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.”

World Surf League responds to lawsuit brought by star big-wave surfer after near-fatal wipeout during contest, “He was thrown more than 20 feet in the air…It took more than a minute for personnel to revive him.”

"He was hospitalized fifteen days and alleged further psychological injuries, including nightmares and a fear of the ocean."

The WSL has moved to compel arbitration in its suit with Alexandre Botelho, member of the Big Wave Tour. 

In February of this year, Botelho sued the WSL, along with Bill Sharp (General Manager of the Big Wave World Tour) and Scott Eggers (Safety Director of the Big Wave World Tour) in California state court for injuries sustained during the 2020 Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge. During the event, Botelho was thrown more than 20 feet in the air when his jetski was launched after trying to drive out of the impact zone. 

Botelho landed on the ski, rendering him unconscious. He floated for almost six minutes before being pulled onto the beach.

It took more than a minute for personnel to revive him.

He was hospitalized fifteen days and alleged further psychological injuries, including nightmares and a fear of the ocean. 

Botelho alleged that the WSL “willfully and fraudulently” misrepresented its safety measures, particularly in failing to hire a rescue swimmer after promising surfers that an additional swimmer would be on hand. 

Botelho further claimed that the WSL failed to ensure necessary safety measures, including working radios and a coherent emergency strategy. 

According to the complaint, surfers did not become aware of the lack of adequate safety measures until the eve of the competition, but still signed the competition agreement due in part to costs associated with traveling, training, and perceived obligations to sponsors. 

On March 21st, the WSL filed its response and moved to compel arbitration. 

Calling the events, “an unfortunate accident” (reminding one writer of a “shark incident”) the WSL alleged that Botelho actually had access to the agreement, including the safety provisions, for “almost three months prior to the Event.”

Further, they claimed that Botelho signed the agreement “four days before the event was even greenlit.” Thus, Botelho “had months to contemplate the terms of the agreement before actually putting on a jersey and competing in the Event.” 

The WSL further noted that there were four titles awarded after the event: “Men’s Wave of the Day, Women’s Wave of the Day, Team Champions, and the Commitment Award.”

According to the WSL, in apparently a nod to the adequacy of the WSL’s safety measures, “after observing the quick and professional response of the WSL’s safety team that day, the surfers made the unprecedented decision to give the Commitment Award, not to any of the competing surfers, but to the safety team.” 

The WSL also claimed that Botelho had “received weekly payments [of thousands of dollars] under the insurance policy the WSL procured and paid for” and only filed the suit “on the eve of those payment [sic] expiring.”

Arbitration would effectively shield the litigation from public view.

If the court grants the motion, the resulting proceedings and outcome would likely remain confidential. 

More as the story develops. 

World’s fourth richest man Bill Gates infuriates laid back neighbors by moving to sleepy Southern California surf town town and erecting palatial beachfront bachelor pad!

Where the surf meets the turf war.

News has broken, this past week, concerning the world’s 4th richest man Bill Gates and his life as a freshly single man. Gates, who co-founded Microsoft as is worth some $134 billion and his wife Melinda Gates-Foundation became divorced months ago after it was revealed that the computer entrepreneur had hung about disgraced financier Jeffery Epstein last decade.

Gates-Foundation is moving forward by diving deeper into her philanthropy. Gates, it appear, is planning on getting funky.

The longtime Seattle resident has recently purchased a beachfront mansion in surf-rich* Del Mar, torn it down and is erecting a palatial bachelor pad much to the chagrin of his laid back** neighbors.

Per the New York Post:

The initial six-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom estate, which spanned 5,800 square feet, has been completely demolished and locals claim it’s being rebuilt from the ground up at the direction of the Microsoft tycoon himself.

Gates has allegedly stopped by twice in the last few months with his two bulletproof suburban security details to check on the project, according to neighbors who are not happy about all the disruptions going on.

“It’s been a nuisance,” one neighbor said.

“They make a lot of noise, my baby can’t sleep,” another neighbor explained. “It’s become a real hindrance on the whole neighborhood.”

Gates himself, it is reported, flies into neighboring Carlsbad regularly to inspect progress and possibly scouting local “talent,” if you get my drift, but there are no sightings, as of yet, of him participating in the SUP or foil life.

Will he follow the world’s 4th richest man, Mark Zuckerberg, down that primrose path or do like onetime neighbors Mitt and Ann Romney and get turned on to the ponies just inland?

Del Mar’s slogan, after all, is “where the surf meets the turf.”

More as the story develops.

*Del Mar is not surf-rich.

**His neighbors are not laid back.

“Am I a surfer? I’M A SAILOR, BITCH! You can’t sail. I bet you don’t even know how the wind works!”

Surfer-comedian Sterling Spencer parodies viral “Sailor Karen” video in wild cross-dressing short, “Have you ever been to Off the Wall, Backdoor, Velzyland, Freddyland or Pipeline? Do you even go left?”

“Am I a surfer? I’M A SAILOR, BITCH! You can’t sail. I bet you don’t even know how the wind works!”

The Pensacola surfer and comic Sterling Spencer, who disappeared from the spotlight two years ago after he“completely lost” his mind following a blow to his head by a surfboard fin, has returned to his satirical best.

Yesterday, various socials were enlivened by what filmmaker Logan Dulien dubbed “Sailor Karen”, a glamorous middle-aged woman who lights up in the San Onofre carpark with the now immortal quote,

“Am I a surfer? I’M A SAILOR, BITCH! You can’t sail. I bet you don’t even know how the wind works!”


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Spencer, who is thirty-six and the son of Gulf Coast legend Yancy Spencer III, hit worldwide fame in 2010 when he posted a dubbed video of a kid trying to get Jeremy Flores’ autograph at J-Bay, with Flores strangling Spencer at the Surfer Poll awards the same year in revenge.

Using wigs to approximate the look of what used to be called “women”, Spencer and pal parody the San O exchange, this time with a Hawaiian flavour.

Have I ever been to this beach before? Have you ever been to Off the Wall, Backdoor, Velzyland, Freddyland or Pipeline? Do you even go left?”



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Sailor Kaz gives hell!

Furious Karen absolutely skewers beach parking lot gaggle who dare ask if she is a surfer: “Am I a surfer? I’M A SAILOR, B*TCH!”

"I bet you don't even know how the wind works."

Very many of my favorite things happened to collide in a Southern California parking lot, presumably San Onofre, recently and all captured to film. The scene is picked up in its middle when a woman with jet black hair held back by sunglasses and a black vest, pant combination approaches what sound to be a gaggle of surfers, pointing and saying, “You need to get out of here, I already told you once. Get the fuck out. Get in your car, drive the fuck away and never come back here again. Not once.”

It is unclear what was done, which bit of bad behavior to deserve the tongue whipping, creating much tension.

One of the offenders, in any case, asks, “Have you ever been to this beach before?” and Karen gets set right off.

“Have I ever been to this beach before?” face twisting gorgeously, rage-filled sarcasm dripping from every not-so-subtle movement “Have you ever been to Church’s* or Lowers or Middles?” then something about going left, telling them all they could never do it.

“Are you a surfer?” is the next question proffered, shooting the exchange to the moon.

“Am I a surfer?” voice breaking “I’M A SAILOR, BITCH! You can’t sail. I bet you don’t even know how the wind works!”

And end.

But is this not the best piece of surf-adjacent cinema that has been released in a decade? Maybe two? Hollywood’s finest actors, save Jonah Hill, would not be able to reprise with any more glory.

Though, for which side will you fight in the coming surfer vs. sailor wars?

A difficult choice.

*Yes, yes, we all know it is “Church” not “Church’s.”

Hot new television show “Barons” set to dramatically explore lightly fictionalized version of 1970s rivalry between surf-wear giants Billabong and Quiksilver!

Boardroom to beach.

Oh but the World Surf League has done it again, and by “done it again” I mean lost out on a thrilling new television program exploring the world of surf. But have you heard of “Barons?” A surf and business drama that will premier this very week over Australian, I think, air?

According to Variety, “Barons is an upscale, but easily approachable, eight-part series that examines what happens when money gets muddled with friendship. The 1970s-set beaches-to-boardroom rivalry story is fictional, but parallels the establishment of the real-world Billabong and Quiksilver surf-wear labels.”

The industry publication sat down across show creator Mick Lawrence and asked how he became inspired to which he answered, “I picked up a book at the airport called ‘Salts and Suits,’ which was a very dry business book by a journalist that I had known called Phil Jarratt. It’s not an absolute roaring yawn or a page turner. But what it did have was the really fun kind of direction as to how the surf industry was built from 1970s. How they turned the idea of a surf lifestyle into a multi-billion-dollar industry.”

A little rude to Jarratt, no? The “a very dry business book by a journalist I had known” dig?

In any case, the first season will cover the 1970s and feature Torquay, I think, which is nicknamed Velcro Valley, then, if all goes well, roll out four more seasons featuring the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

“The 80s and 90s are crazy as far as the characters and the decadence in that time,” Lawrence adds.

Exciting but back to our World Surf League. Isn’t this the sort of business WSL Studios was supposed to be producing before its untimely demise?

Another swing. Another miss, I suppose.

Watch the teaser here.