“It feels super weird to me. I…I… it baffles me, I’m baffled at overlooking Matahi Drollet for Nathan Hedge."
The 1988 world champion Barton Lynch, wildly popular commentator and believer in wealth distribution but not a communist, has come out swinging at the WSL’s choice of men’s wildcard for the upcoming Outerknown Pro, in a holding pattern right now at Teahupoo, Tahiti.
Pro surfing fans were stunned, some good, some bad, one week ago, when the long-retired Australian pro surfer Nathan Hedge, who is an “ambassador” for the titular sponsor was given a start in contest.
On his shamefully undersubscribed podcast, The Stoked Bloke, “Papa” Lynch lays his cards on the table, so to speak, telling his co-host Peter King,
“I don’t know if you can run an event at this venue without this guy in it. Ask anyone in the world who the best surfer out there is and even Kelly, Gabriel and John John, would say Matahi Drollet!
“It feels weird to put a novelty wildcard into this event,” interjects King.
“It feels super weird to me. I…I… it baffles me, I’m baffled at overlooking Matahi Drollet for Nathan Hedge,” says Papa. “I understand commercial responsibilities but at the same time, you want the best in the event. And Hog, Nathan Hedge, that’s his nickname, he’s a great surfer and since finding sobriety he’s changed his life, turned his life around, acted and behaved in a way that has made him proud… great guy and beautiful heart and all the best to him, but it’s a bit of a wildcard out of left field when you’re at Teahupoo and Nathan Hedge gets the wildcard over Matahi Drollet. It doesn’t feel right to me.”
Papa Lynch also rips into the WSL’s mid-year cut (“I don’t see kids’ careers as something to create drama with”) and promises upcoming interviews with parties privy to the discussions.
“My understand is, discussions didn’t go that well. My understanding is people walked out at certain points… it was forced upon them.”