Eighteen and laughing all the way to the bank
Surfing press releases rarely make for great reading. And look, that's no slight on the people who create them, the job entails literal reportage with no room for creative flair. It's the written equivalent of painting by numbers.
The press release template is fixed and the author invisible, therefore any prospect of entertainment rests upon the quotes provided by the successful competitors. Unfortunately, in the age of media-management the standard 'one heat at a time' reply usually cruels the possibility.
The news from junior comps is marginally more entertaining because kids are either in the early stages of media training offering unintentionally humourous replies or they throw something completely unexpected at the microphone
Which brings me to the Billabong Pro Junior Asia and its accompanying press release. It contained one of best quotes I've read in a while.
The competition, held at Siargao Island in the Philippines, finished yesterday with Narrabeen's Cooper Chapman the victor. In his podium speech Chapman said he won the event for his Pop who was ill. Touching words, no doubt, but they're not what tickled me.
That honour fell to 18-year old local, Philmar Alipayo, an apparently great surfer but unknown outside of Siargao. Alipayo finished a respectable 3rd in the talented international field, knocked out by Chapman in the semis. For his effort Alipayo won $1900 which is the equivalent of two years work on Siargao Island.
"I am so happy!" Alipayo said to the gathered media and the remaining surfers. "I think I will get a bank account and save the money for my future."
A young fella without a bank account sharing the stage with groms on six-figure endorsement deals? Congratulations to you, Philmar Alipayo, may your interest grow and your talent take you far.