Dramatization of North Devon (in white shirt) becoming a World Surfing Reserve with Cornwall (in green) looking on.
Dramatization of North Devon (in white shirt) becoming a World Surfing Reserve with Cornwall (in green) looking on.

Blood Feud: The United Kingdom’s North Devon delivers stunning knockout blow to arch-rival Cornwall, named as the country’s first world surfing reserve!

Cornish eyes are crying.

But what would surfing’s long and important history be without its rivalries? Its famous blood feuds like Mark Occhilupo vs. Tom Curren, Kelly Slater vs. Andy Irons, Laird Hamilton vs. Father Time and perhaps hottest, North Devon vs. Cornwall?

The United Kingdom’s two premier surf regions have been locked in terrible battle since four Australian teens brought the sport of kings back to the motherland in 1929. Cornwall, and its rugged rights and lefts, its Fistral Beach and cold water flair, shaking its balled up fist north, shouting oaths at North Devon and its rugged right and lefts, its Croyde and cold water flair.

Pure hatred.

Well, in a move few saw coming, North Devon landed a knockout blow against its arch nemesis as, days ago, it was announced as the U.K.’s first “world surfing reserve.”

Per Auntie Beeb:

It joins a list that includes Malibu and Santa Cruz in California, and the Gold Coast and Manly in Australia. The WSR recognises the quality of the surf as well as the sport’s importance to the wider community. The WSR programme was launched in 2009 in California with the aim of “protecting surf ecosystems around the globe”.

The reserve covers about 30km (19 miles) of coastline.

A WSR spokesperson said: “Its high density of outstanding surf, at iconic breaks such as Croyde, Saunton, Woolacombe, and Lynmouth, caters to wave-riders from beginner to expert and a variety of surfing styles.”

Cornish residents, still reeling, are not the sort to take the shame lightly and authorities are worried about guerrilla tactics grinding the southern pendulum to a halt.

Waxed windscreens etc.

Dark days.

Best surfer in the world Kelly Slater, in the wings at the just-wrapped Academy Awards wherein Chris Rock became slapped by Will Smith, weighs in on imbroglio: “I was sorta looking down then looked up and the whole place just went uhhhhhhhh!”

Voice of reason.

Kelly Slater, world’s winningest surfer, gift, 50, still competing and crushing, etc. happened to find himself at the just-wrapped 94th Academy Awards if you don’t already know. He, alongside Tony Hawk and Shaun White, halfpipe skateboarder and snowboarder respectively, to give an award (?) to the James Bond franchise.

Well, as you know or should know, that 94th Academy Awards went haywire after actor-cum-rapper Will Smith charged the stage in order to slap CB4 star Chris Rock across the mouth sending an entire industry reeling.

Slater was right there, in the wings apparently, and so what was his take?

I won’t spoil.

"They were teaching their young with the the injured dolphins before finally ending it each time. It was amazing to watch their strategies and very sobering." | Photo: @healeywaterops

Big-wave surfer turned Hollywood stuntman captures rare footage of killer whales slaughtering dolphins in the wild, “Death by Orca would not be a preferred way for me to leave this earth!”

"We must have watched them kill at least three and we left with them pursing more."

The Hawaiian Mark Healey, who rides giant waves even though he weighs only eight stone six and who has the strength of an acrobat on a tightrope, has posted rare footage of killer whales mowing through a dolphin family off the Mexican coastline.

“We went out for a day of fishing and stumbled into something no one expected,” Healey, who is forty, writes. “Orcas hunting and killing dolphins! We must have watched them kill at least three and we left with them pursing more. They were teaching their young with the injured dolphins before finally ending it each time. It was amazing to watch their strategies and very sobering. The fact that they can take such agile and intelligent prey at will via team work and strategy was an eye opener. In summary, death by Orca would not be a preferred way for me to leave this earth.”

Orcas, of course, are the largest member of the dolphin family but this means little when the happy lil Flippers are being hunted in a series of high-speed and coordinated attacks from multiple directions.


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A post shared by Mark Healey (@healeywaterops)

The technique used to kill fast moving prey is called heat-butt-and-punt or stun via ramming after which they may enjoy what the Taiwanese glutton calls “ocean’s pork.” 

Healey’s peers in the surf world were quick to post their appreciation, Kelly Slater enjoying the spectacle the most.

“Wow! Bucket list,” he wrote.

Biggest storm since 74! | Photo: @bennykappler

Unprecedented storm nearly wipes Australia’s Bondi from face of the earth causing widespread panic and giving World Surf League Senior Vice President, Tours and Head of Competition powerful megaphone: “Climate change and its effects are fast becoming one of the biggest talking points for many young Aussies…”

The rise of a new political dynamo?

A powerful autumn storm smashed into Australia’s east coast, battering the fatal shore and nearly wiping Sydney’s iconic Bondi from the face of the earth. The ocean water, tinged brown and angry, covered the entire beach and even washed up onto the promenade where I used to sit and eat McDonald’s breakfast sandwich and McCafe coffee.

According to The Guardian:

The Bureau of Meteorology had a hazardous surf warning in place for the NSW coast after a night of huge gusts in Sydney, including one at 74 km/h inside Sydney Harbour.

Across NSW, State Emergency Service crews performed six flood rescues in the 24 hours up to 5am Saturday, with the agency also receiving 468 calls for help over that period.

Elsewhere in the state, flood victims were picking up the pieces for the second time in little over a month.

Byron Shire’s deputy mayor said locals had little warning about the damaging conditions that flooded the region for the second time in a month earlier this week.

The paper, like most others, shared social media images of the damage with most choosing to use World Surf League Senior Vice President, Tours and Head of Competition Jessi Miley-Dyer’s as top of the heap.

Miley-Dyer captioned her post thusly:

Bondi Beach this morning … There are some wild ocean conditions around Sydney today following a run of abnormal weather events on the east coast of Australia. Climate change and it’s effects are fast becoming one of the biggest talking points for the upcoming election for many young Aussies, including myself (and all of us here in the electorate of Wentworth).

A powerful message amplified extraordinarily by the press.

But do you think this might be a paradigm shift for the onetime professional surfer? Young Aussies coalescing around their new bold leader, one who has already shown bravery under fire by taking down the caustic champion of professional longboarding?

Young Aussies has a nice ring to it.

Very Atatürk-esque.

Reigning world surfing champion Gabriel Medina recovering at beachfront mansion after shock surgery, “Now I know what it is like to breathe… I’m so happy, I’m at home, recovering.”

Maybe the reason for quitting the tour? 

The three-time and reigning world surfing champion Gabriel Medina is recovering from surgery for a deviated septum it can be revealed, an operation where the bone and cartilage dividing the space between the two nostrils is straightened. 

Medina, who is twenty-eight, posted a short message on Instagram, writing,

“A ton of people have been sending me messages – everything is good guys. I had nose surgery (deviated septum). I’ve always breathed poorly but now I know what it is to breathe. I’m so happy. I’m at home, recovering…good night everyone.” 

The champ spent one night at the fabulously named Israelita Albert Einstein hozzy in São Paulo, one of the best hospitals in South America, before returning home to his beachfront mansion and “back to routine. Netflix diet.”

Now, a deviated septum ain’t fun, you get nose bleeds, sinus infections, tough to breathe, you drive people nuts with your noisy sleeping and so on. 

Many, many causes, hits to the nose, growth defects, living the high life with an emphasis on tropane alkaloid and stimulants (see: Daniella Westbrook as cautionary tale), although our Gabriel is notable for his ascetic lifestyle therefore non-applicable.  

If you don’t treat a busted septum, the resulting sleep apnea can lead to strokes, high-blood pressure, heart failure…depression. 

Maybe the reason for quitting the tour? 

In January, after sensationally stepping away from the tour, Medina wrote,

Last year, I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions in and out of the water, which greatly affected my mental and physical health.

“By the end of the season, I was completely drained. I’ve reached my limit. In addition to the body, I have emotional issues that I need to deal with. Recognizing and admitting to myself that I’m not well has been a very difficult process and choosing to take time to take care of myself was perhaps the hardest decision I’ve ever made in my entire life.

I’ve wondered a lot lately if I should make this public or keep it private, but it’s only fair that all of you who have always rooted for me know the moment I’m facing. Mental health is very important. I need to be 100% mentally to compete again.”

Medina, who split from wife Yasmin Brunet in January and who has since reconciled with his estranged mama and step-daddy, as well as his biological dad, last competed in September, 2021, when he put Filipe Toledo to the sword at Lowers to win his third world title.