Suspected Great White attack Del Mar
"The victim was transported by ambulance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla with injuries that are significant but not believed to be life-threatening. The injuries included bites to the torso, left arm and hand,” the city reported.

Developing: Suspected Great White shark attack on swimmer closes Del Mar beaches

"The victim was transported by ambulance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Injuries included bites to the torso, left arm and hand."

It was coming, I suppose you could say.

A few days back, San Clemente beaches were closed after a kid was knocked off his surfboard by a Great White, an event that surprised no one given the explosion of the Great White population around those parts.

Earlier today, a forty-six-year-old swimmer training off 17th Street in Del Mar, a dozen or nautical miles south, was hit by a suspected Great White, suffering “significant but not life-threatening injuries.

“The victim was transported by ambulance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla with injuries that are significant but not believed to be life-threatening. The injuries included bites to the torso, left arm and hand,” the city reported.

In 2021, Joel Tudor posted footage of a ten-foot Great White breaching off Cardiff, four miles north of Del Mar. 

“Don’t surf Cardiff,” wrote Tudor. “It’s infested with ten-foot White sharks that are attracted to soft tops, stand-up paddlers and tourist swimmers. Stay safe and find a lake or go take a hike. This was today at 8:12 am.”

The post opened a floodgate of Great White chatter.

Former tour surfer Shea Lopez wrote, “When these pups grow up it’s gonna be a different story in SoCal waters. They were all over Lowers the past three days.”

Del Mar, of course, is a monied sorta town and notable residents include Bill Gates, Tony Hawke and Journey lead singer Stevie Perry.


Surfing superstar almost killed at Pipeline Joao Chianca makes spectacular return to water!

João Chianca squeezes his curves into rhinestone caves and sparkles like a shooting star in the air. 

Back on December three, the then world number four João Chianca scooped up a fine set at Backdoor, got a little hung in the lip, pin-dropped, came up, got hit by a set and…head strike on the reef…unconscious.

João Chianca, just twenty-three and the younger brother of big-wave surfer Lucas Chianca, was held underwater by multiple waves before being rescued by teenage hotshot and Eddie invitee Jake Maki.

Before  belted during a horror season at Pipeline where six, or was it eight, Pipe vets were badly hurt, Chianca, who “curb-stomped” Jack Robinson to win the MEO Rip Curl Pro in Portugal nine month earlier, was one of the Olympic medal favourites for Paris 2024 at Teahupoo.

A real ugly injury.

Fractured skull, bleeding on the brain, a flap of skin that needed fourteen stitches to close and, as y’might expect, concussion.

João Chianca wasn’t at Teahupoo this year, although he did take his seat at the Challenger event at Snapper finishing equal fifth.

Before, he was in Indonesia, putting together a fine little edit from a trip to what used to be called Hog Island up there in Sumatra, home to eighty-thousand souls and a short flight from the bright lights and happy faces of Medan.

João squeezes his curves into a few rhinestone caves and sparkles like a shooting star in the air.

Essential.


Kelly Slater (insert) with pearls of wisdom for Filipe Toledo.
Kelly Slater (insert) with pearls of wisdom for Filipe Toledo.

Surf great Kelly Slater advises trembling champ Filipe Toledo on how to paddle Teahupo’o

"Teahupo'o is no joke and you've gotta make a decision with yourself..."

Teahupo’o, or Head Place, is in the rearview mirror as the World Surf League’s Championship Tour swings toward Central then South America. Yes, the El Salvador Pro opens its waiting period wide in just four days with the Rio Pro coming directly on its heels. Afterward, though, the cream of the crop will retrace carbon footprints back to Tahiti in order to ready themselves for the Olympic Games.

Now, many of the hopefuls excel “at the end of the road,” their courage and skill just highlighted. Vahine Fierro, John John Florence, Gabriel Medina, Jack Robinson and Ramzi Boukhiam to name but five. Others, like Jordy Smith and Kanoa Igarashi also performed well, showcasing work put in over the years to navigate the terror.

And then there is the case of Filipe Toledo.

The current world surf champion, sitting out the tour this year but still-Olympic bound, was at Head Place just prior to the Pro and felt it a good idea to post an unfinished baby barrel to his social media as proof. Maybe he was unaware of the forecast, that actual waves were coming and they would actually be ridden, providing stark contrast to his efforts. In any case, Toledo’s unwillingness to paddle Teahupo’o has been a major storyline heading into the Olympics. His historic 0.0 heat total and inability to give effort when in a heat with two old-timers legendary. Calls for him to relinquish his spot grew to a roar after countryman Italo Ferreira’s win. Ferreira the odd man out on Brazil’s overstocked squad.

But Toledo has shown no sign of abdicating, defiantly clutching his pearls. Well, one of the aforementioned old-timers, Kelly Slater, who just so happened to reach the quarterfinals in the most recent running, just offered advice to the timid lion. In celebration of week, Slater wrote, “Tahiti has been amazing. The energy, the people, the surf… if you could only bottle it up for everyone to experience. Thanks of all the support and fun this week from family, friends and fans alike.” The 56-year-old then went on to describe his experience and praise those put their heads down before remarking, “Teahupo’o is no joke and you’ve gotta make a decision with yourself if you want it and disregard what the brain is saying at times.”

Screenshot

Certainly easier said than done but also great advice. With under two months remaining until the lighting of the torch will Toledo turn off his brain and become the greatest sporting story ever told or… not? I, for one, am very much cheering for Filipe Toledo, wishing more than anything to be put right in my head place.

He will be surfing against Igarashi in the opening round.

More as the story develops.


Charly Hull (left) John Daly (right) and surfing's great hope Cait Simmers (insert).
Charly Hull (left) John Daly (right) and surfing's great hope Cait Simmers (insert).

All eyes on women’s professional surfing after “female John Daly” discovered in golf

Who in our water world has the potential to rock n roll?

The 2024 World Surf League Championship Tour is well over halfway finished, now, and it is clear that the women are the story of the year. Opening with blistering performances at Pipeline, taking their talents to Snapper (on the Challenger Series, sure, but the Molly P. barrel) and then, of course, Teahupo’o with mesmerizing performances from Tati Weston-Webb, Brisa Hennessy and Vahine Fierro.

Bravos all around though… if I might nitpick… there are no “female John Daly’s” in the crew.

Yesterday, one of those rare gems was discovered in golf. The English linkswoman Charly Hull, currently 8th in the world, was signing autographs outside the U.S. Open earlier in the week, looking relaxed and ripping a grit. John Daly is, of course, famous for maybe being John John Florence’s dad and also smoking, drinking, etc. whilst golfing.

Fans were very impressed, one writing, “Dude she just lit up another in front of me.”

What made it even better, was her golf pal had a pic of Hull hacking, showed it to her and elicited peels of laughter.

Back to our surfing, though. Who in the draw has the potential to rock n roll in this manner? Caity Simmers is a good possible option, what with her expletive-filled celebration after taking the Pipe Masters in January and is just barely old enough to buy a pack of darts though cannot yet legally purchase booze, or at least not in these United States.

Australia’s Tyler Wright a possibility with “feral mongrel bogan” and mullets in her bloodline?

What about Johanne Defay all Gauloises and red wine?

Help before golf buries our cool once and for all!


Lewis Hamilton (pictured) sweating the memory of death.
Lewis Hamilton (pictured) sweating the memory of death.

Lewis Hamilton shares how surf great Kelly Slater almost had him killed while eating hot wings

"Welcome to the Kill Zone, pal."

Now, it must be assumed that race car legend Lewis Hamilton, who drives for the prancing horse, has stared death in the eye many times. Smashing into walls at 160 mph, flipping through the air, being smothered by groupies wishing to drown in his doe-like eyes but apparently those don’t brushes with mortality, or morality as it were, do not even register. For, yet again, the very cute 39-year-old went into detail about his friend, surf great Kelly Slater, and the clammy grip of Davey Jones. You’ll recall previous re-tellings here, here and here.

The latest, though, came as Hamilton was mowing through a plate of hot wings wherein he shared:

Biggest wipeout I had I was with Kelly Slater, on Pipeline. It was like 20ft waves (at Pipeline) and Kelly was like “there’s no way you’re coming out there. You’re crazy.” I turn around and see this set of four waves coming and that for me was like: “it’s over, it’s all over.” As I threw my board, I dove down and grabbed the reef and I could hear this wave crash behind me. My board got ripped and snapped in half. I came back up, obviously gasping for air and the next one was coming so back down, grabbed the reef again as another wave comes over. So I did that three times. I got up, I’d nearly run out of air. I’d nearly drowned, but managed to swim back from there.

Left out from the earlier versions was that Slater had dared him to paddle out. Interesting, I suppose, that this is such a core memory. If I had a dollar for every “almost drowned” story from my Oregon days I’d have probably six dollars.

In any case, how do you feel, generally, about chicken wings. A fan who seeks out various “Wing Wednesday” promotions or someone who scoffs at the waste? Also, if a fan, what is your preferred sauce? I’ll say, for me, it’s really hard to beat straight up original buffalo.

Debate time.