Wow but it seemed like an eternity to arrive at this moment, this time, when our professional surfers and surfettes will once again paddle from shore into pitched competition with each other and with nature.
Jordy Smith appears in heat one. Kanoa Igarashi heat two. Kelly Slater, who is sometimes called the Greatest of All-Time, or GOAT, joins us for heat three. Will the women surf today? Will they even kick the event right off? Impossible to know.
Exciting times and made more so by enjoying with your very best friends in the comments. Watch here or here. Comment below.
Inspired by World Surf League mantra, Nantucket activist introduces bylaw that would allow topless sunbathing for all genders: “This is really antiquated and this is inequality. Some men have bigger breasts than I do!”
The World Surf League has proudly, loudly, beaten its breast these past few years as champions of equality and champions it is, equalizing pay between men and women, having them surf the exact same waves on lightly different days, running many advertisements with the word “equality” while also using the hashtag “#equality.”
Aside from female longboarders, who have become cannon fodder for the League, this message of samsies is resonating from the halls of Santa Monica all the way across the nation to the tony beaches of Nantucket floating, there, just south of Boston. Dorthy Stover, a resident, was on the warm sand this last summer and infuriated that she could not take her top off and enjoy some extra vitamin D just like her male counterparts.
It is, currently, illegal for women to de-layer, a right solely possessed by men, and so Stover has activated and is introducing a bylaw that declares “In order to promote equality for all persons, any person shall be allowed to be topless on any public or private beach within the Town of Nantucket,” for which to be voted upon in May.
Stover told the Cape Cod Times, “This is really antiquated and this is inequality. Some men have bigger breasts than I do. Nantucket has a history of fighting for equality,” and feels that passing the bylaw will decrease people feeling insecure about their curves (save the men with large breasts). “I’m not saying that everybody has to be topless. I want to support the love of the body.”
Back in Santa Monica, though, do you imagine pride and joy is resonating back and forth from World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s office down to World Surf League commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer’s?
The dominos of institutional sexism falling all thanks to professional surfing?
The suit stems from the 2020 Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge, held on February 11, 2020. During the event, Botelho was involved in the infamous jet ski crash that made international headlines, where he and his partner, Hugo Vau, were thrown more than 20 feet in the air. The chaos of the accident led Albee Layer to state, “Our lives are clickbait.”
Star of big-wave tour sues World Surf League alleging “gross negligence, fraudulent concealment, intentional and negligent misrepresentation” following near-fatal wipeout at 2020 Nazaré event, “Our lives are clickbait!”
The suit stems from the 2020 Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge, held on February 11, 2020. During the event, Botelho was involved in a jet ski crash that made international headlines, where he and his partner, Hugo Vau, were thrown more than 20 feet in the air. The chaos of the accident led Albee Layer to state, “Our lives are clickbait.”
During the event, Botelho and Vau were launched into the air after trying to drive out of the impact zone following one of Botelho’s rides.
Botelho landed on the ski, striking both his head and chest, rendering him unconscious.
According to Botelho, he was unconscious in the water for up to six minutes before he was pulled from the sea not breathing. Earlier rescue attempts were made by his tow partner Alemao Edilson Luis da Assuncio, but Botelho was not saved until he drifted close enough to the shore to be reached by rescue personnel.
When Botelho was pulled from the water, he had no pulse. It took more than a minute for medical personnel to revive him. He also suffered a perforated lung and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after vomiting water on the beach.
After arriving at the hospital, Botelho had to be intubated (a medical procedure where a tube is inserted into the trachea) for “machine-assisted breathing.” According to the complaint, Botelho “required his lungs to be drained and further suffered a bacterial infection in his lungs from the sea water.” He remained in intensive care for a week and had to be hospitalized for fifteen days.
Further, Botelho alleged psychological injuries from the accident, including “nightmares of the drowning, sleep and mood disturbance, and a gradually dissipating fear of entering ocean water again.”
He also lost various sponsorships and income as a result of his inability to compete.
Botelho alleged claims of: (1) negligence/gross negligence; (2) fraudulent concealment; (3) intentional misrepresentation; and (4) negligent misrepresentation. He seeks damages for past and future expenses and loss of revenue, as well as punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
According to Botelho, the WSL greatly exaggerated the event’s safety measures and then coerced competitors into signing waivers of liability after competitors realized the promised safety measures were not present.
In the months before the event, Botelho and other surfers became concerned about the adequacy of the safety measures proposed by the WSL, prompting the surfers to propose “that each team be provided with a budget to assemble their own, hand-picked safety team.”
According to the complaint, the WSL agreed to the proposal that “each team [would] have a dedicated water safety jet ski and driver shadowing them while in the water and three radios and a dedicated channel per team for communication.”
The WSL, through Bill Sharp, also communicated a three-layer safety plan: the first being the team member on the ski to make pickups; the second a “dedicated Safety Support pilot and jet ski to pick up a surfer in the event the team member is unable to do so;” and the third being medical personnel position on the shore.
According to the complaint, this plan “was deemed by virtually every surfer invited to participate in the Nazaré event as unsatisfactory” and the WSL was allegedly made aware of the discontent via a group email.
The surfers, including Botelho, were concerned about the lack of an additional safety layer. They insisted on the presence of an additional jet ski carrying a rescue swimmer “dedicated to the rescue and pickup of any hurt, unconscious, or in distress surfer.”
To comply, the WSL allegedly agreed to hire Kalani Lattanzi to be the rescue swimmer; according to the complaint he was listed in this role in the WSL Information Kit provided to the competitors.
The complaint alleges that the WSL failed to take any steps to implement the safety measures promised to the surfers. Further, it alleges the WSL “willfully and fraudulently” concealed this failure.
The WSL also allegedly never contacted Lattanzi, the agreed upon rescue swimmer.
The complaint alleges further failures on behalf of the WSL: (1) failure to provide a dedicated Safety Support jet ski driver to shadow each team; (2) failure to provide working radios to each team’s spotter; (3) failure to provide three promised radios to each team, resulting in Botelho’s spotter’s inability to communicate with safety personnel; (4) failure to provide any rescue swimmer; (5) failure to provide “the minimum number of experienced water safety individuals anticipated by the competitors;” (6) failure to implement “a clear structure” and to assign responsibilities to water safety personnel; (7) failure to place a strategy to address emergencies; and (8) failure to train and equip lifeguards on the beach with the necessary lifesaving equipment.
The competitors did not become aware of the WSL’s alleged misrepresentations until the eve of the event. When competitors did become aware of the inadequate safety measures, some refused to sign the required agreement between the individual and WSL. The agreement included a waiver of liability.
In response, the WSL allegedly told surfers they would not be permitted to compete if they did not sign the agreement. According to the complaint, many competitors felt pressured to sign the agreement due in part to costs associated with traveling and training for Nazaré and perceived obligations to sponsors.
When Botelho signed the agreement, he was still not fully aware of the extent of the WSL’s alleged misrepresentations.
According to the complaint, after signing, he still was under the impression that Lattanzi would be acting as a rescue swimmer.
The complaint alleges that the confluence of these factors, notably the lack of an independent rescue swimmer, resulted in Botelho’s injuries.
World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s kingdom may be smoldering due an internecine war with longboarders that sparked to life late last week but that is not enough to stop the self-appointed Greatest of All-Time from being out amongst it.
Logan, who hails from Oklahoma though currently lives in the Los Angeles area beachside hamlet Manhattan Beach, drove the short 9 miles to Inglewood and SoFi Stadium in order to attend the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The “Big Game” featured Los Angeles’s Rams versus Cincinnati’s Bengals and was quite a thriller with the Rams squeaking out victory in the end.
While the action on the field proved exciting, it was the halftime show, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Eminem, that captivated Logan. He took to Instagram, sometime in the early evening, to post a photo standing next to the aforementioned Snoop Dogg, including the cryptic caption “#snoopup post snoop if you got em.”
Logan’s hand, possibly making some signal, has been whited-out.
Snoop Dogg is wearing dark sunglasses. Logan is wearing spectacles and his eyes appear lightly glazed.
What do imagine was his Super Bowl drink order?
Long Island ice tea?
Decaffeinated coffee with Laird Hamilton’s non-dairy Superfood creamer?
Malibu heavy Jonah Hill throws his lot in with Joel Tudor as World Surf League pushed to breaking point in its ill-conceived war against longboarding!
Last week, smoke unexpectedly filled the horizon as the World Surf League declared war on professional longboarding. It all began with a rumor that Santa Monica was considering decimating the longboard tour, slashing it from three events to one. 2021’s longboard champion and great polemicist Joel Tudor took to Instagram to demand account, illustrating how heavy the League leaned upon his favored dance in their promotion and how much better it did, engagement-wise, than its shortboard sister.
World Surf League commissioner and “head of the longboard tour” Jessi Miley-Dyer decided to respond, via letter, to all professional longboarders but willfully misrepresented the thrust of Tudor’s argument. Tudor published the missive and open warfare raged across the land interrupted, though, by a combination of Super Bowl weekend and Valentine’s Day.
The WSL has decided that after a successful season, even during a pandemic, of the World Longboard Tour to cancel it and turn it into a one stop event. This was decided upon after not only crowning two amazing champions but after claiming that there was not enough “online engagement” (which is so far from the truth.
There are many reasons why this is disappointing. The first in my mind, is that while the WSL has made huge progress in equal prize money and equal events for men and women on the WCT, the women’s CT still has only 18 surfers so equal opportunity has not yet been addressed. Meanwhile, the Longboard World Tour has provided a home for women long boarders with women have huge ownership over the longboard tour and women longboarders widely being considered the premier division of the tour.
Damaging enough in and of itself. Devastating considering it has been shared by Malibu heavy and heir to Miki Dora’s throne Jonah Hill to his 3.5 million followers.
Hill, a longboarder of note, will no doubt force the World Surf League to expand the Longboard World Tour by many events leaving Miley-Dyer ‘s reputation as a great tactician in tatters.
Where will the instrument of unconditional surrender be signed?