The Pipe Masters isn't a contest but a film set
No sooner had news arrived that the Pipeline Masters was suspended due to COVID, that the speculation began mounting.
The WSL didn't help their case by making just one brief announcement, with online commentary providing the substantial counterweight.
It was noted by some commenters that the Woz has classified the Hawaiian competitions "non-spectator film productions", and it was assumed they'd cleverly accessed a loophole.
A press release dated 30th November appeared to confirm the ruse: "..the WSL has been collaborating with state and county leaders in Hawaii, in addition to public health and medical experts, which allowed the competition to move forward as a non-spectator film production with comprehensive coronavirus protocols in place."
However, what at first seems a cunning bureacratic sidestep - call the webcast a film production and sound the hooters - is a factual description: the Pipeline Masters is a film set. The Maui Pro was one too.
Back on the 4th December, Apple TV+ - Apple's new streaming service - signed the World Surf League to a six-part documentary series that will, according to the press release, "provide a behind-the-scenes look at the aspirations, failures and accomplishments of the world’s best surfers as they battle for the WSL Title and struggle to remain on the elite WSL Championship Tour."
Part 1 began filming on December 4th at Maui and when the first heats of the Pipe Masters were surfed on December 9th the production team were there to film that too.
It's unknown how much Apple paid the WSL to co-operate and grant access, however Apple TV+ is the latest shot in the streaming wars, a worthy competitor to Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+, and the amount wouldn't have been insignificant. Aside from direct income to the beleaguered League, the deal exposes pro surfing to all ten million AppleTV+ subscribers and is a dangling carrot for sponsors.
As one commenter noted on Swellnet, "The thing with filming permits, though, is that if any of the crew contract covid, the entire production needs to shut down immediately to comply with Hawaii state laws."
Swellnet has no idea if this is true. We went looking for answers, found volumes of 'rules and regulations in the age of COVID' but nothing that confirms a production has to be shut down upon infection. However, any production member who tests positive has to be quarantined for fourteen days, and we know Erik Logan was one of those infected. Logan is not only the Wozzle CEO, he's also the Executive Producer for the coming Apple TV+ series.
With the EP off the set, will the Pipe Masters continue? It's impossible to say, and far be it from us to speculate on that.
It's worth considering, however, that back in July, Scott Morrison announced a $400 million incentive for overseas film productions to set up shop in Australia. The amount is a sizable extension to the existing Location Incentive grant.
After the three US contests, the Championship Tour planned to head down under for three more - Bells, Margarets, and the Gold Coast - all of which were to be filmed by production company Box to Box Films and appear to meet the guidelines for qualification. There's even been rumours of two more CT contests in Australia if travel to Brazil and South Africa proves troublesome.
Swellnet's own contribution to the rumour mill is that, even if the Woz waves the white flag at Pipe, the Aussie leg will go ahead by hook or by crook. The Wozzle's Aussie connection has form on the board when it comes to pivoting towards the guidelines and accessing government largesse.
Im sure FR will be reading/commenting here. Good write over on BG mate. Always personally thought he was always gonna be nail in the coffin and now that may well be playing out.
I’m a huge fan of Freeride’s stuff but even the contemplation of “nameless cnt *” as head of the world surfing body makes me want to kick a hole in the gyprock.
What the fuck is this - a preordained succession predicated on identical white shoe ideologies ?
Id sooner see the oceans set ablaze like the Iraqi oil fields than reward that cnt with a scintilla of leverage over the sport I love.
*Legal reasons .
don't worry mate, I won't be pissing in Starkeys pocket.
he's just the logical next cab off the rank.
Who’s Starky ?*
He's a massive cunt... oh right...
Just hopped over for a rare Beachgrit read...That was well written piece FR. Definitely nailed it. Cheers.
Screw that fat fuck and his sunshine coast housing estate - sorry - wave pool development
Oh! Hello again!
Hmmm so Bells is to become a film set...
The astute might remember there were some scripts hashed out right here on Swellnet for a potential Vicco surf flick... Just in case the whole competition format gets the bin...
Gary G had a lead role from memory?
He's always wanted to work with professional athletes...
I'm thinking more pro surfers running away from heavily made-up zombie golden retrievers, that stuff would sell!
Now I'm picturing Gary G made up to look like a zombie golden retriever... like a dark D-grade version of Barf from spaceballs...
Wish I wasn't picturing that.
Half the cast dressed up as Wilfred, yesss, yesss!
(meme embed fail)
I thought he wanted to work with “pros” not professionals?
Well this happened on Sunday. Whoops to the Woz.
Judges deemed it incomplete. Athletes need to display a controlled finish to their ride.
Sorted for ya.
And fark that's a 10.
All day. Imagine how much better it would have been without a freakin' go-pro hanging out his mouth.
True, but can't wait to see the footage from it! It'll be the best and possibly only backdoor barrel i'll ever get!
The footy is gooood BD. Up on his insta mate.
Ah cheers Benno! That looked insane. One little bit of light at the end of the tunnel the whole way. Would have felt amazing to travel through that thing.
Can you even get your head around the Australian government ( aka taxpayers ) paying a non surfing US billionaire to promote and expose our breaks to the world at a time when international travellers can’t even come to the country yet ?
It’s sounding more and more Monty Python every day.
Haha. On the money again Blowin
Please never confuse "film" with these reality TV morons. They have the potential to bring down a hugely successful and culturally important industry. This stupid bleach toothed SUP riding marketing robot is neither a film maker, or a surfer...
The WSLs policy is just like the USAs, head in the sand, pray for a vaccine, and in the mean time run around like headless chooks.
Edit : Apparently Hawaii requires a negative Covid result before entry. But if it is already present then the WSL could have picked it up on the islands.
Fuck it'd be hilarious if the comp ran tomorrow. Unlikely I know, and rank form for the Woz for such shit comms with us fans regardless.
If what it is...
Is not really what it is....
Does that mean this she-bang is uninsured?
Seems to me a blatant action putting life long surfers lives at an unnecessary risk.
"There are more sharks on land than there are in the water"... I always say.
Very unexpected and disappointing.
So the wozl becomes even more scripted. Keep an eye on fairytale storylines and bet your dollars on Sportsbet accordingly. The glam and marketable will win more frequently with the odd dramatic upset just when needed.
It really is staggeringly beyond comprehension that an international sporting body is in the middle of its marquee event to relaunch its season and after an obtusely vague announcement of being suspended due to Covid, they say nothing...for a week.
Saying nothing really says it all doesn't it.
Have the conspiracy theorists picked up on the connection between WSL now being a film set and Taylor Steele documentary on the surfing industry 'Stranger than fiction'?
Triple crown decided by edited footage?
'Hey is that even me? - change the logo'
'Can we make the wave look bigger? cool'
'I was like no this cant be true - then i got over it and was doing huge backflips too'
Apparently it’s about to go back “on”
Good morning everyone! I have an important update for us:
We gave been making good progress with the State of Hawaii, DOH and the other departments.
Please advised that we could come off suspension at some point today, and then go ON HOLD for a call today.
Depending on when we can go on hold will determine how fast we can run.
Just want everybody to be be prepared. We’ll update you as soon as possible.
Would now be the time to kick off a rebel tour?
Probably not... covid could well kill it before it got off the ground.
But it would surely be the time to do all the behind-the-scenes machinations (signing surfers up, getting sponsors on board, etc - thinking along the world series cricket/rebel south africa tours lines) needed to get one off the ground once the risk levels drop.
Gotta be better than the circus we have been witnessing over the last few years, surely.
Yeah don't get me wrong, I'd be all for a rebel tour (though credit where it's due, the filming etc of the woz is generally pretty good).
But if I was thinking about putting one together, I'd wait until the aftermath of covid (once vaccines have been rolled out etc) before launching it. I'd be using this time to get all the ducks lined up.
Looking at the footage of the past few days re: NF and griff cola’s tubes...it just magnifies the wozzle’s fuck up it not running in those waves...
just film the free surfs, i dont care if a ceo is crook. itilo (?) is the boss atm. the tail doesnt wag the dog
Unfortunately you could “ Script This” not providing Updates is Unforgivable. The WSL seems inept. Plan B? Nah no Plan B at all.
Wonder if he took the same test as the Tanzanian pawpaw, goat & quail, or that Austrian glass of coke?
Good to see Vic ALP dealing with the things that matter - they've just put a ban on the public service from using 'sir' or 'madam' when talking to the public for fear of upsetting a few transgenderites. Looks like they'd be perfectly suited to run the WSL.
Still no word from the WSL since Dec 12th when they accounced the suspension of the Pipe Masters.
Waiting period ends in six days time (including today, it's the 15th over there). Obviously they won't be running today so that leaves five days.
New swell due Thurs (Fri our time), fresh trades, not big but enough to run. Another similar sized swell due Sun (Mon our time), which is the last day of the waiting period.
Really poor form with no updates on the website etc. I suspect they are now in complete disarray. Not sure how they can continue to spruke their protocol when clearly they haven’t worked or they can say no athletes have been exposed....for goodness sake they are is the US ! Ace must be sitting at home thinking wow I dodged that one well.
During normal times I really like the WSL. But I have noted a tendency for them not to communicate bad news over the years, this is no exception.
But I reckon it's all irrelevant now, some of the staff have covid, all the surfers are inherently selfish and in each other's face on the peak at pipe with no social distancing and it's probably spreading between them as well now.
It's not looking bad on the webcam. Damn, run the bloody thing!
America and Brazil pretty much the two most effected countries
by the China virus also the two most prolific nations on Oahu dont
have to be a genius to know a breakout is very likely.
Shame I was looking forward to the contest in real waves.
Just in case anyone hasn't seen this INSANE Backdoor barrel yet.
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10 and then some.
It'll be hard to beat!
Bells was a film set before if those of you here remember the time they flew down for surfabout mid week I think. All landed at Torquay for some decent waves and Cheyne won it. The whole thing was filmed and shown on the tele.
Not to mention 'Point Break' using Bells for the final scene.
They said Bells but it certainly wasnt.
Damn you evo, you just ruined the memory for me!
Only twenty years till the next fifty year storm. Bells Beach Australia, I'll be there man.
He's not the Messiah, he's just a very naughty CEO. Turn the film set over to John Cleese please so we can get some actual laughs out of this flying circus
Still no word from the WSL.
No word then suddenly its on again.....how does that work. the surfers must have know.
Not good enough WSL.
Film Set > Close Out Set.
Gold Coast is a neverending Surf beach film set so closes for TV ads / Promos often.
Just about every cheesy Promo with a critter has stopped the beach on our Goldie.
As with Bells the GC Stubbies had a Gate Taking but was also fully Screened Off.
Stubbies was the first blocking of a Qld Surf Beach thru-fare for a Comp.
Coolangatta Gold also detours or closes beach & surf access.(Changes with circuit!)
Magic Millions Beach Horse Race includes Horse Surfing...also closes Surf for horses.
WR Beach Car race speed Promos for near on 100 years.
Dreamworld Surfing Lions & Tigers selfie Postcard backdrops clear the beach fast.
Junior Aussies North Burleigh has Beach Flags Open but not to Public Access.
"Confirming" tbb was told by organiser not to enter the site or bodysurf in Flags
900m long site was locked down over a w/e for fear of "Filming Nippers"
tbb confirms he was told not to enter or Surf The Spit Beach Flags during Filming.
Empire Pro was a TV Surf Comp for Reef Break Series.(No thru- fare)
Again...Beach access varies for effect on each different Beach Film set requirement.
Recent OZ WSL Tweed Grand Slam site was a promoted as a closed set.
Only going by what crew said it seems was not 100% screened & policed.
Indeed some crew visited or surfed about the set during non filming comp hours.
Being a closed live to air public venue also sadly timetables criminal intent.
Due to a security breach Steph was cornered by her Stalker in the Cabba Carpark.
Next WSL Sth Straddie Film Comp was more strict with lockdown after Steph's scare.
tbb spoke to Entry site security & this was confirmed...(Ban the Stalker & save Steph!)
Crew will note Steph's mind was on being pinned on a boat by port master Stalker.
Security said you can not charter a boat to Comp site but can privately access TOS.
However! No one must encroach or pass thru the roped off Film set.
East Coast Public thru-fare is denied by VIP Private leasing of Mountain to sea
Shutdowns extend interstate on any given day & can last for months at a time.
Each year the Filming or Shutdowns become more often & for longer time.
Most Recent Qld funded $3m WSL Surf Film had zero Qld /GC promotion
Recent backlash of VIP exemption was inevitable. (Must we surrender all to the Stars)
WSL breaches of Surfer's security is not new or isolated to Steph's stalker.
2019 Pipe Olympic Team decider drummed up a live Reef sacrifice by a rival Coach.
If WSL needed a reason to close a live Film Set...blame Hellman Charlie...(10 x over)
tbb shared a Covid Plan for Maui Comp & it does employ actual a/h Hawaiian Police.
This in no bouncer gig...These are State sponsored / policed Tier 1 Govt Lockdowns.
Evening news promos Premiers reclaiming & rezoning VIP beaches for Poll rating.
Qld Premiers #1 occupation is to close more beaches for more beach promo Selfies.
Goldie Mayor also dreams for Hollywood to takeover our coastline until next Poll day.
1970's Surf Films were huge & well accepted.
But equally Goldie skate / surfers despised 'Plastics' - Local Cameras / Sponsors.
Naturally a Tourism grown surf crew shuns up themselves Cameras & Sunnies crew.
tbb did both GC skate Histories...No 1970's skateboard photos...(a few 1980 photos)
Camera Spies were booted from crews & you couldn't give away Comp prize merch.
tbb recalls trouble ridding Billabong & Rip Curl merch at club...brothers even binned it! Labels were brizzo surf wear, none would promote dork shit for free...still refuse to.
Over the years Goldie got swamped by film media...like it or not, it's our world.
WSR Lego should be interesting in regards to VIP Film / Comp access.
Hawaii Covid Cases (Last 2 Weeks)
Hawaii up 95% > Oahu up 41% > Maui up 99% (Kauai up 19% now Quarantine)
Kauai Doctors call on main Islands to ditch the fake quicky Entry.
Honolulu / Airlines sourced the lowest 60% false negative tests (Everyone can fly)
Tear up their real Certificates & charge the smart arses for Quarantine
$500 fake Airline app for Aloha turnstyle entry.
$250- $500 Fake digital False Neg' Online app
$100 for Travel Agent Quicky app.
Beat up the kidz or Bully yer Mate for a Home Test flight pass (Bingo)
New  Entry E tag swiper is bread'n'butter for the Dark Web.
Even swap for a positive kit to fit up mate or win a bet by taking down the hot shot.
No! Not joking it's in the news & all very real & to be expected in our sick world.
All know that a Plane carries the most virus aside cruise ships .
Cruiseship Ban was to expire today but Govt extended that another 3 months.
Worst Pipe Masters ever