Staggering real estate portfolio of Surf Olympian Owen Wright and rock star wife Kita Alexander laid bare with reveal of Byron Bay beach shack weekender!

“It’s sandy feet, it’s just coming back from the surf, it’s across the road from the beach, it’s the ultimate beach shack,” says Owen’s rock star wife Kita Alexander, mammy to his two kids.

Only four days after breaking soil on his $26 million dollar luxe townhome build near The Pass, the one-time world title contender Owen Wright has swung open the door on his Byron Bay weekender, which comes with a heated plunge pool and a luxury studio. 

The main house, four beds, swept all day by the sun and cooling breezes, is called Drifters and the little studio is like a hotel room out there in the back yard, perfect for lovers on a budget or just-divorced daddies fleeing the chaos of their ruined families with a run up north. 

(You can rent ’em both on Air BnB when the Wrights aren’t around.) 

“It’s sandy feet, it’s just coming back from the surf, it’s across the road from the beach, it’s the ultimate beach shack,” says Owen’s rock star wife Kita Alexander, mammy to his two kids.

O bought the joint fourteen years ago and the pair navigated the hurdles of Australia’s COVID lockdowns to renovate, turning the ol heritage listed house, dark as hell, sorta place you crack open the cheap Sierra tequila at nine am, to the Instagramable home it is today. 

The house and studio, along with the $26 mill build just up the road, is just one piece in the mighty Owen Wright property portfolio, of course.

You’ll remember the $1.6 million house at Lennox Head with its indoor swimming pool that meandered through the living room,  the Federation-style house in Byron Bay (sold for a little under a million), the beachfront townhouse at Thirroul (675,000) and the gorgeous mountain-top hideaway (bought for 750k, sold for a million).

It hasn’t all been real estate success for O, howevs.

A sour note in Owen’s fairytale life, and apart from the brain damage episode in 2015, was the theft of almost one million bucks of his personal stash by a family friend employed as the fam’s bookkeeper which led to his estrangement from Ma and Pa Wright as well as friction with his siblings and his pop star wife. 

In a victim impact statement read to court prior to the sentencing of poker machine enthusiast Shane Maree Hatton, who copped five years at the top with a three-year non-parole period a year ago, Owen admitted he accused his family members of stealing and even told his wife to lay off the spending. 

Owen said he was “emotionally worn down”, couldn’t sleep, was perpetually pissed off and anxious.

Accusing his parents of ripping him, he said, off had lasting ramifications. 

“My relationships…are still damaged because of the anger issues I had around this,” he said.

And, because of the theft, he couldn’t get out of the pro surfing game despite his catastrophic 2015 brain injury, only splitting when he was kneecapped by the mid-year cut.

“I wanted to retire but I couldn‘t financially (due to the impact of the offending) and fought back into my career risking my life in the process… I was still being stolen from while I could barely walk and while the doctors were saying I would never work again in my career. The physical risk I‘ve taken on to keep surfing was a choice I made because I was not financially in the position to stop my career.”

(The Big O was made real sad by the mid-tour cull, telling the Lipped podcast “It failed the first time and it’s failing again. I’d love for it to never happen again in the future… I don’t know how it’s gone ahead. Every time it gets brought up it gets brushed under the carpet.”)

World marvels as WSL announcing legend “Joltin” Joe Turpel transitions from high-performance championship tour commentary to professional women’s longboarding!

I dare you to watch.

“Luxury” Laird Hamilton stuns crusty locals by revealing secrets of bourgeois lifestyle!

Designer carry-on bags, Viennese lip balm, fois gras for breakfast!

Surfers are known for many things. Neck tans, sandy floorboards of aged pickup trucks, wax under fingernails, sea turtle shell moon sandals, dumb mouths, pterygiums, volume calculators, saltwater crust on favorite R. t-shirts, etc. They are not known for decadent bourgeois lifestyles but I suppose Laird Hamilton has always gone his own way.

The multi-disciplinary waterman never doesn’t fascinate. From inventing standup paddleboarding to re-defining what it means to work out in a swimming pool, Hamilton has made an indelible mark of our surfing world. When he speaks it behooves us to listen to the world’s sexist over-sixty year-old.

The latest wisdom pours from a Forbes interview wherein Hamilton shares travel secrets.

What are some?

Well, the best thing he ever ate was “unforgettably delicious fois gras from a farm restaurant in Bordeaux.” He typically flys first or biz class. His favorite piece of luggage is a Yves St. Laurent carry-on, he always brings Viennese lip balm, “radical moisturizer” and  extra expensive non-fluoride toothpaste. He has a “luxury” pillow and enjoys macadamia nuts which are considered “the most expensive nut in the world.”

Would you have guessed that the adonis was so luxe?

Very cool.

This story number 4980 has been brought to you by Laird Superfood which can be force fed to geese for extra delicious liver down the road.

Shock as hotly anticipated build of $120 million Wiseman’s Ferry wavepool collapses only four months before first sod turned!

All money, say the operators of the failed tank, will be refunded on 31 July 2023 to the bank account nominated by the investor.

Three years ago, the dream of every money-rich, time-poor Sydney surfer appeared set to become true with the launch of a luxury, member-only wavepool an hour and a half drive run north in the Cayenne from Bondi Beach. 

Initially set to open in 2022, the pool and resort at Wiseman’s Ferry on the Hawkesbury River was backed by Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore, Josh Kerr, Olympic coach Bede Durbidge, Jack Freestone and Alana Blanchard.

Digital marketer John Du Vernet, one of the three principals in the project, came up with the idea for the resort while gardening. 

“I was jealous of my friends who could play golf and go cycling all the time, while the surf is only good a few days every year, and everyone knows when that is because of [surfing] apps. A good surf and wave can live with you for months and years, but it’s hard to get that experience.”

The way it worked was you buy a membership, either base, gold or platinum plus an annual fee and it gave you a set amount of time in the tank, which was gonna be a Tom Lochtefeld Surf Loch but later turned into Endless Surf tech, and guaranteed rooms at the Kelvin Ho-designed resort. Investors were encouraged to use their retirement funds (called superannuation in Australia) to buy in, memberships cleverly configured a part-ownership of the joint. 

Now, and as per a report on SwellNet which came via a press release on Facebook by a regional radio station, the project has been canned following wild rains on the notoriously flood-prone river although cost blow-outs is the official reason for the tank’s collapse.

Funny, during those rains I kept thinking, ooowee, wonder how the boys up at Wiseman’s are doin’. Texted ’em, was reassured and so on.

But here we are. 

From Central Coast radiation station Coast FM, 963 on your dial if you’re in the area, 

The glossy masterplan for “Australia’s first private resort-style surfing destination”, at Wisemans Ferry on the Hawkesbury River, was certainly alluring.

To be set among 18.2ha of bushland an hour from North Sydney, the Wisemans Surf Lodge will have a “12,600sqm ocean-like, wave-generating pool, a chic hotel, restaurant and six-hole golf course,”  a destination tourism experts believe could be a drawcard if done right. And, with a minimum investment of $30,000 to buy into an ‘integrated resort destination’, the appeal was there.

Now, a mere four months since building was set to start reforming a thirty-year-old hotel on the property, developers are handing back investors’ money.

“The recent news regarding the completion of our civil tender and the challenges we have faced in securing a viable price during a hyper-escalated market may have left questions (to be answered),” said a spokesperson in a statement released earlier this week.

“Unfortunately, since the completion of our civil tender, we have been unable to secure a construction price that maintains an adequate contingency for the fund due to hyper-escalation. 

“While we’ve completed several rounds of preliminary project pricing throughout this journey, to maintain an accurate and viable fund build-up, the development costs have changed so dramatically that simply adding more debt or equity to compensate does not preserve a viable financial model that the investment is based upon,” added the spokesperson.

“No unitholders’ funds will be lost, all investments will be refunded in full. Unitholder funds have never been used for any purposes and have been held in the Custodian’s trust account as outlined in the PDS. 

All money will be refunded on 31 July 2023 to the bank account nominated by the investor.

Like Teahupo'o only not at all. Photo: WSL
Like Teahupo'o only not at all. Photo: WSL

In bizarre twist, U.S. Olympic surfing head coach Brett Simpson declares team will use Kelly Slater Surf Ranch facility to train for Teahupoo!

"It’s the longest, it’s got the most power, it’s the most challenging."

Right exactly at time of writing, the Wallex U.S. Open of Surfing has just gotten underway in 2 – 3 foot Huntington Beach. A summer crowd is beginning to gather, to watch the surfer bash the lip all the way to the sand. It is not very exciting, if I’m to be all the way honest, though next summer we will have quite a different spectacle to enjoy during this window.


The Place of Broken Skulls.

You, of course, know that Tahiti’s gem is set to host the surfing portion of the Paris Summer Games and all are very excited, save Brazil’s Filipe Toledo. The ledging left, sucking water off the reef and creating a thick, dynamic tube is one of the world’s best waves. One of its scariest too. But how shall the U.S. Olympic surf team, coached by Huntington Beach’s Brett Simpson, prepare? Maybe a trip to Hawaii? A little jaunt to Puerto Rico?

But no.

Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, which creates a mechanical wave not one thing like Teahupo’o, will be utilized.

“Right now in my eyes it’s still the best wave pool out there,” Simpson told Your Central Valley. “It’s the longest, it’s got the most power, it’s the most challenging. I think that wave is so long so you, as a surfer, it’s great. As a beginner you get a lot of ride time, but at an expert level you have a lot of room to make mistakes. I think for the youth and these younger kids to train, it’s something special and I think you’re seeing it. You’re seeing the level rise.”

Oh. I guess he’s talking about training for the Los Angeles Games, which will take place in Los Angeles. Do you think the tub will be the site of the surfing portion there? San Clemente and the aforementioned Huntington Beach are in the mix. Will Lemoore rise above?

If it does, it’ll be the end of Olympic surfing.

Maybe a good thing.

This story number 4979 brought to you by Klly Slater’s Turtle Moon sandals which would like to remind you that the turtle and the moon both have cycles, or something.