Photo: @Marco Freire
Photo: @Marco Freire

47-year-old Brazilian “ride of the year” nominated surfer and Lucas Chumbo tow partner Marcio Freire dies at Nazaré after being towed to beach in cardiac arrest.


Tragedy has struck the Portuguese big wave Nazaré hours ago as local media is reporting that the Brazilian surfer Marcio Freire has died after a heavy wipeout.

According to the captain of the Port of Nazaré Mário Lopes Figueiredo, Freire was immediately fetched from the water and “towed to the beach by a colleague on a jet ski, already in cardio-respiratory arrest.”

The rescue crew immediately raced Freire to the beach where he was met by an ambulance and medics. The captain continued, “Unfortunately, none of the life support maneuvers were successful, and death was eventually declared on the spot.”

Freire becomes the first, registered, fatality at Nazaré.

The picturesque giant, which exploded onto the scene after Garrett McNamara first surfed it in 2011, has been flooded with those seeking fame and glory since. Multiple records have been recorded including the Guinness World Record for “highest wave ever surfed” by Sebastian Steudtner.

Freire was no thrill-seeking novice, having been in the running for a Ride of the Year award out at Jaws, where he frequently surfed.

Laird Hamilton shoots Malibu Pier during last monster swell as Ellen Pompeo (left) and Jeff Bezos attempt to steel spines.

Malibu’s celebrity surfers glance around Soho House patio, wonder which amongst them will have the guts to paddle as historic “bomb” swell hits shore!

It's glory time.

Surfline’s predicted “bomb” swell has either arrived or is about to arrive to Southern California’s fatal shore leaving the region’s surfers hovering betwixt panic and glee, depending, that is, on the mettle. But do you live in the southland? Is your big wave strike already planned?

El Porto, maybe?

A secret spot in Ventura called “Silver Strand?”


Oh the tony enclave’s celebrity surfers must be caught betwixt terror and… potential as the horizon darkens beyond First Point. Sitting, there, on Soho’s Little Beach House patio and glancing around, wondering which amongst them will have the guts to paddle, the will to catapult from hobbyist to hellperson.

Jeff Bezos, perched on his fine wooden chair, sweat bubbling on nude scalp, hoping beyond hope that Ellen Pompeo will not one-up him in front of Lauren Sanchez by waxing her step-up boogie and sending it?

Reese Witherspoon pushing her butter lettuce, avocado, sherry vinaigrette (plant based) around the plate, trying to keep the bile from rising up and out?

Sal Masekela looking across the table at his beautiful girlfriend Lupita Nyong’o who is looking back at him with a quizzical expression which might read, “You told me you were a really good surfer?”

Laird Hamilton standing in the doorway, arms folded, tapping one flip flop on the wooden floor whistling the tune to Hogan’s Heroes?

It’s glory time.

Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s surfer-bass-player “Flea” lists epic beachfront compound in remote corner of Australia for $US2 million, “The band surfed the local breaks when they were in town and became well known to the area’s residents!”

“Flea has written a lot of music at the property and has had band members jamming in the music room downstairs."

There’s a joint called Congo five hours drive south of Sydney and halfway to the Victorian border. Less than three hundred souls breathe the cool air and the beaches are empty, the sorta place you’d go to decompress after doin’ a wild stadium tour.

And when you go to Congo, and it ain’t to be confused with those grand African utopias the Democratic Republic of the Congo, capital Kinshasa, a name familiar to fight fans, Rumble in the Jungle and the subsequent Norman Mailer book The Fight, or Republic of the Congo, capital Brazzaville, not to be confused with Brazzers, a love-making website for those who liked to be roughed up, you’ll soon become aware of the fabulous beachfront compound of the famous bass player, notable for his “slapping” technique.

The Australian-born Flea, lesser known as sixty-year-old Michael Balzary from Melbourne, bought the half-acre beachfront spread at 775 Congo Road, Congo, almost thirty years ago in 1994.

Flea and New Zealand architect Michael Cheadle designed the five-bedder with the roof designed to look like a cuttlefish and with wooden floors sourced from the old Parliament House in near-ish by Canberra.

“It has a rock-star vibe to it but also a relaxed holiday feeling that is really suited to the village of Congo,” selling agent James Hamilton says. “Flea has written a lot of music at the property and has had band members, jamming in what was the music room downstairs. It has a contemporary Californian design that sprawls out towards the ocean with amazing views and really compliments the natural environment.”

Shoot hoops tween surfs.

If you peeled open the marketing brochure you’d learn the place is,

“Situated in Congo on 2946sqm (approx. half an acre) of land and bordering National Park on one side and beach on the other, you will love spending your time, just relaxing in a spot that is virtually unknown except to the very very lucky few.

“The custom-designed home opens to a magnificent entry with a bespoke spiral copper and steel staircase connecting two double-storey wings.

“Beautifully maintained, the property has undergone extensive updates over the past years. Its features include an open fireplace with stone detailing and a master retreat featuring a luxe ensuite with a mosaic-tiled plunge bath. Bi-fold doors open to an alfresco terrace with views across the property. There is also a multipurpose sports court.”

Take a video tour below!

(In case y’wondering, the joint goes to auction on January 29, same day the band’s Australian tour opens in Brisbane.)

Toledo (right) called out? Photo: WSL
Toledo (right) called out? Photo: WSL

Surf fans go berserk in attempt to read tea leaves as World Surf League head of tours releases cryptic “in/out” list ahead of 2023 season!

Sitting champion Filipe Toledo in the crosshairs?

Of all sporting fans on the face of this earth, would you agree with me that surfing fans are the most long-suffering? What with Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch Pro coming around basically every year, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan’s ginning up the business with ludicrous statements, a five month off-season and a Super Bowl at Lower Trestles, surf fans really put up with a whole ton.


But here we are, with professional surfing at its very highest level ready to kick off this month begging for and dribs or drabs, pouring over the social media accounts of World Surf League principals, desperately trying to read the tea leaves.

Jessi Miley-Dyer, Senior Vice President of Tours, Head of Competition, for example, just posted an extremely cryptic one, announcing the “ins and outs” for the 2023 Championship Tour Season.


Confidence as a choice, neon wetsuits, leaving your kindle in a plane seat every three trips, cryptic Taylor Swift lyrics, hairbrushes, friends to take on the world with, purpose based goals.


Twitter, owning more than one leg rope at one time, apologizing, going goblin mode, three fins the same size in your board, gluten, replying to trolls on the internet, goals related to your appearance.

So much to ponder.

Is “confidence as a choice” a clear shot over Filipe Toledo’s bow?

Is “purposed based goals” a shot over BeachGrit’s?

What do you see?

Help, please.

California surfers in literal disbelief as official forecasting partner of World Surf League declares “bombing” swell will deliver largest surf state has seen in 15 years!


Oh but you certainly know the fable of that boy who cried wolf. Aesop’s story of woe has been so widely told as to now be shorthand for someone who fibs, exaggerates, outright lies so often as to no longer be believed, which brings us directly to the official forecasting partner of the World Surf League.

Surfline, based in Huntington Beach, California, has long drawn some ire for both sticking cameras up at waves thereby inviting hordes of freshies and over-exaggerating “swell” events, leading to depression and even more hordes of freshies, but the work it has done with the aforementioned WSL has become the stuff of legend.

Whether the path was forced or chosen, Surfline began delivering cartoonish reports ahead of World Surf League Championship Tour events, doubling wave heights, cancelling wind and weather. Fans of professional surfing, waking up expecting 17-foot Bells, have been met with 3-foot Winkipop etc. for years now and so, hours ago, when Surfline declared “bombing” west swell will deliver largest surf California has seen in fifteen years, many grumpy locals are in literal disbelief.

Places to catch beasts, the surf forecaster writes, include Ventura, El Porto, Cardiff, Blacks and Ocean Beach.

But do you live in one of those places? Are you waxing your gun or guffawing in your soup?

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, a true believer, is certainly preparing his step-up. El Porto is his local and the site of a recent amazing display of wildly below average skill.

If the “bomb” turns out to be a sparkler, maybe still worth turning in.