Fans of professional surfing have ridden extreme emotional waves over the last two weeks since it was revealed, exclusively on BeachGrit, that the universally adored regular foot Jonathan Jonathan Florence may be en route to the Outerknown Tahiti Pro, set to get underway in three short days, via catamaran.
Florence, who has been hurt, took to Instagram and informed his 1.5 million followers that he would be sailing south while sharing images of provisions and many surfboards being properly stowed.
Hope soared in hearts that Teahupoo was on his map and that an injured knee, that kept the twice over champion out of the last three events, was magically healed.
Those same hearts crashed hard, hours ago, into morbid blackness when it was revealed that the Florence yacht had run into some unexpected weather and the brave crew was searching for an atoll for which to safely anchor and assess damage.
Those three short days growing shorter by the hour.
Moving through the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, surf fans are arriving at acceptance and wondering who might replace Florence in the event.
With the obvious choice Nathan “Hog” Hedge off the board, consensus has landed on the 2006 and 2009 Teahupoo winner Bobby Martinez.
Tell me you wouldn’t thrill to see the bad boy from Santa Barbara back in a singlet.
Happy days here again.