Under gloomy skies and only one hour after putting Joao Chianca to the guillotine in the final seconds of their semi, the Brazilian Gabriel Medina has stormed into world title contention after a dominant performance over Griffin Colapinto at the Margaret River Pro.
Like a German tank crunching through straw huts on its way across a border, Medina was untroubled by difficult six-to-eight-foot waves that left most of his peers, although not Griffin Colapinto let’s be said, looking maladroit.
Colapinto had seized his place in the final when he overthrew two-time Margaret River Pro champ John John Florence in a coup d’état so bloody it shocked surf fans.
The win puts twenty-nine-year-old Medina, who hadn’t placed better, or worse, than ninth in the previous four events, into seventh spot on the ratings and with a shot at claiming his fourth world title in September.
Colapinto’s second-placing, meanwhile, gifts Colapinto a place on Finals Day, which is held at his home beach Lower Trestles, something that has eluded the twenty four year old in the previous two seasons.
“It’s a contest I’ve always wanted to win,” said Medina of his seventeenth tour victory. “I’m always struggling to make heats here.”
After what feels like a never-ending series of near-fatal accidents around Byron featuring leashless hipsters on longboards belting people in the head, its council has unanimously voted to enforce the wearing of legropes by law.
Yesterday, councillor Cate Coorey, a progressive who says “we must heal and restore this land and plan for a climate disrupted future” put forward the motion that would see cops roaming the beach ready to sting the leashless with on-the-spot fines of $75 or $1100 if you want to take it to court.
There’s gonna be signs on the beach and rangers on the sandy beat although the council’s legal advice is it might be a little tricky to make a clean bust.
“The offence … is not just about engaging in certain conduct [not wearing a leash], but engaging in that conduct contrary to a notice,” the report said, adding the council would need to prove they had passed “near enough to a notice prior to entering the water that they could be said to have acted contrary to it”.
Two months ago, the pro surfer Matt Cassidy nearly bled out on the beach at Wategos after being hit by a loose board and six months back, an aged care worker and mother of a disabled kid was crippledafter she got belted by an out-of-control surf pilot who then criticised her for damaging his board with her bone and tissue.
“It sends the right message that people are starting to take it seriously, that surf safety is something we should have top of mind when we enter the water,” said Cassidy. “If it helps just one kid hanging out at the lagoon at the Pass not get hit in the head by a mal, they’ve done the right thing.”
You like cops on the beach?
Or do you prefer a little ol frontier justice?
Open Thread: Comment Live on final’s day of the Margaret River Pro where dreams grow from blood of decapitated stablemates!
Only a handful of the world’s finest surfers remain, currently, in Western Australia twiddling thumbs and anticipating the final day of the Margaret River Pro. Yes, that window is nearly shut with Filipe Toledo, Barron Mamiya, Gabriel Medina and Griffin Colapinto waiting to see which amongst them will be crowned a king. Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, Tyler Wright and Bronte Macaulay waiting to see which amongst them will be crowned a queen.
The rest of the championship tour, those who did not get chopped and/or did get chopped but also received a bonus wildcard from the World Surf League, are likely home packing their bags for the upcoming Surf Ranch Pro which doesn’t kick off until the end of May but the excitement is impossible to contain.
Oh, who am I kidding. Everyone hates that event. The surfers hate it, the fans hate it and, apparently, nature hates it too for Lemoore, Surf Ranch’s home, is predicted to be underwater by the time the World Surf League rolls into town.
Yes, a historically wet winter has left California’s lakes full, its rivers running over and its mountains covered in snow. As the weather warms, that snow will melt and flood the Central Valley.
Water managers are concerned that the spring snowmelt in the Sierra Nevada will be so massive that the north fork of the Kings River won’t be able to contain it and carry it toward the Pacific Ocean. Much of the water also is being channeled into the river’s south fork, which winds through the area near the small city of Lemoore to fill a vast basin.
Residents are packing trailers and ready to flee, farmers worried as the long dormant Lake Tulare has reemerged.
Governor Gavin Newsom is so stressed that not even the Liberty Farms pekin duck pressé with buttered popcorn grits, sunny side up quail egg, crispy cipollini onion and pimentón jus from The French Laundry can cheer him up.
But how do you think nervous locals will feel when Erik Logan, Jessi Miley-Dyer and gang show up all giggly and goofy?
"I heard a scream and the shark was just chomping on his body and the body was in half just off the rocks here.”
A little over a year ago, a swimmer, a vet from the West’s misadventure in Afghanistan, was hit and killed by a fifteen-foot Great White shark at Little Bay, a few clicks south of Maroubra beach in Sydney’s south-east.
Simon Nellist, who was thirty-five, was practising for an upcoming charity swim when the White hit from below, attacking while onlookers watched and filmed from rocks a few metres away.
Fisherman Kris Linto said he saw the White attack.
“The shark came and attacked them vertically,” Linto told Nine News. “We heard a yell and then turned around. [The splash] looked like a car just landed in the water.”
Now, the International Shark Attack file has, inexplicably, at least on the surface, labelled the attack a “provoked incident” for the purposes of its macabre ledger.
“While Mr Nellist did nothing consciously to provoke an incident, he was swimming in an area where people were fishing,” Gavin Naylor, director for the Florida Programme for Shark Research, wrote in an email to the Shark Bytes YouTube channel. “Fishing is an activity that draws sharks in. We therefore consider it provoked for our purposes… Any factor that draws sharks to an area (fishing, chumming, scalloping, etc) or behaviour that goads the shark, riding them, petting them, feeding them (you might be surprised what people do!) are thought to induce behaviours that are not typical.”
Relatives say Nellist’s mother was left wondering “how could he return from the frontline (of Afghanistan) unscathed to then go to Australia, go out for a swim and get killed.”