29 October, 2019 29 October, 2019

Bad Action Leads to Bad Karma

Portugal, fairly untidy but very exciting times in Portugal.

There was too much information filtering through that the waves were firing just around the corner. Some spot around the corner was offshore and firing and everyone was heading over there to surf after his or her respective heats in small, onshore close-outs. It makes one doubt the WSL. It makes it so hard not to doubt their long –term plan. The unflinching Renato (the same guy who fired our favourite commentator Dooma Fahrenfort back in the day) wasn’t budging, and sent the surfers out in pretty average conditions over and over again.

There were moments of opulence amongst the multitude of abysmal waves ridden, and some surfers hooked into incredible barrels and lurched some crazy airs and all was good. 

Priority-gate was the moment of the contest though, and it all stemmed from a blunder from the champ-to-be. In a nutshell, Medina made a dumb error, forgot to look up, and assumed he had priority. We all know that assumption is the mother of all f*ckups, and that is exactly what transpired 

Caio Ibelli had priority, Medina was penalized and in the process was eliminated from the event and caused the world title race to go to Hawaii. This is great and exciting, with four surfers in the running for the world title now. 

Medina however, proceeded to act babyish. He rallied his troops on social media, calling for a resurf and calling out Caio Ibelli. It quickly went south, with Ibelli and his family receiving a torrent of online abuse including death threats. Medina did nothing about it, and did not retract or apologize. 

As a reporter my job is to be objective and report on the facts, but there are two things that come to mind when referring to this bout of nastiness. 

1. Medina is a brilliant surfer but is a poor role model for a world champion. You would not imagine Kelly Slater, John John Florence of Adriano De Souza acting like this. It is puerile, and it is utter philistinism. It was our very own 1977 World Champion Shaun Tomson who coined the phrase, ‘win like a gentleman, but lose like a man.’ Medina could learn from Shaun. 

 2. This sort of intimidation, death threats and insults to family doesn’t happen in other sports. I think it is a very good thing that WSL eventually came forward with a statement about their decision and the fact that they were backing their man, priority judge and former Championship Tour surfer Ian ‘Ratso’ Buchanan. However, I think it is very poor show that Medina was not disciplined. 

Quick to ban or discipline people like Dooma and Snake from commentating, or Jeremy from storming the tower in JBay, or Bobby from calling the WSL a tennis tour, but when a petulant Medina rallies the troops with totally unethical and dangerous messages, resulting in a torrent of hate speech, they do nothing. 

There is a saying in Portugal that goes “Aqui se faz, aqui se paga” and it means that bad action leads to bad karma, so maybe karma will be the bouncer in a situation where I feel the WSL have come up short.  

Right, now that’s off my chest, let’s get back to the real job of reporting. Italo Ferreira came up against Jordy Smith in the final, had one of the best heats of his life by opening up with a ten-point ride, and left Jordy as deep as he could possibly get in combo land. It was an absolute whitewash, and to just nail it, Jordy decided to drop in on Italo in the dying seconds. 

Gracious, to the end, Jordy was happy with the second, and goes in to Hawaii as one of the four contenders, along with Filipe Toledo with a sore back, Gabriel Medina and the high-flying Italo Ferriera. Who is going to win the world title? 

It’s a total crapshoot.  

1 Comment

  1. Reinhard
    30 October, 2019 at 6:17 pm · Reply

    I love it! 🔥 Say it like it is..

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