Proposed Lennox Head contest dumped by Council

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

Strange scenes in Ballina Council chambers yesterday afternoon. Surreal.

Ten councillors and assorted invitees discussing the inner workings of a global professional sport, followed by a round table talk about surfing, its various myths and mysticisms, parsed through the language of the bureaucrat: dry, rigid, and dull, devoid of the intangible aspects that beguile us.

Initially, it was horrible to hear surfing described in such terms, then it became novel, and then just weird. Like, there’s barely any crossover between the world of surfing and bureaucracy, but when the two worlds collide it’s surfing that must concede and, at least for a time, assume a bureaucratic form.

OK, I’m speaking metaphorically, but the vote at the end of the meeting was straightforward: 8-2 against the proposal.

It would appear to sink any chance of a CT event at Lennox Head, though the issue isn’t completely settled, but before explaining why let’s first take a look at how we ended up here.

Late last year, the Woz realised they couldn’t have another year of meaningless domestic contests and began structuring a CT schedule for 2021. Yet as the magnitude of the threat changed so too did the rules of international travel, making long-term planning next to futile.

Australia has had a comparatively great response to COVID, and it was the next leg after the US openers at Pipe, Sunset, and Santa Cruz, so to shore up the chances of a tour - meaning at least six or seven events - the Woz began scouting for a fourth and perhaps even fifth CT on top of the Snapper, Bells, and Margarets River mainstays.

North Narrabeen was mooted, with an approach made to Northern Beaches Council. The dalliance was short lived, however, when in late December a COVID breakout forced a lockdown on the Northern Beaches and put the kybosh on further negotiations.

South Straddie - which held a regional Woz comp last year - was also floated as a location, but ongoing border disputes also put it in the too hard basket. Considering NSW’s open border policy it would ideally be somewhere within that state.

Then last Tuesday the Wozzle approached David Wright, Mayor of Ballina Shire Council, with a proposition. On Thursday, five people from the League attended a meeting with Cllr Wright and outlined their plans. That being, an eleven-day contest, with seven extra days to set up infrastructure, all happening over Easter.

Meaning in just two months time.

An extraordinarily short period of time to do due diligence, to assess, liaise, and consult with all the various stakeholder groups, extract feedback, outline conditions, then jump through the many hoops requisite with co-opting public land for private use.

Despite this obstacle, it became clear that most of the councillors were initially in favour of the proposal. Being directly voted in by the community it’d be fair to say that approximately half the councillors are pro business and development, and the other half are more circumspect, yet such is the sunny messaging about a surf contest that even the latter didn’t appear to grasp the magnitude of community grievance.

Australia may be a saviour for the CT owing to our COVID response, however, aside from existing CT locations, the Woz will always find it hard to expand here because of local conditions.

Australia has a different surf culture to every other country that the Woz does business in. For one, the demographic is skewed towards older surfers, which means that, unlike newer surfing countries, we're less eager to promote our waves, and we're more circumspect about Wozzle boosterism.

Compare that to 80s Australia when we couldn't get enough of pro surfing.

Also, as a rule, Australians are a bit more savvy about the lingering effects of media, which is why the Big Wave World Tour could waltz into Punta De Lobos, Chile, and set up tents but they got run out of Streaky Bay. Similarly, every big swell in Hawaii and California gets the social media rubdown but a big swell in SW Victoria or the South Australian desert breaks in digital silence.

Our Federal government is generous when it comes to supporting professional surfing, but the sentiment isn’t shared by all surfers. One small statistic bears this out: It’s estimated there are 2.5 million surfers in Australia, yet Surfing Australia has fewer than 20,000 members. So just 0.75% of surfers have any skin in the competitive game via boardrider clubs or beyond.

Competitive surfing isn't something we do, it's something we watch - and many surfers don't even do that. The distinction isn't understood by non-surfers.

The agenda for yesterday’s meeting was prepared in the morning and available to read as a PDF. It outlined all the conditions that had to be met, feedback from stakeholder groups, and ended with an in principle recommendation to support the proposal. A decision based on accepting the Wozzle’s overtures in good faith.

The Woz claimed to have support from a number of organisations including Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce, Le-Ba Boardriders, Lennox Head Surfing Reserve, and JALI Local Aboriginal Land Council. In Andrew Stark’s speech he even presented the names of the people he spoke to. 

Yet as the meeting progressed it became clear that positions had shifted, either individually or collectively. Expediting the event worked in the League’s favour as the default position was pro contest, but a concerted community campaign spread a forceful and persuasive message against the contest and those names presented by the League were effectively hung out to dry. Pitting a community against itself didn’t do the League any favours.

The short turnaround time may have been foisted on the League by COVID restrictions, but the council wasn’t going to wear that - due process had to be conducted. The League’s case was crumbling.

At times the councillors were befuddled by the proposal. They had no clear answer why Easter had been chosen, nor if it meant Bells Beach is off as Rip Curl has a contract to run that contest over Easter. The explanation, not fully understood by anyone, is that it was a matter of timing as a charter flight was due to land in Australia two weeks before that, though surely it’d be easier to change a lone flight than a whole contest.

As the meeting progressed a few councillors broke from script and addressed issues not noted in the agenda. Among them the thin edge of the wedge argument that this was a further invitation to overrun the town - which, at its heart, is the opponents argument all along  - and also the pushy and duplicitous proposal by the World Surf League.

The news NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro was teed up to announce the contest before some councillors had even read the proposal was met with silence, and even over Zoom it was clear the silence was loaded. When a councillor pressed his microphone and said, “Let’s not forget that all these companies come here out of self-interest”, the meeting was as good as over. The League’s argument that it was doing a favour to the local people and local surfers slipped away.

Given time to show they didn’t want the contest that’s exactly the view Lennox locals expressed. It was done through word of mouth, by vetting stakeholders, and then calling their elected representatives who voted on the matter democratically.

It’s not the end of the story. If it wishes, the World Surf League can go over the head of Ballina Shire Council and reach out to the State Government, but it would take an almighty serve of chutzpah to front up and face the locals come contest time.

Comments

mattlock's picture
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mattlock Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:42am

It's a shewozzle.

Andrew P's picture
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Andrew P Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:00am

Great article! Thanks for keeping us in the loop.

Mr Stark - Andrew, mate. Your narrative of surfing is wildly different to mine, and clearly the core of us here in Australia. We have seen past the glossy brochures, fudgy figures and free pizza to reveal your intentions - profiting from exploiting our natural environment for the benefit of your already cashed up cronies. You’ve got a tough job I know, but dropping a few names won’t endear you to us or get your circus into most of our towns.

I also know you won’t go away but once COVID stops rattling the world please go somewhere else. Somewhere that genuinely needs all the good things that the WSL tries to promote. Cheers, Andrew

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:14am

Well said AP, I'll go one further though. Stark is a greedy prick who’d sell his own arse to get a bigger slice of the WSL pie. Look at today’s news, Vicco back in lockdown thanks to the tennis. Could we trust the WSL? No fucking way! Allegedly they knowingly brought a Covid positive Brazzo to Hawaii...we all know how that worked out. Well done Lennox fellas, stay staunch

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bjfitzhenry Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 9:24am

Well put Andrew P - I am surprised that Chamber of Commerce support would be forthcoming - local businesses struggled to cope through Xmas and the School holidays - a covid Easter will be testing as is.

suchas's picture
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suchas Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:59am
stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:17am

There was an odd moment during the meeting where a councillor admitted that, if the proposal were a film set and not a surf contest, it may have got over the line.

The Councillor would be unaware of the irony, however the Woz ran the Pipe Masters with a permit calling it a film set and not a surf contest.

tylerdurden's picture
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tylerdurden Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:45am

The “film set” option is effectively exploiting a loophole that allows a contest to occur without the need to cater for spectators. Spectators will turn up and watch the filming but the organiser is less obliged to manage them and cater for their needs with infrastructure.
The WSL should have capitalised on this opportunity and ran a mobile “spectator free, internet only” surf comp in Sydney.
North Narra (north winds), North Steyne (south winds) and maybe get bold and have Deadman’s as a back up if it’s gets big. All you need up at Deadman’s is a camera crew on the viewing platform and an OB truck, potentially very unintrusive to the local businesses, although of course the real impact would be significant with hordes of people clambering the cliff to get a look. But as a film set, spectators enter at their own risk and the organisers don’t necessarily need to be responsible for their needs or safety.
Interesting concept, may still happen

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:50am

Not quite true buddy. As a twenty year film professional I can tell you managing public access, amenity and safety is one of the key provisions of any filming permit, as is stakeholder consultation and buy-in. This attempted wriggle worked for the Wozzle in Hawaii, but would literally have zero chance here. Sorry Stu, the councilor who made that comment has no clue.

tylerdurden's picture
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tylerdurden Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:58am

True surfalot but way less spectator infrastructure requirements than if they officially called it a competition

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:52am

So did LeBa actually originally support the comp?

Johnyuleanderson's picture
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Johnyuleanderson Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:38am

The board riders crew seemed to all want it

Pops's picture
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Pops Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:52am

Grass roots democracy at its best. You love to see it.
It'd be pretty outrageous after that if the woz escalated to the state gov. Then again, that's just another thursday in the development game...

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:05am

Good read Stu but this : "Despite this obstacle, it became clear that most of the councillors were initially in favour of the proposal" is not true.

As late as Monday a majority of councillors were still in the dark over the proposal, amazingly.

The Extraordinary Meeting itself was only called by the Mayor (Tuesday morning) in response to the overwhelming community response.

Otherwise this whole process would have blindsided everyone, including elected councillors.
It would have been decided in the backroom by unelected bureaucrats like the GM and representatives of the Woz.

Perhaps the main reason for the white hot anger was the way they brazenly attempted to go through the backdoor like this, especially when the story was leaked to BG, the cover was blown and the Mayor was forced to publicly makes statements that "nothing would go ahead without community consultation".

They were fucking rumbled big time.

burzum's picture
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burzum Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:07pm

Well done, a great outcome. Good to see we are bamboozled by corporate shills. Fuck off Wozzle.

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:53pm

FR > sounds like you've been instrumental there, well done. Forgive my ignorance, but what does "BG" stand for above?

burzum's picture
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burzum Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:37pm

The greatest surf tabloid we have! Beach Grit. FR is the best contributor they have. Derek Rielly, while he has actual journalism chops, dumbs done his editorial contributions for the most part. A mostly entertaining read.

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 5:14pm

on yah, thanks - for clarification

Ben Harding's picture
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Ben Harding Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 2:29pm

Youve got to be kidding? BG is unbelievably toxic and petty 90% of the time, mildy entertaining/interesting the other 10%. Chas and Dereks "journalism" really leaves alot to be desired. I do enjoy some of FR long pieces from time to time, but for the most part their articles elicit a strong combination of racism, misogyny and some of the absolute shittest chat going around within the comment section. What I will say is that you do keep going back to see what's up every few days so their business model clearly has effect.

burzum's picture
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burzum Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 3:03pm

Agree on all points . I did say ‘tabloid’ and ‘entertaining’, not good.
Sometimes the comments section reads like a conservative us news website. Take from that what you will.

Ben Harding's picture
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Ben Harding Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 3:15pm

All gooooood. But yeah, had to say my piece to the uninitiated...be warned it's a shitshow at best :)

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 4:54pm

BN > I'm so glad you said what I dared not to, in the first instance - and now I will add to what you say. BG/DR is drivel/CS is possibly the worst journalist in the history of surfing IMO. I'm sure CS's response would be "I'm just edgy; and incite comment - you don't get it and I've done my job by incited you to comment, ha! ha" Actually, know - I'm with you BN, what you write CS is infantile rubbish. Then again prop's to Reilly this week, he had the guts to run two stories on Nev, albeit just plagiarism from the AFR stories, no actual journalism. At least he had the guts to run the story - $8m missing from NevHouse coffers - I'd guess that's more than the profits made in the entire surf industry in 2020, so a material issue to the industry and therefore the (surf) journalists on that beat.

Island Bay's picture
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Island Bay Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 5:23pm

Underestimating or dismissing Derek and Chas is your loss. Both clever as hell.

A lot of very funny and intelligent people among the BG commenters, too.

Ben Harding's picture
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Ben Harding Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 6:28pm

Your definition of clever and mine are clearly very different. For what it's worth, their iq wasn't/isnt my beef, it's their journalistic content. Alot of articles are intentionally inflammatory for no other reason than it seems to provoke commenters responses that deep down I believe they don't have the balls to write themselves. As if they did, good luck getting anyone else on their poddy. I've listen to enough dirty water podcasts to read between the lines of where Chas and Derek sit, so it's not really my loss as I know what's on offer. And as I also said, I do find 10% of their content entertaining which includes some very whitty commenters and I visit the site once or twice a week...

Ben Harding's picture
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Ben Harding Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 7:10pm

I knew about Wednesdays with Bob, haven't read it, the reviews on Gulpulil leave alot to be desired (Goodreads). Subjectivity tho. I get what you're are trying impress Blowin, but just goes to show that Derek has more in him than what he dishes up on BG. But then it wouldn't be BG would it. Each to their own, we all have our own opinions and tastes.

tylerdurden's picture
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tylerdurden Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:19am

Credit to you Freeride, I think you were integral in this outcome

angatta cool's picture
angatta cool's picture
angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:22am

Pesky white privelage ruins more fun for the young uns

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:30am

Lol, that's lame - I would have thought white privilege was what led the WSL to think they could bulldoze the local community in the first place

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:53am

All I could see was a bunch of old farts outside the Chambers.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:21pm

Maybe the rest were at work?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:25am

the kids are alright.

CT an hour up the road, biggest Grom Comp in the world held here every winter school hols.
They see CT surfing every day when the Point is on.

Thats the weakest argument out there.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:09am

Build this goatboy a statue

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:28pm

Can't work out what you are advancing or what you are pissed off at. Extremely arcane at present.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:37am

Interesting that the local board riders club were all for it.
Maybe a few awkward sessions going down at the point in the near future

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:43am

to be fair, Le-Ba were thrown to the wolves a bit.

WSL showed up with a wheelbarrow full of goodies and sought in principle support which was given.

But private conversations I had with Le-Ba committee and they said no (public) decision would be made until they saw the details of the proposal, which is fair enough.

because the Woz was rumbled they were thrown under the bus as giving support when they wanted more time to scrutinise the proposal.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:54am

Fair enough fr76. The whole thing seems like such a sneaky slimy shit show from the wsl.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:07am

A wheelbarrow full of goodies? So does that mean they were happy to sell the point out at the expense of the rest of the community?? Or am i misreading something here.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:07pm

True FR, certainly feels like Le Ba were misinformed or naive at best being so quick to bend over for the Wozzle. As Stu pointed out, board rider clubs represent a very small percentage of the total surfing population, and are focused on finance and competition, Who knows what promises were made behind closed doors? I have a very close mate and lifelong advocate for the southern Goldie who received death threats from some prominent Cooly locals for wanting to expose the cozy deals between a certain board riders club, the Quik Pro and the Tweed Sand bypass operators....It's a murky world out there.

seaslug's picture
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seaslug Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:34pm

FR76, heard a rumour that WSL wanted to have all 4 events in NSW so they don't have to deal with border closures, so no Goldy, Bells or MR ?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:41pm

who knows.

That would be the only thing that makes sense though as a covid strategy.

I thought Starkey was supposed to be a first class sporting administrator.
This is just amateur hour from the top to the bottom.

Total PR disaster and still no statement from the Woz.

it's amazing how badly they are playing this.

seaslug's picture
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seaslug Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:07pm

Indeed. Winging it all the way. How are the pro's and teams supposed to get to Aust, charter flight, surely there must be multiple just the tennis players

Ben Harding's picture
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Ben Harding Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 4:00pm

I reckon the president of the Le-ba was pretty clear cut with his choice of words within his interview on the Ain't that swell podcast Freeride. He said all committee members were on board with the comp to be run on Lennox point. But, he did concede that he couldn't speak for the broader Le-ba community as a whole. Vaughan Blakey suggested having you on their poddy, I reckon it be good to hear an actual in depth conversation about this from your perspective somewhere other than dirty water.

Johnyuleanderson's picture
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Johnyuleanderson Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:40am

Yeh of course! Wild cards for their members,’ chances for young ones to meet pros etc, chance to see best in world surf their local

scrotina's picture
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scrotina Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:48am

how is it the wsl can get booted out of lennox but not the goldy?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:49am

very good question. It's a long historical answer.

I'm working on an article about it.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:17am

Was at Lennox inadvertently during the grom comp a few years back. Ended up
Surfing pretty decent waves at the point by myself for an hour or so. Go figure. The world is a strange place.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:27am

That’s great news & good luck to the local community going forward.

However I’m curious about those that don’t ever want a WSL event in their backyard (fair enough), who also regularly pay out on the WSL & competitive surfing in general at any opportunity but are the very first ones viewing & active in the comments section of the next WSL comp that’s fired up. Some would say “it’s just for the love of watching surfing” etc but it does have a slight stench of nimby-ism & hypocrisy about it in that instance IMO.

Also someone wondered (in the other related thread) what the pro’s would think about having a WSL comp at Lennox. I reckon it would be a safe bet that 99% of them would love the idea of surfing potentially epic LP with one other surfer. If that’s the case, remember that next time your hooting for your favorite pro surfer, the very same pro surfer that would have been happily complicit in denying you access to your local break, potentially on a day of days....

burzum's picture
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burzum Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:20pm

Self entitled pros who think they can take any wave they want and behave correspondingly are the worst. They capitalise on the popularisation of surfing and then complain about the crowds.
Being a good surfer means fuck all in the grand scheme of things.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:32pm

Too right mate, remember that dick head from Hawaii that wanted all of the superbank closed for him and his bum buddies, even outside of comp time? What an entitled flog.

scrotina's picture
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scrotina Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 10:45pm

who was that? thats the most entitled thing ive ever heard of

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:40am

I think its was Freddy P, but don't quote me...either way he got told to fuck off lol

Yippee's picture
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Yippee Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 5:56pm

Well said mate.
Being good at the art of board riding is its own reward, not something that deserves a reward.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:51pm

And kicking a footy, driving a car, smashing sixes.
Please.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:43am

Thats the unresolveable paradox at the heart of pro surfing.

There will always be a tension between rec surfers (the vast majority) and pro (tiny minority) because for pros to do their thing- especially comps- the rec surfers will be locked out.

And yet who can deny that when the surf is pumping and the best are doing their thing that we don't want to watch?

Is their a solution? Shorter comps, less impact, surf in amongst rec surfers? I dunno.

For now, my thoughts are, it has to be decided on a case by case basis with each community having a say on whether the costs outweighs the benefits or vice versa.

chin's picture
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chin Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:09pm

The answer is unfettered access for all to all Australian waters, meaning contestants compete with everyone else.

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:34pm

Could get ugly. If it was on I would be on a tanker with a horn on the front and a gath. Would be funny to watch.

Yendor's picture
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Yendor Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:38pm

The other major downside of pro comps is the long term impact of the exposure they bring to surf spots, and the fear that generates for local surfers. If there was some Men in Black type memory erasing device then surfers might not mind so much giving up their spot for a few days.

Only the most exposed spots seem feasible in a first world developed country like Australia. This and the historical precedent as you mention.

This was a big worry for the G land proposal, not the few days, but the ongoing spotlight

lost's picture
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lost Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:23pm

'Cause Lennox is a secret spot right ha ha ha

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:35pm

Yeah never heard of it.

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:34pm

You’re right of course, but neither was Caba before the Billabong Pro. Never saw team Tokyo or a Brazzo out there until after that comp though...now it’s jammed

Yendor's picture
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Yendor Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 5:39pm

I know it's not... But the more you hype it... Especially if they get pumping waves. Applies to G land as well, there were a lot of unhappy commenters on SN when that plan was announced.

tango's picture
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tango Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:39pm

Perhaps that's where the future of wave pools lies.........Yeppoon would love to have them. Then there's no need to exclude the public from their own land/water.

Re the argument of wanting to watch the world's best in epic waves, I think the fundamental premise is true, but I'm pretty sure most of us would prefer to watch JJF let loose without the constraints of a comp singlet.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:57am

“And yet who can deny that when the surf is pumping and the best are doing their thing that we don't want to watch?”

I agree, but case in point. Would you be happy to watch pumping LP with only the world’s best having access? Sounds like a no. It’s a conundrum alright...

greyhound's picture
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greyhound Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 11:57am

So does bells now get shewozzeled twice? Easter and may/June

stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:26pm

No Bells will be at Easter - lockdowns notwithstanding.

My feel is that, despite having an Easter timelsot in their contract, RC would've accomodated a one-off change to the schedule for the sake of the bigger picture.

Anyway, that's academic now.

Solitude's picture
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Solitude Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:04pm

So Bells is at Easter cause this thing buggared up? What were they going to do with it if Lennox was a goer?

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:07pm

Guessing no one can answer that question about LeBa i posted above without trampling on toes....fair enough, but the question still remains. Why were they willing to initially sell out their much beloved point break to the right price?
One more thing, i think credit should go to Ballina council and particularly David Wright. All other non surfing shire politics and policies aside, he's been through some pretty tough times along with the surfing population and first responders. He's trialled new initiatives, sometimes successfully, other times not regarding shark mitigation, but he's been a supporter of the surfing community along the way and worked as close as he can with them. I reckon that shouldn't be overlooked in this day and age of bashing pollies.

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Jamyardy Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:00pm

“Within our committee there wasn’t one person that was against it. I can only speak on their behalf. I couldn’t speak on all of Le Ba’s behalf but that’s why I ran with it,”

Le Ba board riders President, Ben Beasley

https://stabmag.com/news/lennox-head-world-tour-event-rejected-for-now/

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:33pm

So my read on this is, you're not welcome to surf Lennox by some of the members of Leba if you don't live there (according to many anecdotal stories, and feel free to correct me if i'm wrong on that, willing to be called out, no worries..) but if you're a cashed up sporting organisation that can grease your pockets, the skies the limits? You can even take over the point during a prime swell season. Hypocrisy at it's finest. I and many i know have been booted off beaches for their club comps and i wouldn't say they left an endearing impression.

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campbell Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:10pm

The local boardriders club "Cowaramup Bay Boardriders " ( re Margaret river Boardriders ) benefits greatly from the contest when it comes to town, lots inside jobs, a10k "donation" for support, and when the shift to north point was raised they threw their support 100% into the decision and the president of the club was "gifted" a free all expenses paid trip to the wsl ball on the east coast for helping to provide the" local" support needed (after the earlier attempt at grabbing another break was thwarted by the local community) Not to mention as being a branch of Surfing WA they are also bound to serve their contest masters . Recreational surfers are the ones who stand the most to lose from a contest at their break and no Lennox is no secret spot , Margaret river neither but everytime a pumping day of surf is broadcast to the world it's brings more crowds to already brimming lineups long after the event is over .

seaslug's picture
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seaslug Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:41pm

Haha Campbell, yes lots of "inside jobs" for the boys paid for by the WSL (that is State Gov money actually) and they are the first to complain about the crowds. Ahh the hypocrisy. In a couple of years all the pros will be able to stay at the new resort and surf boaties.

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Bob Sacamano Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:10pm

Nah, even after hearing it all he was one of the 2 that votes for it. No environmental plan, no DA approval, in a “surf reserve” (non for profit for the community) the custodians of the reserve were not consulted and threatened to sue, didn’t contact the local health district to discuss covid and health management when bringing in over 300 international residents, fence of and shut the point out from locals for over 2 weeks, did no community consultation, this was the middle of Easter holidays and bluesfest. It would have been awful in town, no infrastructure plan.
He also supported putting in a 6 stories ski jump on Lennox beach. The mayor is sneaky and he has got to go.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:39pm

Oh shit, i forgot about that ski jump thing!! Yeah fair enough points Bob and FR. Glad there's folks keeping an eye on the shenanigans up there. Cheers.

stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:16pm

Size check with Councillor Wright.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:20pm

haha. Sick one!

stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:27pm

Look at 'im overcalling it!

Can't trust a pollie.

Andrew P's picture
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Andrew P Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:39pm

In your best Borat voices “I taker da cash here, ina my haaaaand, and the dancing bears go down dare with alla da sharks. Iz niiiiiiice!”

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:30pm

David Wright was in favour, he flip flopped when he saw the level of community anger he was facing.

Far as old people keeping young people out. I saw more people under 30 there yesterday than over.

lost's picture
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lost Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:21pm

"people over profit" um has the WSL ever gone close to making a profit. It looks a lot like a poorly run charity missing the mark at present.

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Andrew P Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 12:34pm

Credit to you FR and your relationship with brave councillor/s for getting this out of the back room and into the community for scrutiny. The result is deserved and gives us all a little bit of hope that the world is not entirely Starked.

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Kellya Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:08pm

Are surfers the biggest NIMBY’s? I know I’m guilty of it.

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Mad Dog Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:13pm

I can't for a second believe that Le-Ba would condone anything to do with a WSL comp at Lennox. The local boardriders club should be the only crew granted contest rights ever full stop. Congratulations to the local crew on the shut down.
You only have to look 150k's to the North to see what a no holes barred free reign on contests during the peak swell window at your local break looks like after 25 odd years. Most of the born and bred local crew in Cooly don't even surf Snapper any more - it's a fuckin circus all year 'round now. Check the cams today and see what I'm talking about, I guarantee you'll see 30 idiots pushing the lip down on eachother inside 10 minutes.
The WSL should be banned from ever approaching Lennox again, fuck it ban 'em from the border all the way to Newie.

Bustard's picture
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Bustard Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:21pm

why is it ok with Newie ? ( although I did think of a revitalized 2021 surfest given the pumping conditions Merewether put up last year )

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:27pm

Barilaro just held a presser at Lismore and announced the NSW State Gov will not be overturning the Ballina Shire Council decision.

Said other councils had been approached.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 1:56pm

What if they asked for another venue in Ballina Shire?
Same deal,? No go?
Your Comp reports are forever tainted

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:01pm

depends how they go about it.

if they had the balls to front a room full of people and explain the proposal it might be a different story.

If you like being backdoored by private American companies with zero transparency then go right ahead.

The stench from this will linger for a long, long time.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:10pm

If the comp happened and it pumped, people would be stoked, life would go on, youd find some other first world drama to tie your knickers around.
BV, xxx

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:18pm

I'm sure you will too.

hope you stick around Angatta Cool.

jayet-010's picture
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jayet-010 Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 12:00am

Sounds like Bex has a new persona and sandpit to play in

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
Jon Cohen-_-Cal... Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 9:45am

Haha well spotted

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:55pm

Ahhh so you are for the contest because you think is a positive thing for the town. I can see both sides. Biggest problem at Bells for me are the stands which put a wall up to the ocean full of the privileged which is in a state reserve FOR THE PEOPLE. You wouldn't get away with the contest now as it is an historical thing. I love watching the surfing there and seeing the hero's walking the car park but those fucking stands should be ripped down and everybody thrown together except the commentators, judges, and film crews. Surfers can be comfy out the back and watch the surfing on a screen just like F1. I personally in concept, don't see it as a bad thing for Bells/Rubber town (Torquay) and the infrastructure is set up for it just need to make it for the surfers and the public punters who turn up can get a taste of what is still a little bit of a sub culture.

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tango Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:56pm

It's unfortunate that the comp takes so long to set up and take down and restrict access to the hammerhead carpark. The silver lining on this Lenny Shewozzle is that it shows a contest can set up and pack up nice and quick when they have to - they should adopt this timeframe at Bells too which would sweeten the deal for locals quite a bit.
The Bells comp seems to rely on its historical links to the place to put the go-slow on any changes which might benefit locals. It's a tad ironic that the Surf Coast Shire Council, who manage the land, seem happy to go along with that approach on one hand while telling the community they need rampant residential and tourism growth and all its changes on the other.

.cylinders's picture
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.cylinders Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:21pm

Angatta Cool - You can't just rock in here anonymously and throw your weight around like any of us give shit about what you think or say on matters like these. This is a surfer run and populated forum after all, you're not gonna show up and start snagging set waves off the lads straight away are ya?

If the comp pumped, a lot of people would be saddened by that too, due to the unwanted exposure it would garner the area. Don't foist your own misconceptions on the rest of us, we aren't going to have it.

Entitled prick.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:21pm

I'm entitled to my own opinion, or is this just another ass train chat room?
Never had a problem pinching waves off the point posers.

.cylinders's picture
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.cylinders Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 3:05am

Yes you are entitled to have an opinion, I'm just saying you have zero credibility so nobody gives a fuck about what you have to say.

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Bustard Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:21pm

FR76, Do you reckon there is a model that would get up with at least a decent amount of support from the locals ? FWIW I view Lennox as long overrun / overcrowded ( lived there for 14 years back when Mavis had the Fruit and Veg shop ) and I struggle to see the legitimacy in an argument that it will over expose the place but that's taking it from a baseline of a quiet seaside village back in the day, I'm sure even though its much busier there's still a strong sense of community

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jayet-010 Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 12:06am

Perhaps one that gave back to the surfing community through improved infrastructure, a structured pathway for junior surfers to develop, pathways for mature surfers to develop into healthy and responsible adults, and has the support of the wider community ... as a start.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:15am

Yeah the overexposure thing is a bit of a Joke it's one of the most well known spots in Australia.

But hey i also understand of locals dont want a major comp there.

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fitzroy-21 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:09pm

Knowing how slimy these bastards are, I very much doubt they will stop there and will almost guarantee they will make an attempt with the State Gov. That Andrew Stark is one POS.
As for "angatta cool's" comments about ruining for the youngens, you wouldn't be able to see it live anyhow, you would have been locked out unless you could "pay" for the "privilege", providing you even had inside backhanded access. But hey, watch it "LIVE" and give them their viewers "hits" and "likes".
Well done to FR and all the local crew for getting on the front foot early and acting as a community. I somehow get the feeling it isn't all over yet though...

EDIT, just saw FR's comments above re State Gov response.

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mpeachy Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:25pm

Is there any chance of a floating Sydney comp where the councils let them move wherever the waves are good? There's definitely not a beach in Sydney that would be good enough for four days in a waiting period, but if you could move from Little Av to Winki to North Narrabeen or even Shark Island then that might work. I see in the article that they already had issues with a Sydney comp though.

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tylerdurden Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:20pm

See my above comment Peachy.
A Cape Fear style contest at Deadman’s maybe?

Hall of Lame's picture
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Hall of Lame Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:56pm

A Cape Fear style comp at Collaroy is what the WSL deserve.

Jon Cohen-_-Calm As...'s picture
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Jon Cohen-_-Cal... Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 9:48am

Amazing call

radiationrules's picture
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radiationrules Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:38pm

great read.

congrats to all of the local activists who've shone a light on what appears to be subversive and divisive practices by the WSL - pity they don't have a Media Statement to counter the conspiracy theories - which is their problem.

If all is true, personally, I'm over these dodgy backroom deals. So last century. One the beauties of the digital world is how quickly you can access real information (PDF of the Agenda) and share it via SM and galvinise others into physically turning up to these types of meeting and show these bureaucrats and short-term profiteers we mean business. Presumably, on behalf of the long-term interests of our environment.

I like to acknowledge the odd gold sentence from Stu, ones like: "i but a big swell in SW Victoria or the South Australian desert breaks in digital silence."

More "digital silence" when a swell breaks - yep - bring it on.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 2:54pm

Whatever happened to Shaun Munro?

Wasn't he one of the founding members of LeBa?

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:03pm

Great article Stu as always had to giggle at this one:
'Similarly, every big swell in Hawaii and California gets the social media rubdown but a big swell in SW Victoria or the South Australian desert breaks in digital silence'. I think of all the big days down south on those reefs of which there are many, and the rugged conditions ideal for the WOW over Youtube and not a peep. Geez even the locals around here guard there surf spots against other locals...'here is a photo but have been sworn to secrecy'.

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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:16pm

Yep, take a look around the surfing world at this moment in time.

Pro surfers are being paid, either directly by sponsors or surf forecasting sites, to blog in real time from the channels at Mavericks, Peahi, and Nazare. You can watch it live on Instagram or FB, then there's a short lag and the same footage, now slightly more polished, ends up on YouTube and Vimeo and gets embedded in digital surf media, and lastly the magazines run their high res images and by the end of the process everyone in the whole fucking surf world knows who caught what.

But when storms lines pour out of the Southern Ocean into northerly winds you actually have to be there to see it, and despite Australia having a significant surfing population the lineups at those silent waves remains a fraction of their Hawaiian, European, and Northern Californian cousins.

.cylinders's picture
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.cylinders Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 3:06am

It's still possible to have a religious experience out there in the Southern Ocean. Three days without seeing another soul near a certain uniquely deformed fence post taught me that. I found the limits in my own time, I found the reef, the limestone's hidden fangs and a half eaten ray in the channel. I sheltered in my Toyota when the wind would turn every afternoon, ate my canned tuna and saw a gaunt face in my rearview mirror. I saw how I was destroying myself, willing myself into something that could annihilate me. Was only a week before I nearly threw myself off a radio tower at work because I'd had enough of it all. I was disconnected, and the ocean showed me just how far I had strayed. My last wave at that joint, I turned under the ledge of one I knew I was too deep for, felt the toe side of those channels of Al's bite into the wave with an aggressiveness that was greater than the forward momentum I had accumulated from my temporary residence in the lip. Falling like an old karri tree toward the table-like slab of petrified sediment, I let my body go limp. Splatter my head across your carbonate matrix of crystallised things long dead and add me to the collection. I rolled across the reef, tore myself up proper. Crawling up the beach with my wounded board tugging at my leash like an impatient dog, I broke down and cried with grief over how dissonant I had become. The ocean was having none of my bullshit.

Surfing is bigger than us, bigger than the money, it's like music. Waveforms repeating over and over ad infinitum, the terminal permutations of a cosmic energy with the sacred ability us to show us the true nature of our being. We are all just a collection of vibrations, and when we harmonise with something greater than ourselves we can learn about our place in the universe.

January 2017, an age ago but the feeling is something I can hold in the palm of my hand. I keep that feeling safe from those who might seek to destroy it. I haven't been the same person since.

WSL can't do that for anyone, and even if they could, they won't.

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:45pm

Amazing story and well written. Glad ya still here surfing Cylinders and barred the radio tower. Keep the froth. yew!!

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Yippee Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 6:26pm

Cylinders, mate, you’re a bloody wordsmith! Write a book please!

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:42pm

Was going to say wow cylinders you've got a way with words but the other guys beat me too it. Good stuff

Yendor's picture
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Yendor Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 6:03pm

That makes me glad I read so far down the comment stream.

batfink's picture
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batfink Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 6:49pm

Nice!

Robo's picture
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Robo Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:21pm
bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:47pm

The WSL refugee tour.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:44pm

what an epic wave :-O

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:23pm

Yes the cone of silence works and if you turned up trying to film you would be run out of town quick smart. If you are there to surf they are all pretty friendly though.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:26pm

I've heard Sandon and Pacific Palms are next on the list.

got any intel there Stu?

stunet's picture
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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:37pm

None. Just spoke to someone who'd know about the jetty and he knew nothing.

Messages sent RE Palms and no reply as yet, but, as you may already know, they recently had a showdown about the number of comps. Caused a bit of a rift.

bonza's picture
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bonza Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 4:12pm

unbelievable. the arrogance.

stunet's picture
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stunet Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 7:52am

Few more calls and no-one's heard squat about the jetty. Clickbait rumour I'd say.

Scoring five days in a CT window is next to impossible anyway, it's not a small wave place like Snapper, Bells etc.

Skins scored through the 90's cos it was a one day deal, called a few days out, inside a three month (from memory) waiting period.

Optimist's picture
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Optimist Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 3:52pm

angatta cool, Michael Bourne...smells like Facto's multiple persons so don't get upset..
Regarding surf comps...why?....let nature take its course and let em fade away.
If you surf really good then good for you ...go make a low budget film for us all to enjoy and stick a few ads on it. Then go do productive work like the rest of us. You'll chew through hundreds less boards as well so we will all get em cheaper.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:34pm

As a grom we used to love th many pro comps in Sydney.
Surfin with the pros before and after, goin to the parties, pressos, coke classics jjj juniors, surfabouts, just the whole vibe,
everyone had fun.
Remember fun?

.cylinders's picture
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.cylinders Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 3:39am

You're choosing to view all this like a mirage on a funhouse mirror through rose-tinted goggles.

Amateur hour is gone big sauce, and there's a juiced bouncer with a pocket full of anabolics and an agenda looking to keep ripe fruits like you away from the thoroughbreds. The whole vibe is dead, and the whole vibe is what led us to this forsaken and soulless excuse of a tour for pros. Tour, the act of travelling through, stick up a Parley banner and bring in the milk bottle tops from the shore. Get the kids involved in liquor marketing, it's no wonder there's a sour taste in our mouths. Hawaiian shirts and well insured whitened buck teeth ready for camera, pretending the world's not aflame. The most sacred of rituals is turned into a dancing bear exhibition for slack-jawed plebeians to temporarily hypnotise themselves with before returning to the gram on the glass table or the 'gram in their glass laden hand.

Fun still exists, you just gotta stop looking for it in places where it's been dragged behind a new coastal subdivision and beaten to death with a two by four from the woodpile. Fun is in the family, in the shorebreak, at the place you always put off visiting. Content, isn't going to make you content. You're gonna want more, and the more you want it, the less it makes sense... junkie logic. Chasing dragons for 40 years takes a toll. You lose your sense of what's right for what's left.

Poke your finger at the apparition and smell it when the fog clears, that's what shit smells like my dude.

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 11:45am

The last CT I attended was in Supertubos and it was super fun.
I slapped my heroes backs and even the Goat told me to back off.
Thousands there having a brilliant time,

Robwilliams's picture
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Robwilliams Sunday, 7 Feb 2021 at 6:02pm

fucking boom. the more you want the more you need to feed the insatiable need. simple pleasures outshine every time, every age, every generation. every idealist. Contentment cost nothing other than the basics. don't be sold a fucking lie. don't sell a fucking lie

SA Wetdog's picture
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SA Wetdog Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 4:23pm

Honest question, was Le-Ba part of the crew that demanded the cam get taken down?
The same Le-Ba that ok'd the comp?

udo's picture
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udo Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 4:45pm

Yep.
Different club president back then - Don Munro
Surfings such a massive sport these days and theres always someone out there looking to make a sleazy dollar out of it- DM.

SA Wetdog's picture
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SA Wetdog Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 4:43pm

Righto! Makes perfect sense to me!

Logical's picture
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Logical Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 5:14pm

Comps are for DICK HEADS.

Only a dick head would promote an event that attracts more entrants into breaks that are already massively over subscribed with surfers.

You dumb asses are being played by big business interests who are trying to pump up that share price growth.

PRO SURFERS sponsored, are the enemy of the daily surfer.

And don't give me that crap the money droves innovation. My local surf shaper made great boards from the late 1970s. And the evolution of shapes comes from these guys who were just tradies.

Mulletup's picture
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Mulletup Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 5:31pm

Give em a tent,bong,a single fin, a twin fin and one thruster and go lock ya selves at surf lakes in Yeppoon. Don’t share the bong whilst isolating from covid obviously.

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lawncigar Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 5:46pm

the WSL are a corporation like any other. saying "No" to corporations is something surfers used to do while giving them the bird.
its all a circle that keeps rolling forward ...

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frog Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:06pm

Without Ziffy WSL would fold in a jiffy. Hardly anyone outside the gravy train (or porridge train for most) would care.

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stunet Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 7:59pm

From Phil Myers on FB:

"Reading all the he said she said bullshit regarding the contest debate, previously I said wouldn't worry me either way on or off , in fact the World might see how inconsistent this place really is these days if they held one, with all the shark surveillance that would come it would be the most interupted event ever held being at the start of the migration season.

"Now the real issues people complaining about being inconvenienced should really be concerned about, this year we had one movie filmed in the area , beach car parks closed several times over a period of months and section of ballina closed as well , now I understand 6 movies may be landing in this area this year , also 2 movie studios are proposed adjacent to ballina sorry Byron gateway airport and plans are to widen the runway for international direct flights is anyone getting concerned yet about being inconvenienced?

"This will be the last nail in the coffin for the lennox ballina area , prices will skyrocket and locals will eventually be forced out , California here we come. Lets hope the same local intrest in stopping an event that comes and goes transforms into comunity outrage with what is coming from a far bigger risk to our area and will be permanent

"Personally the area is already cooked, I had my time here when it was truly a paradise and at 67 my time is running out , so some younger ones need to step up and confront what's happening here because it's going to have much more far reaching effects on your lifestyle than a contest ever will , just look at places like Rincon and Malibu in the states , they were once like lennox head."

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:38pm

67, that's what's the problem.
You've had it all and still not satisfied, shoulda been written by a 27 year old cause their needs aren't yours

Surfalot67's picture
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Surfalot67 Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:34am

Good grief....Phil, as a shaper, respect. As a commentator on Film and TV, STFU, you are utterly clueless with your doom and gloom BS. How about creating an amazing sustainable (unlike surfboard shaping, I might add) industry with job prospects for our groms? Factually, there are only so many scripts set in sub tropical coastal communities and you will never be the next California, that's just laughable. What's with every thread around surf contests being turned into a debate around film and TV?? They are NOTHING to do with each other.

suchas's picture
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suchas Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 11:13am

Re film and TV and surf contests, some think otherwise- https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2020/12/14/the-pipe-mast...

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 8:14pm

Direct international flights... d'oh

Movie studios...

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nextswell Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:19pm

Good on them for the Vito but c’mon the place is basically the Gold Coast. No McDonald’s but the the same hipsters and wannabe hippies. Feel sorry for the long term residents.

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kaiser Thursday, 4 Feb 2021 at 9:41pm

I have a memory of certain Lennox locals calling for better shark mitigation, sighting tourists (presumably of the non-surfing kind) staying away in droves and harming local businesses because of the spate of attacks. Not fluent enough in forum content to trawl the history, so I could be wrong, but that’s my recollection. What would this have brought in, $ wise? And would this be received any different by the populace if we weren’t in the midst of the biggest regional migration in living memory, and local business is literally booming, all on its own?

Don’t get me wrong, you stared them down and I applaud you for it. But remember to be humble. It doesn’t belong to you, particularly not any more than it did before, which was also not at all.

And now that it’s held in some form of mystical unattainability, is it actually more desired than if the show was allowed in and it turned on a standard tidal, difficult to pin down, Easter phase?

angatta cool's picture
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angatta cool Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 11:02am

Good call.
Some spoilt mofos up in here

MRsinglefin's picture
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MRsinglefin Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 7:36am

Front page story Newcastle Herald today. Newcastle Council has put its hand up for Merewether aka Surfest site.

hoody's picture
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hoody Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:00am

Easy way to fix this problem.
South Australia being the most progressive state has had the whole competitive surfing thing on lock for over twenty years.
Hold the whole series at Middleton.
Locals hate surfing there.
Its a point break, beach break, rocky slab, and big wave spot(with binoculars) all in one.
Possibly one of the best carparks around.
WSL could set up there for a couple of months and hold rounds in a huge variety of surf conditions to crown a true word champion that is able to surf waves that normal people do, not just perfect surf at perfect spots.
Ice coffee and chocolate milk makers in a war over sponsorship rights keeping it family friendly.
Plus SA has the ability to handle Covid riddled athletes like the Aussie Open tennis players.
Time for the WSL to switch it up and stop flogging a dead horse.

belly's picture
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belly Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:32am

Post of the week!

Beepa's picture
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Beepa Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 9:29am

Newcastle media n council are pushing for merewther in april this morning

suchas's picture
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suchas Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 11:33am

Any ideas on how they would get accommodation for a (definite covid risk) traveling circus at short notice at Easter- wherever they end up? Most places are booked out months in advance.What was their plan for Lennox?

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roondog Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 2:33pm

apart from all the politics and bullshit - how good is the pic of the Ox

bbbird's picture
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bbbird Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 5:39pm

There are at least 390 known surfspots in NSW (listed on another website). WSL need surf for their sport media business.
There are NSW towns, motels & cafes needing tourism /business $ after the extreme events of bushfires, floods and Covid.
There must be somewhere in NSW that can handle an Easter invasion, covid testing, quarantine, parking, airport, hirecars, internet, egos, etc?

PS. Loved surfin Lennox; though had to move on, when suburbia moved in from...Ballina to the Goldcoast.

greg-n.williams's picture
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greg-n.williams Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 6:17pm

Lennox is following the blueprint of most of the North Coast i.e.its all about the money that can be made by developers who pander to the city folk who are looking for a sea change/tree change but don't want to leave all of their city lifestyles behind. So yuppie cafes, high end dining , boutiques etc become the norm. Look at what Byron Bay has morphed into & you can see where Lennox/Ballina is destined! The W.S.L. is a business that is only concerned with it's own interests, as a recreational surfer the only thing pro surfing has done is increase crowds in the line up in the guise of progression of the sport. As any real surfer knows it isn't a sport it's a lifestyle choice.Real surfers look for uncrowded line ups where the quality of surf challenges their ability in a natural stimulating environment. This is becoming increasingly harder to find since the masses have discovered the so called sport of surfing due to the advent of the digital age & the multinationals involvement in promoting the sport to make a buck out of the average punter wanting to chase the dream as promoted by the likes of the W.S.L. Does Ziffy surf? I don't think so!

Michael Bourne's picture
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Michael Bourne Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 7:47pm

'Angatta Cool - You can't just rock in here anonymously and throw your weight around like any of us give shit about what you think or say on matters like these. This is a surfer run and populated forum after all, you're not gonna show up and start snagging set waves off the lads straight away are ya?

If the comp pumped, a lot of people would be saddened by that too, due to the unwanted exposure it would garner the area. Don't foist your own misconceptions on the rest of us, we aren't going to have it.

Entitled prick.'

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... FFS

WTF, Virtual locals, hidden bad boys!!!

Hey, dumpty, you were hidden squwarkin' about bullies, whilst bravely defending racism and hidden attacking of peoples wives. And all l I did is tell some fucked up little gronk the truth. I didn't even bill him, people pay and thank me for telling them the same things. So, why MIA now dumpty? Some hiding on the net gronk thinks he's actually out there surfing and rulin' on the keyboard... and bad boy goin' the groms, its the most ludicrous shit I've ever heard.

In the real world, I'd never heard of swellnet, spud(soon to become arny) garnell told me about it. When I first looked, I saw all the hidden, boot scootin' comments thing. A shit show. Blax was getting a run, articles boosting sales. I was informed by bento that stupe was a bit of an expert on the place. The truth is I'd never heard of him at all, never saw him surfing the place once. On here the long distance, hidden swillnut locals go hard as, but there... HAHAHAHAHA. Very, very compliant.

Beyond ludicrous that a website designed to cash in on, sell out surfing by sticking cameras wherever they can get away with it, a website that even had issues trying it on at Lennox, is up in arms about selling out surfing and enabling overcrowding.

However, nice surf story cyclo. 2017 isn't exactly ages ago. You'll appreciate then that that style of surfing was my life for decades, even back in 87, and earlier. Different though, I used to leave the water stoked out of my head. But, then you have say Slater, who, opposite to your assertion, turned his life around through the WSL.

When I lived up there, for a few years Ballina to Lennox became one huge suburb. I also saw what would happen when the goldie comp was on. The pros would fang down any chance, armed with mobiles, and bring more hordes with them. One of the most entertaining things, was when gorilla, pete jr (one of stupe's articles) and I would watch the pre work entertainment session. Everyone screeching at each other. We also loved watching a unique lennie's maneuver, 10 or so guys just take off anywhere, one standing, 9 inside on their guts. One by one they'd come around the white water and screech the guy riding off, and finally the last guy would claim it. Classic shit.

Anyway, its a time for swillnuts to get even more stridently vocal... for once... Considering this obviously false, shameful, highly coveted and protected standard bearer's emblem:

https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/500849?page=12

'Systemic racism does not exist in Australia.

Unless you are claiming a conspiracy theory which states there is a cabal of like minded individuals who operate at the highest levels of government, business and community who convene in secret to discuss their plans to subjugate and oppress minorities.

Is this the case ?'

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/feb/04/collingwood-players-apolog...

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-2021-collingwood-racism-report-lett...

https://www.zerohanger.com/moore-explains-why-collingwood-players-releas...

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:03pm

you forgot to add that bit at the end. You know, like you always do.

I gotta go work out... again..

That one..
in a nutshell

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:09pm

That's coming footy. Until then, say hello to yazzie for me... are you letting him have any of your left overs...

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:18pm

Not sure what that means but yes. Yes I am

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:33pm

Ah ha, finally you're rulin' the inside... stormin ... in a nutshell!!! I gotta go workout... again...

You get in with the rest of 'em, and start workin' on your letter!!! This one...

'Through our silence we feel responsible for these injustices.'

https://www.foxsports.com.au/afl/afl-2021-collingwood-racism-report-lett...

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:40pm

You implying I’m a racist Michael?

Tsk tsk tsk

Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne's picture
Michael Bourne Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 8:53pm

Where did you speak up against it? Here it is again... repost it for us, should be easy to find. Hey, remember Vic local, and blinder, they really stood up against it... you were pretty outspoken there too...

'Systemic racism does not exist in Australia.

Unless you are claiming a conspiracy theory which states there is a cabal of like minded individuals who operate at the highest levels of government, business and community who convene in secret to discuss their plans to subjugate and oppress minorities.

Is this the case ?'

I'll leave you with it... I am going to train, in a nutshell...

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot Friday, 5 Feb 2021 at 9:06pm

Copy and paste it again. In case someone missed it the 7th time. Amasing

Horas's picture
Horas's picture
Horas Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 1:54am

Never saw the point of contests .Ever.Head the other way very fucken quickly.Mob of turd fondlers pissing in each other's pockets is not my idea of surfing.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 9:50am

I hope that the contest’s relocation to Newcastle doesn’t mean that Starky will get dirty , black coal dust all over his nice white shoes .

Robo's picture
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Robo Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 11:12am

Since when is Lennox a secret, every surfer alive knows how good it can get lol.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:02pm

Thats true. I guess you say the same thing about G-Land.
spots that everyone knows about but somehow manage to float under the radar for years, without the full blown exposure of a CT.

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:24pm

How does G-Land float under the radar if everyone knows about it, i went there 30 years ago was even well known about then.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:30pm

Not sure whether you are asking in good faith or not but the full scale international media spotlight of a CT puts a wave front and centre in everyones consciousness.

otherwise, even well known waves just drift under the radar.

G-Land had more media exposure 30 years ago than it does now.

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:34pm

All these good spots are all over social media these days anyway, not just WSL exposing them. So everyone will be heading to Mereweather for a surf trip now?

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:40pm

If WSL and Destination NSW have anything to do with it, yes.

Merewether will likely be saved by it's own ordinariness.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:02pm

.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:06pm

I tell you what, from having a front row seat and knowing who said what and when, there's some epic levels of throwing people under the bus going on.

Doherty and Carroll really have very little clue here about how events unfolded on the ground here. And I say that with no disrespect intended.

It's been an eye opener to say the least.

I also had a front row seat to the Rip Curl Search event proposal and how that played out, so it's my second time at this rodeo.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:14pm

I got rid of that cause it’s needless poison in the world and I don’t really have a clue on their take beyond the surfline articles. It just shits me that after decades of colourful commentary and outspokenness on every issue in surfing that there’s no obvious call for the WSL to get back in their box.

There’s plenty of relating the perspectives of others and objective reportage but that itself is out of character. Just tells me that there’s reticence to get the WSL offside or maybe that there’s even sympathy for their efforts to override a bunch of local rec surfers who just want to quietly go about enjoying their spot.

It just seems a degree removed from the WSL white shoes. Like a remora off the bull shark .

It all makes me ever happier that the days of the pro surf industry controlling the narrative through their pet media are mostly behind us.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:18pm

Is that what you meant ? That I was throwing crew under the bus ? Please correct me if I’m wrong.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:22pm

No, I meant players in the drama here.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Saturday, 6 Feb 2021 at 12:26pm

Donnie Munro cans LeBa on his face page
And Bushy Mitchell talks of comp approval procedures from 20 yrs ago

Optimist's picture
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Optimist Sunday, 7 Feb 2021 at 6:28am

If people insist on finding who the "best surfer in the world" is, Take it all back to Hawaii where it started. A triple crown plus adding a big wave Waimea or Jaws addition will sort it out quick smart and save on Jet fuel as well.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Tuesday, 9 Feb 2021 at 1:58pm

All this Hawaiian talk is stirring the Natives...
WSL Don's whiteshoe digs up taboo charm bringing bad luck to Hawaiian Comps


We all know what WSL did last Summer & the one before & it was not pretty!

2019 WSL Most unsportsmanlike Award for sacrificing Olympic Ideal on the Reef.
Charlie : "Burn Him" > Commentators : "Do it! Do it!" > Judges : [W] [O] [T] [D]
Olympic Flame cried and extinguished itself & cast Olympic surfing as cheapest ticket.

2020 U.N Humanitarian Relief Drop: WSL infect the Natives with exotic killer disease.

2021 Pissed Aussie Pro sacrifices a cold tinnie to save the Day & WSL reputation.
Home of Surfing is cleansed & raked clean of corpses for another WSL VIP Surf Flick.

Current Oz plan sees WSL upzone Surfing Reserves into H-0-L-L-Y-W-0-0-D-I-E
Noosa WSR / Goldie WSR / Bells WSR
WA NSR / MANLY NSR / Straddie MP / Cabarita NSR / Lennox NSR / Newcastle NSR

NSR's respect Comp Surfing but never advocated NSR commercial Comp Lockouts.
NSR / WSR aligns with Amateur Surfing not the commercial exploits of WSL.
Ask how dedicated Surfing Reserves became playgrounds for WSL developers.

NSR is silent on WSL lockouts & upzones...now is the time to pretend to be relevant?

Oz Surfers Pay $3,000 for 14 day dry-docking before surfing a NSR / WSR
State Govts pay WSL Pros $3m to surf in WSR Quarantine barrels for 14 laydays

WHO : "Never has the Poor been more exploited than under Covid!"
[VAX PASS] Works down from Wealthiest Nation Boomerz to poorest nation's Child.
VIP's are paid $millions to surf own WSR...the rest pay $3,000 never to look at one.

Hodad Don's WSL Hot Penthouses will be fitted with NSR signature wavepools.
Hot barrels are equipped with Backdoor ventilation / Sunroof / Shower Curtains
Drones fitted with Turpel Fog horns to blast away Local Mutants hanger on claims.

Oz Superspreader Sports VIP's get umpteen breach warnings, proving that it's Safe!

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Tuesday, 9 Feb 2021 at 3:31pm

Shame really would of liked to see the best surfers in the world surf one of
the best waves on the east coast. LENNOX HEAD who said localism is dead.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 12:45pm

https://www.worldsurfleague.com/posts/462243/getting-heated-mick-fanning...

Have a listen to the first 4 minutes of this.

The question posed, ‘who misses out most by Lennox being ‘pulled’ from the schedule’

Ross - the surfers
Mick - Lennox head, references grumpy locals several times.

Solitude - the WSL

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 12:59pm

Too fucking little, too fucking late Fanning.

and fucking hell, every single cafe in town was full all winter long. Followed by the busiest Summer, following on from the busiest summer last year.

I saw Fanning and his cohorts there on numerous occasions at the trendiest Cafe in town. Full to the brim every time.

Lennox does not need a short term sugar hit from tourism, especially not Easter.

Sorry Mick, thats straight up BS and you know it.

Lennox needs help with managing tourism, not help stimulating demand.

stick to beer and foamies and Real Estate mate.

The community was not divided. Petition against the comp got over 600 signatures.
Petition for the comp got 29 signatures.

Thats an overwhelming display of unity.

And reflected by the council 8-2 decision against.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:13pm

“Tourism is down”
Haha, get fucked Mick.

Sounds completely rehearsed with what the WSL want him to say.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:24pm

what do they expect when they treat people like absolute mugs?

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Solitude Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:29pm

Mick dead set dribbling there. Goes to show how little thought he gives to the effects this show has on little places. ‘It’s only 2 weeks’ (read: we just show up, do what we want, when we want and leave a town to deal with the consequences of such exposure) - what’s the big deal?

Love how Ross reflects on how disappointing it is for the surfers to have Lennox ‘pulled’ despite it only being one of the WSL’s wet dreams.

I have to feel sorry for the coffee shops of Lennox. I heard council is putting people on to clear the tumble weeds rolling down Ballina St.

simba's picture
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simba Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:44pm

How much was Fanning paid to say that absolute tripe,Lenno dosent need any more blowins or tourists esp around Easter.........common Mick how much did they pay you?...almost like hes trying to shift the spotlight away from snapper......hes trippin

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 2:48pm

I doubt he was paid, I think there is just a huge gulf in mindset between someone who has been paid to surf his whole life and the average rec surfer who does it for the love.

I really think Fanning is clueless.

Not malicious, or mendacious or even mercantile.

The only interests he knows are the interests of pro surfing and pro surfers.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 3:05pm

Fanning gets waves wherever he goes through ability, friendships around the world, remoteness of location, use of jet skis, or he just drops in on people at home to get his share.
All while getting paid to do it and travel.
Can pick the best windows.

To him, waves, including quality waves, are not a limited resource.

He’s a privileged c$&t, basically.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 3:08pm

and has seemingly zero self-awareness about it apparently.

Roker's picture
Roker's picture
Roker Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 5:07pm

Mildly entertaining though. That he's saying something. He's pretty popular in the broader community I reckon. And the blandness has been an effective part of his brand. I think Rip Curl will pull him into line quick smart and it'll be back to laconically drawled platitudes over anything that resembles an opinion on controversial topics.

Goofy4's picture
Goofy4's picture
Goofy4 Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 5:21pm

He's just a 'good bloke'...that's all.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 5:31pm

It's amazing though.

those grumpy locals he so blithely dismisses.

they're the schoolteachers, plumbers, nurses, fireys, sparkies, butchers, bakers etc etc who have bought the Rip Curl wetsuits all these years that paid off his beachside mansions.

Never seen another sport where the stars so blatantly disrespect the fans that pay for their careers.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 7:33pm

"every single cafe in town was full all winter long. Followed by the busiest Summer, following on from the busiest summer last year."

Yep have noticed the longevity of the tourism season down here in the last couple of years before corona - only difference is if the snow is decent there's a respite over that time.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 7:51pm

I tell you what fills me with unease, and that's seeing pro surfers talking to Hollywood heavyweights around town.
Considering this area's sudden popularity as a film set, it's another cause for concern.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 9:13pm

Just listened to Mick Fanning on WSL podcast going on and on about how event at Lennox would have been so good for surfers and the community and business and blah blah blah....total PR job. Anyone would think he was being paid by the WSL....oh hang on he is

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Sunday, 14 Feb 2021 at 2:19pm

213 Boundary st Cooly Auction currently underway
Nice arvo for Fanning to pocket a few Million profit

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Sunday, 14 Feb 2021 at 2:29pm

Fucker has had a run of shit luck with his family. I hope he gets a few dollars in his pocket. He rips and comes across as a normal bloke. Good luck to him. Wish he’d pull his head in spruiking for the WSL shitshow though. A bloke with that much money doesn’t need to shit over the crew who supported his career by siding with some Septic billionaire over the community at Lennox.

It was the people of Australia who bought the Fanning sandals, boardies and wetsuits he was flogging that paid his rent, not Dirk fckn Ziff.