Cindy Crawford in Sumba.
The great Cindy Crawford, posing for surf photo vet Jason Childs on the island of Sumba, home to the world's most hotly policed, and expensive to surf, lefthander!

Supermodel Cindy Crawford stuns with photo shoot at world’s most exclusive surf resort!

And surfs world's most hotly policed and expensive to surf lefthander!

The last time eighties supermodel Cindy Crawford appeared on these pages it was as a surf pupil for the Tahitian heartthrob and Surf Ranch king Raimana Van Bastolaer, whom she subsequently described as “human viagra”.

“He’s the Big Blue Pill,” wrote Cindy Crawford. “ He can get anyone up! Even me!”

An icon of the fashion world, Cindy Crawford became one of the most recognizable faces in fashion, known for her trademark beauty mark above her lip. Her career peaked in 1987 when she appeared alongside the other OG supermods Christy Turlington, Linda Evangalista and Naomi Campbell on British Vogue.

Now, as if to cement those surf bona fides first established under Raimana’s powerful hands in Lemoore, Cindy Crawford has appeared in a photo shoot at the glamorous resort that fronts and owns the rights to Occy’s Left on the Indonesia island of Sumba.

And, not only is she enjoying the hotly policed left, Cindy Crawford even allowed surf photo legend Jason Childs to grab a couple of snaps as she posed in front of a pack of Sumba’s famous wild horses.

 

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Do you remember when Nihi, formerly Nihiwatu, was voted the best hotel in the world?

For twelve thousand dollars a night, you can rent a five-bedroom estate while a “starter villa” is $US1500 a night.

If you want to actually surf the left out the front, you have to peel off around $US150 per surf, which includes local and resort taxes, with a maximum of “one surf slot per villa” and a total complement in the lineup of twelve surfers.

Claude and Petra Graves set up Nihiwatu in 2000 before selling to American entrepreneur Chris Burch and South African hotelier James McBride in 2012.

After renovations last spring, Nihiwatu was visited by Travel + Leisure magazine‘s Peter Jon Lindberg, who wrote:

“I spent my week in Sumba in a state of suspended bliss, orbiting among infinity pools, natural mud baths, waterfall-fed swimming holes, glowing valleys full of rice paddies, misty mountaintop villages straight out of Tolkien, and a beach that looked as if it were airbrushed on the side of a van.
“That beach is spectacular, with or without the left-hand break, and one can easily see why the Graveses pitched their tent here. It can’t have changed much in the 27 years since: every morning I’d walk the mile and a half to the end, and every morning mine were the only footprints.

“Nihiwatu’s redesign—by the Bali firm Habitat 5—finds a winning balance between refined and raw. Guest villas allude to traditional Sumbanese homes, with steeply pitched thatched roofs and massive kasambi tree trunks for support columns. Sumbanese ikat tapestries and black-and-white photos of local villagers hang on ocher stone walls. Wide-angle windows overlook lush gardens and the sea beyond.

“Local touches show up everywhere: bathroom sinks are hewn from slabs of roughly carved stone; wardrobes are fashioned from coconut wood. The space is natural where you want it to be, sleek where you need it—as in the seamless glide of sliding glass doors; the light switches that glow in the unfamiliar dark; or the straw paddle fan that swirls inside, not outside, your monumental canopy bed. Most striking of the new villas: the Kanatar Sumba Houses, where an outdoor shower is magically cantilevered off the second floor. All the other outdoor showers went home and cried.

“Ninety-eight percent of the staff are from Sumba. Like most guests, I was assigned a butler, a jovial Sumbanese man named Simson, who arrived at 7 a.m. every morning bearing breakfast—papaya, rambutan, watermelon juice, house-made yogurt, Sumba coffee. (The foodhere is terrific, highlighting the bright, fresh flavors you crave in the tropics.) One morning Simson was limping because a scorpion had bitten him on the toe back home. ‘I didn’t check before putting on my sandals!’ he said, as if it were his fault, not the scorpion’s. He quickly added that one seldom encounters them at Nihiwatu.

“Of course there’s an inevitable dissonance between Sumba’s privation and Nihiwatu’s privilege, between a subsistence-level economy and a butler-staffed resort. Perhaps that’s why so many guests are compelled to support the foundation and, not least, to visit Sumbanese villages. To do so is to realize how unique— and symbiotic—the relationship is between Nihiwatu and the island it calls home.”

Did you, like me, laugh a little at the reference to the butler? “…a jovial Sumbanese man named Simson… one morning Simson was limping because a scorpion had bitten him on the toe back home.”

Oh, poor Simson, the damn native, paid to be jovial, even when he’s seized with poison!

Six years ago, quasi-Kardashian Brody Jenner rented the entire joint out for a traditional heterosexual wedding, since dissolved, to Kaitlynn Carter.


Filipe Toledo (going right) getting himself out of Fiji.
Filipe Toledo (going right) getting himself out of Fiji.

Surfline delivers wildly bullish forecast for Oi Rio Pro

Surf fans lick Bertie's Pepper Sauce from lips.

It feels like an eternity since we last witnessed professional surfing at its highest level though, in reality, it has only been a month. Still, a very long time for the surf fan to sit and ponder things that don’t relate, directly, to heat strategy, wave selection, priorities and priority interferences.

The Rio Pro, anyhow, has opened its waiting period except talk across the coconut wireless was there would be no waves for the Brazilian leg of the World Surf League’s Championship Tour.

Like, zero.

Well, Surfline, the WSL’s official forecast partner, has just dropped an absolutely bullish report that has the aforementioned fan potentially giddy.

“Head high to overhead swell moves in with favorable conditions” for tomorrow, “well overhead surf, onshore wind but not blown out” on Thursday and “overhead surf with favorable local wind” on Saturday.

Clear the schedule except, of course, save some steam for Thursday evening when President Joe Biden and former President Donald J. Trump will paddle into a man on man bout that will see one of them, likely, teetering and the other, possibly, stumbling.

Back to Rio, though, Jordy Smith, who surfs against Barron Mamiya and Imaikalani deVault in the opening frame has the most to lose, teetering in the 5th spot just ahead of a recently invigorated Brazilian trio of Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and Yago Dora. Any one of them could send the big South African cascading out of Finals Day.

Very exciting but not as exciting as the 2017 Oi Rio Pro wherein Filipe Toledo attempted to storm the judging tower and became suspended by the World Surf League for the next event which just so happened to take place in Fiji. Looking back, do you think the small wave wizard engineered the incident so as not to surf a big left?

Hmmmm.

In any case, see you tomorrow bright and early or dark and dusky, depending upon where you bed each night.


Julian Assange (pictured) ready to drop in.
Julian Assange (pictured) ready to drop in.

Australian surfers snarl as old mate Julian Assange returns to already choked lineups

"Mate, the last thing we need is one more surfer..."

Australian surfers are bracing themselves, today, as yet another surfer is set to enter lineups already choked past even remotely acceptable levels. Julian Assange, 52, chartered a $500,000 plane which is flying him from London to Snapper where he will likely paddle out behind the rock and begin snaking alongside Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison.

Along the way, he will stop in Saipan in order to plead guilty to one count of breaching United States espionage law.

Assange had spent the past the last five years in England’s Belmarsh Prison after a seven year stay in Ecuador’s London embassy. The WikiLeaks founder and editor had become in much trouble for releasing documents that cast a dark light on United States activity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His wife, who married him when he was jailed, declared that she was “elated” that her husband was finally a free man and “We will be seeking a pardon, obviously, but the fact that there is a guilty plea, under the Espionage Act, in relation to obtaining and disclosing national defence information is obviously a very serious concern for journalists.”

She will likely not be as happy when he stays out very late at night drinking Balters with the boys.

While free speech advocates are cheering, the Gold Coast surfing community is wondering if Assange will ride JS or DHD though are expecting him to choose a higher volume board in order to catch more waves. One surfer, asking to remain anonymous in order to avoid being arrested for spying, stated, “Old mate has been out of the water for twelve years. He’s going to drop in on any and everything. Argh. Fark. Cunt. Etc.”

His options, there, are either JS’s Sub Xero or DHD’s Interceptor.

Australian Prime Minster Anthony Albanese not wanting to kick that particular beehive simply said, “Regardless of the views that people have about Mr Assange [and] his activities, the case has dragged on for too long.”

But what do you think?

JS or DHD?

More as the story develops.


Johnny Konings and his girl Charlotte.
Johnny Konings and his girl Charlotte. One day at a time, little victories, etc.

Gold Coast surfer speared into D-Bah sandbank reveals horror prognosis

"The worst-case scenario is it's unlikely he’ll walk again”

Hang onto the small things in life, kids, ‘cause life sure can spin on a dime.

Six days ago, Johnny Konings, a thirty-one-year-old New Zealand-born surfer who’d shifted his life to the Gold Coast to follow the perfect-waves-in-warm-water dream and was living with his cute Pilates teacher girl, belted his spine in a wipeout at D-Bah and now…now?…he’s in the spinal ward of a Brisbane hospital.

Johnny Konings life-changing wipeout.
Johnny Konings and the run of the mill wipeout on a three-foot wave that changed his life.

“I just didn’t make the drop on the take-off and got tumbled around, covered up, because I knew I was about to take a beating,” says Johnny. “And then, yeah, just impact straight onto the sand and came to the surface and knew straight away.”

 

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Johnny was airlifted to Princess Alexandra hozzy in Brisbane, where he remains, in a bed and in a chair.

“The worst-case scenario is that he may, it’s unlikely that he will walk again,” says girlfriend Charlotte. “I think that obviously they have to give us the worst-case scenario.”

The timeline on the pair’s Instagram pages is harrowing as all hell. Perfect life, two kids setting sail on a dreamy life together and, one slightly mistimed takeoff, and he’s stuck in a damn chair.

 

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Wanna help ’em out? The fundraiser has been pretty underwhelming so far if you want to chip in a buck or two.Twenty-two gees out of a hundred k goal.

“When life gives you lemons,” says Charlotte, “you throw in some lime, salt, a shit ton of tequila and make a bloody strong margarita.”

 

 


Brady (left) with brothers Medina and Slater (right). Isabella Settanni in between.
Brady (left) with brothers Medina and Slater (right). Isabella Settanni in between.

Kelly Slater eskimo brother Tom Brady adds surf champ Gabriel Medina to fraternity as he begins dating Isabella Settanni

"Isabella Settanni appears to be an avid surfer and snowboarder..."

So, and let’s just make this quick. Kelly Slater, the world’s greatest ever surfer, once dated an up and coming Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen who, afterward, married super quarterback Tom Brady. Those two had a long and seemingly happy marriage until Tom, like Kelly, refused to hang it up and kept on keeping on (allegedly).

Surf fans, feverish with fairytale, dreamed of a possible Slater x Búndchen reunion though, alas, she fell into love with her Brazilian jiu-jitsu instructor who just so happened to be Brazilian.

In a wild twist, however, Brady is making night music with other Brazilian supermodel Isabella Settanni and does that name sound familiar?

Let us turn to Whiskey Riff for clarity:

Settanni appears to be an avid surfer and snowboarder, and is reportedly the daughter of Junior and Carla Settanni, who own and operate a successful food distribution business. She’s also been linked to a few other athletes, most notably Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina and pro skateboarder Felipe Foguinho.

Et voila.

The Dark Knight’s ex.

But how wowza is the eskimo fraternity of Brady x Medina x Slater?

The term “eskimo brother,” of course, referring to different men who have bought the same woman flowers and chocolates as is the custom in Inuit Nunangat.

Brady Medina Slater a fine name for a baby boy, coincidentally.

Light candles, please.