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.


History’s most decorated surfer Kelly Slater either contracts Covid at just-wrapped Academy Awards or delivers most exquisitely subtle April Fool’s joke of all-time: “This was my gift from the Oscars.”

Funny or cough.

What praise can be heaped upon Robert Kelly Slater that hasn’t already been said, written, sang? The world’s most historically decorated surfer, holding eleven championship tour trophies alongside numerous Pipeline Masters, one Pro Pipeline and at least one Eddie, is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon the like our children’s children will be lucky to experience.

Aside from surfing talent, though, Slater is a master at sleight of hand, perpetually keeping fellow competitors, fans and followers, plus blocked followers, perpetually off balance. Who could forget when he accidentally stumbled into the Billabong House to act weird in front of Andy Irons before their Pipeline showdown. Accident? On purpose? The world will never know. Or when he introduced his must-see-to-believe wave pool technology minutes after Adriano de Souza won the 2015 professional surfing campaign thereby erasing the effort. Or when he quit Quiksilver, the company with which he had been inextricably tied, on April Fool’s Day thus having a laugh out the door.

Speaking of April Fool’s Day, it came and went hours ago. The Inertia made a funny about the WSL starting a midlength world tour. Get it? Slater took to Instagram to declare that he contracted Covid-19 at the just-wrapped Academy Awards where he presented an award (?) to the James Bond franchise alongside Tony Hawk and Shaun White.

Slater’s tango with Covid has been well-documented and, after the opening Hawaiian leg of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour all but admitted that he had been vaccinated against the disease.

If his positive result is, in fact, true how do you think it will affect his run at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, set to kick off in around a week?

More importantly, who will bring him bone broth?

More as the story develops.


Tyler and Owen, taxed by government and horse-race loving bookkeeper.

Horse-racing enthusiast who swindled $1.5 million from world surfing champ Tyler Wright and her brothers Owen and Mikey pleads guilty to 749 charges of theft, “I’ve f’ed up and it got out of control”

Owen fleeced for 815k, Tyler for 526k, Mikey for 140k.

One year ago, the bookkeeper Shane Maree Hatton was charged with 749 counts of dishonestly obtaining financial advantage by deception totalling more than $1.5 million from Tyler Wright and brothers Owen and Mikey. 

Hatton, fifty-three, a family friend of the Wrights, although it was safe to assume that friendship had become somewhat strained, was a bookkeeper for the Wright’s plumbing biz.

When the kids started to rake in the sponsor cash, Hatton took on their finances, too.

World champ Tyler was celebrating her twenty-seventh birthday when she learned Strike Force Strathwallen, which was formed to investigate the case at the behest of Tyler’s manager Nick Fordham, had raided the svelte fashion-forward blonde.

In one of the greatest press releases ever issued, and which still delights one year later, police alleged Hatton spent $1.2 mill on gambling and poker machines “while the rest of it was wasted.”

The cop had tongue planted in cheek, of course, for it echoed perfectly the Irish soccer superhero George Best’s wonderful quote “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

Anyway, Hatton would slice a little off here and there, sometimes hitting four gees, disguising the transactions as “gardening” and “cleaning.” 

Owen was the first to notice the suspicious transactions. 

“I’m sorry, I’ve been gambling,” Hatton told Owen in May 2020. “I’ve f’ed up and it got out of control.”

Over the course of eight years, beginning in 2012, Owen was fleeced for $815,000 via 317 electronic transfers.

Hatton started ripping into Mikey and Tyler’s cash reserves in 2014, nailing Tyler for 526k, Mikey for 140k.

Last month, Hatton pleased guilty to four counts of obtaining advantage by financial deception and will face sentencing in the NSW District Court later this year.

Bookkeepers, accountants, whatever you want to call ‘em, are notorious for sticking their fingers in the honey pot, although their lifespans can be shortened considerably depending on the victims.

One man who ripped off Andy and Bruce Irons for a mill, as well as another thirty or so people for a total of fifty-mill, ended up at the bottom of a canyon after a mysterious car accident.

“Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” Andy told me at the time.


Come join the Kelly Slater-adjacent association that proves Groucho Marx’s oft repeated maxim “I wouldn’t want to belong to a club that would have me as a member” false!

"Makes it all worth it. Years of fake accounts just so I can follow my hero."

Where would we be without the world’s greatest surfer Kelly Slater? What would we do? Try to dream Kelly Slater up, is what, but it would be impossible. His melange of ludicrous skill, abject handsomeness, lack of aging, celebrity friends is just too much to believe to say nothing of his robust social media engagement.

There is no one with whom the 11x champion won’t chat. Other celebrities limit their correspondence to other celebrities creating a circle of dull but Slater is different. Slater will chat with me, with you, with those who believe the earth is flat, with the President of the United States, with your mailman.

Slater, though, doesn’t suffer fools or those with inappropriate or appropriate questions or etc. and so sometimes this chatting leads to a swift block.

Our very own Karl Von Fanningstad actually dug into the books and discovered that Slater is the all-time blocks leader.

Wow.

Well, for those have been “posterized” by the aforementioned world’s greatest surfer, there is now an association for you to join. A club of sorts. If you have been rejected by Kelly Slater then you are afforded the opportunity to purchase an exclusive t-shirt. The front is the image you see when searching for Slater’s profile. The back reads “The world’s greatest surfer blocked me on Instagram.”

Messages are already pouring in with one blockee declaring, “He even wrote a comment (before the block) back and told me to ‘mind my own business.’ Sound advice from the GOAT.” Another adding, “Makes it all worth it. Years of fake accounts just so I can follow my hero.”

Admission requires that you email proof of your blockage to [email protected] Once verified, you will be emailed a link to Oregon’s greatest surf shop, pay the dues ($30 + shipping) then be sent your tee.

Imagine the joy you will feel seeing a fellow club member out on the streets. The sense of sisterhood.

Extremely anti-depressive.