Surfing nepo baby Jackson Dorian looking good. Photo: ISA
Surfing nepo baby Jackson Dorian looking good. Photo: ISA

Japan stuns Australia sending surf mad nation tumbling to make-believe medal at World Junior Surfing Championship!

An old foe reemerges and delivers a dagger.

Disbelief, depression and despondency are spreading across Australia, today, as the surf mad nation was tumbled to a make-believe medal at the just-wrapped World Junior Surfing Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The host nation, surprising absolutely no one, took gold. Brazil, which is of course the world’s preeminent surf power and especially at home, locked in individual golds for boys under eighteen plus swinging two surfers into the boys under sixteen finals.

The United States of America, long forgotten on the international surf scene, greatly surprised by winning team silver and three individual medals, all by women.

Japan, though, was the big story, taking individual gold in the girls under eighteen division thus securing team bronze and sending Australia to team copper.

Copper?

Since when was fourth place “copper” a thing?

Is “copper” the new participation trophy?

Whatever the case, Sierra Kerr won the only Australian individual medal, gold for girls under sixteen, and told the gathered international press, “It feels so good. I’ve been thinking about this one since last year and this was one I really wanted to win. I was so excited to pull it off.”

But let’s be honest, here. Even though Sierra’s father is Australia’s own Josh Kerr, her mother is Nikki, an American, and we all know that nationality passes to the children via the mother.

And so, really, no individual golds for Australia which likely even erases the ersatz “copper.”

Do you think there will be wholesale change as to how juniors are developed down under or will the babies be thrown out with the bathwater?

More as the story develops.


Carissa Moore adds weight to calls for boycott of Paris 2024 by surfers

Calls to boycott Paris 2024 Teahupoo grow as gold medallist Carissa Moore writes, “This doesn’t seem worth it”

"A Gold Medal is worth this? Respect the locals and Teahupoo, be strong."

Although the reaction from Olympians concerning the destruction of the Teahupoo reef to build a fine new aluminium judging tower has been muted, reigning gold medallist Carissa Moore has added her voice to the growing clamour to either boycott the games or stop the build.

Following yesterday’s report the Olympic barge had accidentally bulldozed its way through the precious coral reef, Carissa Moore wrote: 

“(Broken heart emoji) This doesn’t seem worth it.” 

Carissa Moore comments on building of tower at Teahupoo
Carissa Moore asks the obvs question, Is a three-day surf contest worth bulldozing a reef for?

 

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A post shared by Save Teahupoo (@saveteahupoo)

Surf fans were quick to dive on five-time world champion Moore’s comment, begging her to leverage her considerable influence to pressure organisers to cancel the tower’s construction with the threat of a surfer boycott. 

You can do something about it! Use your voice on all of our behalf to tell the world what’s happening and call in the Olympic group to change this. Gather together the others. Strength in numbers. This doesn’t have to happen. You’re right it’s so not worth it. I believe in you

please, tell them you wont participate. All of you can tell “them” together and say no to this collectively as a community.

you need to boycott the Olympics

Every surfer needs to boycott the Olympics until they stop this

And from the noted surf photographer Tom Servais,

Bullish#*! Stop this, surfers should boycott the event! Do the right thing, if you don’t boycott you are part of the problem. A Gold Medal is worth this? Respect the locals and Teahupoo, be strong.

The only other surf Olympian to appear amid the commentary was small-wave wizard Filipe Toledo whose own hopes for Olympic gold were shattered a couple of weeks back after organisers decided to keep the event at Teahupoo despite pressure to move it to an insipid beachbreak up the coast. 

The suggestion to move to Taharuu forty clicks back towards Papeete came following a furore over Paris 2024’s decision to demolish the old wooden judging tower and replace it with a five-million dollar aluminium structure.

Instead of going with the beachbreak option organisers pushed back against the dumb idea and compromised a little on the tower, reducing its footprint by twenty-five percent to make it the same size as the old wooden one.

Also, the pylons weren’t gonna be drilled quite so deep and dry toilets instead of running water ones were to be used.

“The new tower, less imposing and reduced in size and weight, installed on new permanent foundations, is the solution that will ensure the longevity of the tower and guarantee that future sporting events can be held at Teahupoo,” organisers said in a statement.

At least that was the idea.

Anyway, Filipe Toledo wrote:

“Whaaat? No way!”

And,

“No no nooooo!”

Hoping, y’think, for the beachbreak option to be tossed back on the table? Genuine concern for health of the reef or a little of both?


Pipe dream of Australian wave pool utopia snuffed out by harsh new report

Blame Kelly?

It seems like only yesterday Australians were told they were about to wake up to a new utopia. Vegemite in every cupboard and a surf ranch in every back yard. Yes, the unveiling of Kelly Slater’s manmade wave miracle, there in the cow stink of Lemoore, heralded a bold new age for the nation of surf mad huis. Exciting proposals popped up directly. A rusty plunger built in Yeppoon.

And yet, nearly one decade on, only one public wave generating facility has been built down in Melbourne. The aforementioned Surf Lakes facility, in Yeppoon, still just an invite-only prototype.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, wondering why, visited with Surf Lakes founder Aaron Trevis who declared there is simply no money for the things. He was hoping to have $50 million raised by now. Alas, he has not. “I was hoping to be there already,” he sadly stated, “but that’s the challenge. At this stage it is really about the money, to be honest.”

Urbnsrf, the one operating in Melbourne, is planning another in Sydney, scheduled to open next year, and another in Perth. The Kelly Slater Surf Ranch set to be built on pristine wetlands, shuttered forever.

And that’s it, that’s all.

ABC concluded:

Not only are surf parks complicated and costly to develop, operators say they are expensive to run.

Making waves is energy intensive, and a steady stream of cashed-up surfers are required to keep the lights on and the pumps running day and night.

The emerging business model is for the pool to serve as the centrepiece of a larger, integrated development with multiple revenue streams.

But developers said institutional investors viewed surf parks as a new — and therefore risky — phenomenon and were reluctant to fund them.

The Wavegarden technology is the most efficient with annual operating expenses at, roughly $11.5 million. Cost for the surfer also economical with “12 guaranteed waves costing between $80 and $160.”

Slater’s the most expense with a private day rate of $70,000. “It turns a profit but its clientele are almost exclusively Silicon Valley executives and their mates, or sponsored professionals.”

The piece went on to discuss more troubles with the surf tank model but pivoted sort of anti-depressive at the end, attempting to maybe imagine a future sotted with tubs.

Where do you currently stand on the matter?

Bullish or bearish?


Teahupoo reef destroyed Instagram post
Olympic barge mows through famous Teahupoo reef.

Breaking: Teahupoo reef “destroyed” by Olympic barge for Paris 2024

"I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupoo Teahupoo."

Just in from the wildly lovely tropical island called Tahiti is news the Olympic barge for Paris 2024 has accidentally “destroyed” a section of the famous Teahupoo reef.

The Instagram account @saveteahupoo reports,

To maintain transparency, the authorities had planned to take the associations on the barge tomorrow to show us how it works, but instead they went there today without us.

The barge got stuck on the reef several times just as planned by the locals.

This is on high tide and no load on the barge.

This barge is supposed to carry an aluminum tower that will be planted on the reef for a 3 day surf competition for the Olympic games of 2024. Despite local and international mobilisation, @paris2024 is still planning on building on the reef of Teahupo’o

As long as your humour holds and the apparent “ecocide” of a hunk of colourful coral doesn’t trigger you, the accompanying video on the post is pretty funny. It’s like your ol pal DR, who ain’t no helmsman, got behind the wheel of the barge and hacked through the precious reef.

 

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A post shared by Save Teahupoo (@saveteahupoo)

It’s been a wild few months in Teahupoo.

Ever since Olympic organisers announced a magnificent aluminium judging tower would be built on the reef at a cost of five-mill US and demolished the old wooden structure used by the WSL citing safety issues.

Local surfer Tahurai Henry, who organised a mass protest against what he regards as rich man’s folly, said at the time.

“This judge’s tower project will completely destroy a large part of the lagoon in the face of the most beautiful wave in the world! A construction worth over 500 million francs for 3-4 days of competition that won’t be reused for our local surfers!”

Meanwhile, surfers in the event will be housed in a Chinese-owned cargo ship, the Aranui 5, described as “the Pacific’s strangest cruise ship” and “the weird offspring of a love affair between a cargo freighter and a passenger liner.”

If you’ve ever been to this town of fifteen-hundred souls at the literal end of the road in Tahiti-iti, seventy clicks or so from the capital Papeete, you’ll know what a low-fi place it is outside of the annual WSL event there when the only noise you’ll hear is the great swoosh of water as Filipe reverse paddles into a set.

“I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupoo Teahupoo,” Henry Tahurai told The Guardian. He says he’s “scared “of  what might happen to his “little piece of paradise… We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for the next generation.”


Illegal immigrants land on Malibu beach
Twenty-five illegal immigrants land on pretty Malibu beach just north of Paradise Cove.

Socially progressive Malibu welcomes first beach landing of illegal migrants

The 25 new Americans scattered once they hit the sands near Paradise Cove, Malibu, and just under the $100-million clifftop home of Barbara Streisand…

The socially progressive surf-and-celebrity enclave Malibu is in a state of, mostly, euphoria today after it was revealed a boat filled with illegal immigrants had disembarked on its shores a couple of nights back. 

Although details are scarce, the twenty-five new Americans scattered once they the golden sands of what used to be Chumash lands, and just under the $100-million clifftop compound of chanteuse Barbara Streisand, LA County officials have confirmed the panga boat they arrived on was scuttled offshore. 

The location of the Malibu landing is significant.

In 2019, Streisand, who is a long-time donor to the now-disgraced Democratic Party, criticised the admittedly ghastly Donald Trump for his plans to build a border wall.

“Trump only cares about this ‘wall’ in order to build a monument to himself. Just like the bankrupt ‘Trump’ buildings, the nation cannot afford to pay for his ego – not financially, not morally,” Streisand wrote on X.

And to Vogue magazine,

“Unless you’re an American Indian, you know, you’re a child or grandchild or great-grandchild of immigrants, even the president,,” she said.

Streisand’s house at 6838 Zumirez Drive in Malibu ain’t that far from Paradise Cove, the upscale trailer park famous for its celebrity residents including iconic surf writer Sam George.

(Built in the nineteen-fifties on eighty-five acres of classic Californian beachfront land, the park became the go-to for ocean-lovers who wanted affordable seclusion amid the craziness of Los Angeles.)

Boat landings are unknown in Malibu, given its geographical location more than one hundred miles north of the Mex border, although the city’s status as a sanctuary city certainly made the long haul up the coast worth it. 

See, in 2017, its city council voted for Malibu to become a sanctuary city which means a couple of things: they don’t coopeerate with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and city funds and resources can’t be used to enforce federal civil immigration law. 

Last May, a boatload of new Americans landed at even prettier, and almost as monied, Laguna Beach. Twelve happy arrivals, all dispersed without incident.