A blast has just gone off in the generally placid surf world, shaking the ground from Australia’s Gold Coast to California’s orange one. Sending surf enthusiasts reeling. Stumbling like drunkards and gasping for air. You have, no doubt, been following the story of Laura Enever’s very recent Guinness record for the largest ever wave (paddle-in) (female).
A wonderful story, certainly, and one that should be celebrated.
The World Surf League is involved in the whole business and, as surf watchers well know, everything the World Surf League touches turns to poo.
It was World Surf League tabbed scientists that declared Enever’s wave to be 43.6 feet. All extremely impressive, save the ride out which somehow went missing. That bit was evocative of the XXL Big Wave Awards from three years ago where Brazil’s Maya Gabeira beat out France’s Justine Dupont for the coveted Ride of the Year.
She, too, won a Guinness.
Now, new revelations from that event, then owned by the World Surf League, suggest much duplicity.
World Surf League Bombshell
According to well-placed sources, the judging committee, a “veteran team” who had been judging big waves since the dawn of time, decided that Justine Dupont had won. The World Surf League Chief of Sport, then commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer disagreed. She brought in her team of scientists. They determined Gabeira’s wave height, and then, Miley-Dyer forced the committee to declare her winner.
Dupont, at the time, not pleased, penning, “The @wsl announced that the record for the biggest wave surfed would be awarded to a surfer who does not finish her wave. I decided to smile about it even though I am deeply hurt to be subjected to a decision that I believe is totally unfairI’m especially disappointed and ashamed of this league which claims to represent our sport.”
She went on to criticize the “report from scientists who use the word ‘approximate’ in front of each of their statements.”
She ended with, “The season is starting and I know that I can surf even bigger waves without waiting for some records from them.”
Well, three years on and Dupont just snagged an absolute bear at Cortes Bank while filming HBO’s hit series 100 Foot Wave.
It went completely unrecognized by the World Surf League.