“It’s amazing what a good old death threat will do.”
Brazilian fans are rejoicing tonight and singing the praises of the WSL’s expert judging panel after the reigning world champ Filipe Toledo demolished American Griffin Colapinto in the final of the Surf City Pro in El Salvador.
On an unremarkable wave Filipe, who was brave as anything in the weak two-foot surf, turned the heat when he hammered four identical turns for a nine-point ride, something no one saw coming. The wave pressured Colapinto into a series of throwaway airs and his eventual loss.
This time last year, of course, Griffin was being hammered with “violent, gruesome threats” for beating Filipe in the same contest, Brazilian fans claiming the fix was in for the gringo, a white conspiracy and so on, the hashtag, #worldshameleague a viral hit.
Even Filipe’s daddy got into the mix, “We really hope that something will be done, and that this will change, as it is becoming unbearable to see and hear the things we are hearing. during the events, I am embarrassed for the others.”
(Read, Brazilian surf fans apoplectic following Californian Griffin Colapinto’s “shock” win over world title favourite Filipe Toledo, “World Shame League! This event was a joke!” and Latin surf fans vow to create chaos at next World Tour event in Brazil following Filipe Toledos controversial loss to Californian in El Salvador, “The biggest protest in history in Saquarema! Bring banners, balloons, planes, boo all the time! Make them leave due to emotional stress!”)
Two weeks ago, after Brazilians Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and Filipe Toledo were put to the sword by Ethan Ewing and Griffin Colapinto at the Surf Ranch Pro, Ethan was told he was going to be killed (“Here in Brazil, we will kill you. Saquarema will be your funeral,” one Brazilian fan wrote via DM), Gabriel wrote a sad post about bad judging, Italo went teen girl passive-aggressive mode (“After a long day, of many thoughts, analyses, news and arguments, I realized that I am tired, psychologically exhausted… We want nothing but fair. Nothing beyond what is our right. We need our voice to be heard and respected”) and WSL CEO Erik Logan was forced out his panic room to address the rampaging elephants with a searing open letter.
The WSL judging panel, architects of six Brazilian world champions over the last nine years, were accused of ineptitude, bias and racism by Brazilian fans.
Now, the bootie is on the other foot, as they say, with some surf fans claiming the judges and the WSL were too damn scared to let Colapinto win again.
“WSL gifted that win to Felipe because they’re too scared of what would happen to Griffin in Brazil if he won. WSL has to protect their most prized American surfer rn, can’t risk Griffin’s safety in Brazil.”
“Imagine winning but not knowing if you really won because you know all the death threats judges received so you can’t tell if you got overscored.”
“WSL relieving for Felipe… They don’t want to take shit in Saquarema. The decadence is assumed.”
“Letting overzealous claims (from Felipe) and loud cheers and whistles from (Brazilian) supporters influence the scoring is wrong. There needs to be more judges, with better knowledge of the sport, that are unable to be influenced by anything other than the surfing.”
I liked the wave, each incision being made as if with a razor as he planted his stake upright into the lip, but it wasn’t no nine, an eight if you’d had a few drinks, a little knuckle duster and were feeling generous.
Rewatch the heat and give me your learned opinion.