"It's stupid and it shouldn't happen again!"
The surfing heartthrob and one-time title contender turned real estate developer, Owen Wright, has slammed the governing body of professional surfing, the billionaire-owned World Surf League, in an extraordinary spray.
Speaking on the Lipped podcast, and alongside last year’s only Australian finalist Morgan Cibilic, Connor O’Leary and tour rookie Callum Robson, Wright who is thirty-two, spoke passionately about the mid-tour cut-off.
“It failed the first time and it’s failing again,” said Wright, who is understandably touchy about the tour being cut in half given he’s currently in thirty-first position, equal, with last year’s world number five Cibilic.
Continuing the tirade Wright said, “I’d love for it to never happen again in the future… I don’t know how it’s gone ahead. Every time it gets brought up it gets brushed under the carpet.”
Current world number fifteen Connor O’Leary ain’t impressed, either.
“Everyone’s against it. It’s a pretty stupid decision. No one really gets to really prove themselves. Five events happen so fast. It’s especially hard for the rookies to get into any sort of rhythm. It’s stupid and it shouldn’t happen again.”
Lovers of the mid-tour cull will point to 2011’s triumph when John John Florence, nineteen, and brave little Gabriel Medina, then seventeen, joined the tour mid-year as the jetsam was tossed overboard.
Personally, I won’t rest until the tour is cut to eight surfers and events are run over the course of one day.
Many bridges to cross, then burn.
On this occasion, I stand with the WSL, prayers etc.