a political party” was an attractive pitch to voters hoping for a change from Labor’s grip on the region.

Small and hardly cataclysmic matters, I’d suggest, and easily examined, digested and sorted by Homer.

The win is an encouraging sign to king of the octagon, UFC hall-of-famer, survivor of worst wavepool accident in surfing history BJ Penn who is running for governor of Hawaii in November, 2022.

Like Homer, no political experience, but a heart like a lion etc.

Peloton shares plummet after Sex and the City’s Mr. Big dies riding one; surfers mourn fact that he wasn’t straddling longboard instead!

Many tears.

In a lost opportunity that will reverberate through surfing for decades to come, the popular Mr. Big, Carrie Bradshaw’s love interest during Sex and the City’s six-year HBO run, has died riding a Peloton on episode one of the franchise reboot “And Just Like That.”

The shock heart attack grieved fans but also sent stock of the workout bicycle plummeting.

Per the news report:

Shares of Peloton, the fitness equipment company, fell 11.3% Thursday — tumbling to a 19-month low — after a key character in HBO Max’s “Sex and the City” revival, “And Just Like That,” was shown dying of a heart attack after a 45-minute workout on one of the company’s exercise bikes.

The stock continued its slide Friday, down more than 5% in midmorning trading.

According to Peloton, the company had approved the show’s use of the bike as well as the appearance of “Allegra,” a fictional instructor played by real-life Peloton cycling instructor Jess King. However, Peloton did not know that “And Just Like That,” which premiered Dec. 9, would show [SPOILER ALERT] Mr. Big, played by Chris Noth, collapsing and then dying after a Peloton workout.

Peloton blamed Mr. Big’s lifestyle choices, including smoking cigars, on his demise but surfers mourned the fact that he wasn’t an adult learner longboarder instead.

Imagine if the 40 – 50 year-old set, out being “healthy” on colorful 9 – 13 ft. foam short buses, witnessed the character keel over while going right on a left. An 11.3% reduction in numbers, plus a further 5%, would be immediately, and gloriously, felt.

Alas, what might have been.