"May our voices whisper to you from the ageless stones, Go tell the Spartans, passerby: That here by Spartan law, we lie.”
Yesterday surf fans around the world were riding high. Zeke Lau had just etched his name in the annals of surf history by taking out the entire field at the US Open of Surfing, hoisting a fluorescent board high above his head as the beach went wild. Those who doubted that Lau was, in fact, “The Ultimate Surfer” forced to eat much crow. To make matters even sweeter, John John Florence was somewhere near the South Pacific and even though his boat might be hobbled, possibly sailing to the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, name still on the heat draw.
Well, the sun set and rose again to the news that Florence is out and the World Surf League has, instead, gone for the safe, though entirely uninspiring choice of Michel Bourez.
Surf fans, around the world, falling heartsick, breaking down emotionally as the WSL, long on the way, officially reached Peak Milquetoast.
According to BeachGrit’s stat department, Bourez has gotten 9th place four times, at Teahupoo, 13th place three times and 25th place three times.
He retired from professional competition at some point in the last decade but nobody cared and so it is undocumented.
The World Surf League could have followed the surprising inclusion of Nathan “Hog” Hedge with two-time winner Bobby Martinez or simply done the right thing and tapped the trials’ runner-up Matahi Drollet.
Or, in French if you prefer, roupillon-ville.