It's hard our there.
Fans of professional surfing at its very highest level have suffered a difficult year. After the world’s greatest surfer, Kelly Slater, opened with an inspiring win at the Pro Pipeline, it has been a string of semi-bad fortune. Lousy waves, overall, a mid-tour cut that robbed us of Owen Wright, sitting champion Gabriel Medina opting to take a mental health break, universally adored John John Florence becoming injured, Gabriel Medina returning from me-time and becoming injured himself.
On and on though we were treated to a brief moment of hope, of joy, when nearly two weeks ago, Florence posted a message to social media informing his 1.5 million fans that he was “headed south” on his sailboat that was filled with provisions and surfboards.
But Tahiti is south of Hawaii and the Tahiti Pro is the next event on the schedule.
Could he be?
Might he be?
Florence’s name remaining on the heat draw further buoyed the faithful but alas. It was revealed late last night that Michel Bouringez has replaced Blonde Ambition and that Tahiti was never the destination anyhow.
An eagle-eyed oceanographic cartographer, Will Dahlgreen, has sorted that our hero has always been on his way to Fiji.
Surf fans slumping at work desks, carving “FML” into the pressboard, not able to partake in office lunch talk.
Jilted and woebegone.