Blind Derek Rabelo surfs Nazare
The movie Beyond Sight follows Derek Rabelo's life mission to get barelled while surfing. Derek is blind which makes it a classic story of overcoming adversity. Of course it's a feel good movie, you cheer for Derek's pluck and courage rather than question his choices.
Kelly Slater does though. "If he's blind, how does he know he's geting barrelled?" asks the king.
Fair question, if a bit of a downer. Anyway, blind Derek achieved his goal riding pillion with Mike Stewart at Pipeline.
Derek's latest mission is to tow into big waves. A task that arguably relies less on sight than barrel riding, and it's also something that can be sensed. Think of the wind speeding by, the visceral rush you feel in your gut, the chatter of fibreglass over chop, none of that requires sight to enjoy it. I don't think...
Anyway, Derek is finding out if I'm talking bollocks or not. He flew into Nazare last week and his early sessions were filled with gentle shoulders. However, two days back he whipped into something a bit more significant.
Sequence by Tim Bonython.