Cape Fear comes to Torquay.
Yesterday global surf fans rejoiced at the announcement that one of the precious wildcard slots for the upcoming Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach would be gifted to Owen Wright who declared he would use the moment to announce his retirement. The Olympic bronze medalist, and mainstay on the World Surf League Championship Tour, stated, “After my traumatic brain injury in 2015, my desire to prove to myself and the world that I could still be great and overcome this life-threatening incident inspired my recovery. Given my recent history with head injuries and concussions, competing at some of the heaviest waves on the planet is no longer in the best interest of my long-term health.I excelled in these conditions over my career, but the risks associated with this type of surfing are too significant for someone in my position, given my medical history.”
And while global surf fans were drying their eyes while fetching Owen Wright singlets from cedar-lined hope chests, the Championship Tour surfers, themselves, and especially those residing near the dreaded mid-year cut line, are quaking with fear.
Wright, himself, was one of the major names guillotined last year, given a proper head injury as it rolled from the blade and into the gutter. He was certainly having an off year but was not nearly incompetent, many good years appearing out ahead.
And you don’t imagine that revenge, a Cape Fear-style madness, has been percolating for an entire year?
Pictures tacked to the walls of one of his beautiful homes featuring World Surf League foes in crosshairs?
You certainly recall the 1962 thriller starring Robert Mitchum, remade in 1992 starring Robert Di Niro, wherein a very angry ex-con terrorizes the family of the public defender he believes responsible for his lengthy imprisonment.
Aye, aye, aye.
As a wildcard, he will come up against those in danger of The Widow including, possibly, Connor O’Leary, Matt McGillivray, Kanoa Igarashi, Kolohe Andino and one Kelly Slater.
How many skulls do you think Wright will carry with him into retirement?
The aforementioned greatest of all-time’s?