The Corona Bali Protected

The Corona Bali Protected

 

The Corona Bali Protected, the third stop on the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), is now down to the men’s and women’s Quarterfinalists after narrowing the men’s field in the Round of 32 and Round of 16 today. Pumping waves ignited the Keramas lineup (four-to-six foot, 1.2 – 1.8 metre) waves for another day of big upsets and eliminations.

 

Leonardo Fioravanti (above) Defeats Reigning World Champion Gabriel Medina (below)
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), World No. 30, kicked off the day with a massive win over Gabriel Medina (BRA), two-time WSL Champion. The Italian surfer eliminated World No. 5 Medina with superior wave selection and committed turns in the critical section of the big Keramas walls. Medina leaves Bali in 17th place, his worst result of the year so far after 5th place finishes at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

“I was so excited to surf that heat,” Fioravanti said. “Keramas finally showed up this morning. The tough part was working out if I should go for barrels or do turns. I made a few mistakes trying to get barrelled but to surf pumping waves like this and beat the World Champ, I feel blessed and am so happy. This is a really big win for me, of course. I’ve had a few injuries and have been struggling with results, but I’m feeling really good now so I hope I can start finding some results.”

This upset, paired with yesterday’s drama, only sees three surfers remaining in the draw from the men’s Top 10 after the eliminations of John John Florence (HAW), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Seth Moniz (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Owen Wright (AUS), and Willian Cardoso (BRA).

Leonardo Fioravanti (above) Defeats Reigning World Champion Gabriel Medina (below)
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), World No. 30, kicked off the day with a massive win over Gabriel Medina (BRA), two-time WSL Champion. The Italian surfer eliminated World No. 5 Medina with superior wave selection and committed turns in the critical section of the big Keramas walls. Medina leaves Bali in 17th place, his worst result of the year so far after 5th place finishes at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

“I was so excited to surf that heat,” Fioravanti said. “Keramas finally showed up this morning. The tough part was working out if I should go for barrels or do turns. I made a few mistakes trying to get barrelled but to surf pumping waves like this and beat the World Champ, I feel blessed and am so happy. This is a really big win for me, of course. I’ve had a few injuries and have been struggling with results, but I’m feeling really good now so I hope I can start finding some results.”

This upset, paired with yesterday’s drama, only sees three surfers remaining in the draw from the men’s Top 10 after the eliminations of John John Florence (HAW), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Conner Coffin (USA), Seth Moniz (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS), Owen Wright (AUS), and Willian Cardoso (BRA).

Despite his success against the reigning WSL Champion, Fioravanti fell to Adrian Buchan (AUS) in the Round of 16. En route to his Quarterfinal entry, Buchan also eliminated rookie Mikey Wright (AUS) in the Round of 32. In the Quarterfinals, Buchan will meet Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), who continued his searing form at Keramas to eliminate Brasilians Peterson Crisanto and Jesse Mendes in R/32 and R/16, respectively.
Slater in the Zone, Eliminates 2018 Event Runner-up Bourez for Quarterfinal Entry

Kelly Slater (USA below) is the only men’s World Champion left in the draw after defeating Michel Bourez (FRA), 2018 event runner-up, in R/16, Heat 6. Bourez had control of the heat in its majority until a potential priority mistake allowed Slater to stroke into a medium-sized set, which opened up and allowed him some decent time in the tube. Slater came out and smashed a layback snap to clinch the lead and the heat win. Slater moves ahead into the Quarterfinals where he will match-up with Filipe Toledo (BRA).

“I’m stoked because that’s always one of those rounds that you really want to get through,” Slater said. “That’s the money heat when you want to get your ranking up. For me, I’m able to relax once I make it to the Quarters. I’ll be a little bit giddy in the next one because it’s exciting and the waves are good. I didn’t start my day like I normally do today. I got too excited and went out for a surf and missed breakfast and my little meditation. But I know that kind of stuff doesn’t win you the heat. You just have to adjust. So I knew I had to work hard for that one. Michel Bourez had me on the ropes. I knew I needed to get my best score of the year to win that heat. But I’m on the up. In the Quarterfinals, I’m going to be up against Filipe Toledo and I’m going to need bigger scores to win through.”

Kolohe Andino (USA) continues to impress at the Corona Bali Protected with big airs and carves. Today, he continued his success against fellow Californian Conner Coffin (USA) in R/16, Heat 4. The heat came down to the final minutes with Coffin only needing a 4.16 (out of a possible 10) to advance. Andino smartly utilized his priority to keep Coffin off a set wave with three minutes remaining, which paid off after the ocean failed to provide any additional chances for Coffin.

“I was super nervous going into that heat,” Andino said. “Conner is such a good surfer and I love the way he surfs on the rail so I was really nervous but also just really excited to get out there. I’ve never made a heat at Keramas before so to get that heat advancement straight off the bat then to end up in the Quarters feels really good. Quarters on is definitely a result for someone going for a Top 5 finish or a World Title so I’m stoked to be into the business end of the event.”

Andino (below)  will face Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the second Quarterfinal heat when competition resumes.
Last Brasilians Standing: Michael Rodrigues and Filipe Toledo

Filipe Toledo (BRA), the only surfer left in the men’s Top 5, dispatched Ryan Callinan (AUS), currently the highest ranked Australian surfer on the Jeep Leaderboard. Toledo and Callinan have had great battles in recent history with Callinan dispatching of Toledo as a wildcard in France last September. Toledo was determined to avoid a repeat and dropped the highest heat total of the day with a 15.93 two-wave combination (out of a possible 20). The Brasilian Title hopeful moves closer to taking ownership of the Jeep Leader Jersey here in Bali.

Michael Rodrigues (BRA) took a breakthrough victory today, taking down event standout Julian Wilson (AUS) in the opening Heat of the Round of 16. Wilson came sprinting out of the gates with a display of his trademark, fins-free surfing, but Rodrigues had other ideas and posted his winning heat total under priority. This will be Rodrigues’ his first Quarterfinals appearance since the 2018 Oi Rio Pro.

“Julian (Wilson) is one of my favorite surfers so that was such a big heat for me,” Rodrigues said. “It feels good to beat him and to be back into the Quarterfinals. I’ve been having so much fun here in Bali, surfing a lot, eating well and good fun with friends so I’m feeling really good. I just wanted to do my job today and that was my job done.”
Australian powerhouse Wade Carmichael (AUS) was another standout performer, posting the second highest heat total of the day with an incredible display of rail surfing in the chunky Keramas walls. Carmichael has set up his second Quarterfinal appearance for the year and will take on Rodrigues as one of two Aussie representatives on Finals Day.

“The waves are so sick, I’ve been frothing to get out there all morning,” Carmichael said. “I was so excited when I got out there and got two good scores straight off the bat, then when the waves slowed down a bit I could take control of the heat and run it to the end. Days like this are good fun, just trading waves in pretty much perfect conditions with open walls and barrels. We couldn’t really ask for anything more as competitors at this venue. It’s such an unbelievable day, so I hope it continues and I can make it to the Final and win it.”

The next call for the Corona Bali Protected will be tomorrow, Tuesday, May 21, at 7:00 a.m. WITA for a possible 7:05 a.m. start. At this time, event organizers will assess the conditions to decide the day’s competition schedule.

The Corona Bali Protected will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL . Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Corona Bali Protected Remaining Men’s Round 3 (Round of 32) Results:
Heat 13: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.73 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.00
Heat 14: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.73 DEF. Mikey Wright (AUS) 6.50
Heat 15: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.90 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 7.60
Heat 16: Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.20 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.33

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Round 4 (Round of 16) Results:
Heat 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 13.67 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.77
Heat 2: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Joan Duru (FRA) 13.87
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 14.17 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 13.00
Heat 4: Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.16 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.67
Heat 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.93 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.47
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA) 14.46 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 14.27
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.23 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.80
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.66 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 5.86

Corona Bali Protected Men’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 4: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)

Corona Bali Protected Women’s Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
QF 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
QF 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
QF 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)

Fight For The Bight Protest, Oslo

Fight For The Bight Protest, Oslo

On Sunday, 150 people peacefully protested with a paddle out in front of Oslo’s iconic Opera House. Then on Wednesday, the delegation took the anti-drilling message directly to the board of Norwegian oil company Equinor at their annual AGM, encouraging them to vote against the company’s Great Australian Bight proposal.

The Fight For The Bight Has Come To A Head.

Norwegian company Equinor have formally released their draft environmental plan for deep water oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight. Equinor want to drill later this year. The proposed Stromlo well is 327km out in the Southern Ocean, open to everything the Roaring Forties has got. It is in 2500m of water, and they’ll then need to drill through 3000m of seabed. As part of their environment plan Equinor were forced to supply oil spill modelling, which showed oil on beaches between Margaret River in the west and Port Macquarie in the east. Wildlife, marine ecologies, local industries and communities would all be devastated. It would be a catastrophe on every level. Equinor claim the drilling “can be done safely.” BP – who Equinor acquired their Bight leases from – made the same claim about the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. 


If Equinor are allowed to sink that first drill the Bight officially becomes an oil field. There is no going back. The Bight has already been carved up into exploration leases and other operators are watching on closely. If Equinor can be stopped from drilling however, there is a strong case for a moratorium to be placed on deepwater oil drilling in the Bight. BP and Chevron have already pulled out. Drilling in the Bight is deep and it’s risky… a risk that is socialised by everyone across the entire southern coast of Australia, while the profits all go to Norway. 


Equinor’s environment plan is before industry regulator NOPSEMA and is open to public comment for 30 days, closing on March 20. This will be the last public consultation before NOPSEMA makes their decision, and it’s important you have your say via the link below. If you’re unsure about how to word your submission here’s some tips. It’s a crucial time to take a stand. The Bight is one of the last great tracts of marine wilderness in the world, and it needs to remain wild. This is your chance to tell them that Big Oil does not belong in the Great Australian Bight. 



Submissions have now closed.

Learn more here.

Head to Madagascar

Head to Madagascar

Grab the final spots on the usually fully booked Madagascar surf trip

Special price for Carve followers

Offering epic surf trips across the globe, Ocean and mountain experts OMX have just announced they have a few final spots available on their Madagascar Surf Resort trip; a trip that is fully booked for the majority of 2019.

1 – 12 June: 4 double rooms available ( due to late cancellation)
30 June – 11 July: surf & yoga special with Swell Yoga, 2 places available

14 – 19 July
6 – 13 August

Surf empty line ups every day with surf guiding and coaching from pro Justin West and perfect waves on the reef to suit all abilities, just 5 minutes by boat.

Ben Skinner: “One of the most exceptional places I have ever been too. A beautiful resort with uncrowded waves, great food and the perfect climate.”

The camp offers three freshly cooked meals a day and direct access to the beach. With only four en suite, beach bungalows available, you can be sure of empty lineups.

Exclusively for Carve, you can snatch up these finals last spot with a special deal: 55pppn Euros down from 75 Euros pppn.

More information and to book, head to oceanmountainexplorers.com and quote the Carve exclusive price when booking.

Steve Ley has Tourettes but he doesn’t let it hold him back. This is his remarkable story.

Steve Ley has Tourettes but he doesn’t let it hold him back. This is his remarkable story.

Steven Ley has Tourettes. He suffers from tics that give him involuntary movements, actions and of course makes him say the most inappropriate things at the worst possible time.But he doesn’t let it hold him back read on for an insight into how a thoroughly good bloke deals with life’s hand.

I met Steve at Estagnots in France this autumn. Steve had driven down from Croyde to watch the Quiksilver Pro and was sat in a cafe when I walked in.
He called me a ‘cunt’ as I walked past, which I thought was fair enough. As I sat and had breakfast Steve had quite a bad attack of the tics; shouting, coughing, jumping and I could see the effort he was putting in trying to suppress them. As I walked out, he called me a ‘prick’. The weird thing was, and it is tough to admit, but for a split second, I wondered why he was picking on me and felt offended. I had a quick word with myself and carried on, but throughout the next two days I heard reports of Steve surfing, and I realised a lot of people were taking offence, and there was a general lack of understanding of his condition.
The experience triggered a lot of questions; Why were people taking offence? What kind of legend would come to the busiest area of Europe knowing he would get stick, get ripped into and threatened? How can we all make Steve’s life better?
I met Steve the next night as he walked down the check the surf. His story is remarkable. One of the most upbeat and brave humans I think I’ve met.
The following is a piece Steve wrote for us. Usually we edit out swearing and offensive words as people don’t like to see it in print, but in this case, we have left it in. If you feel offended by any of it, imagine having a condition where you involuntary use this language at the most inopportune moments all day, every day. The power of language is extreme, but at the end of the day they are just words, and if the aggressive intention behind them is not there then they are powerless.
I hope this educates people because the adverse reactions of the general public are their problems, not Steve’s. And if you see Steve on your surf trips shake his hand, buy him a coffee or a beer, accept him for who he is and ignore his tics. All he’s looking for is to be treated like any else. He’s earned that and more.




Steve England

My main passion is surfing, and it’s helped so much to free my mind and keep me sane through my upbringing dealing with Tourettes.
I’ve had Tourettes since I was seven years old. It started with just small tics like noises and little twitches. When I started secondary school the anxiety of being around all the other kids, and being in such a social place, made my Tourettes so much worse. I was so scared I didn’t want to go to school. Kids were not so kind, and I got bullied a lot, the teachers didn’t know what to make of it and found me hard to deal with. Being so young and not knowing what to make of it myself made school very tough and I found my education was suffering massively. My mum has been the most fantastic person ever. She is a doctor and a children’s nurse, so she understood and helped me through all of it. I couldn’t have done it without her. When I was 13, I moved to Braunton school and started a new life. I found the kids way more understanding here and they accepted me for who I was. Being so close to the sea and surfing a lot more changed my life. My passion for surfing helped me with my tics and made me channel all my negative energy from school. I got sponsored for surfing when I was 14 and used to compete a lot. I found competing very stressful and didn’t like the pressure. I found it made me worse, so I gave up competing for a while and started playing music. Music is my job as well as carpentry, but music is the main one that ultimately gets rid of my Tourettes. When I play music, I go into a trance, and I don’t even tic. It’s like medicine. I started playing the piano from a young age and found I could sit there for hours and play with no tics at all. When I was 18 I got a P.A and started playing gigs in my local pubs I found at first being on stage with a microphone with Tourettes and in front of loads of people terrifying. I would shout “Cuuuuunt!” on the mic so loud people asleep down the road could hear me. It all sounds a bit silly, but I found it funny, and so did everyone else. That gave me a tremendous amount of confidence and made me realise that so many people respected me and admired my courage to get up there and put myself in front of a whole pub twitching falling over and shouting on the mic.

People think Tourettes is just swearing and it is a massively misunderstood condition! People don’t see all the other things that come with it: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, OCD, all the pain and trauma you put your body through
Steve

People think Tourettes is just swearing and it is a massively misunderstood condition! People don’t see all the other things that come with it: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, OCD, all the pain and trauma you put your body through and my god the twitching keeps me fit! I have to eat about 3000 calories more than the average human, and I’m still skinny as fuck! It wears me out, and I have to make sure I get my rest otherwise I’m fucked! I’ve never been shy, and I’ve always put myself out there. I love socialising as most of my friends and people that know me know. I like a party and being the centre of attention! It helps me and gives me confidence. I love making people laugh and being a stupid twat. It kind of covers up the Tourettes and makes people focus on me rather than my tics. It’s taken years to get to where I am with it and I’m still a long way from where I want to be but doing all the things I love is helping massively. I love to travel the world and have done since I was 16-years old. When I was 16, my mum let me go to Morocco on my own to meet three of my very good mates that were staying at Anchor Point. I think she was more scared than me. I wasn’t even thinking about it. I just wanted to go surf some sick waves! I must be honest I was shitting myself as I was landing at Agadir airport. After all, I was a skinny tall blond kid with curtains from England shouting “CUNT” “BOMB” “NIGGA!” I’m surprised they even let me on the plane, to be honest. I do try and suppress my tics at airports just because I don’t want the hassle but it’s almost impossible with all the stress of it. But I still do it because I know at the other side I’m going to get sick waves and meet amazing people. I spent three months in a cave on Mystery Point Taghazout with no water; electricity just gas candles and a board bag to sleep on. For me, it was the biggest eye-opener ever, and I learnt more about life in that three months than I ever did at school! The local Moroccan people were so lovely to me and accepted me for who I was. I became a well-known person, and it made me realise that being out of my comfort zone was not so bad and travelling is what I wanted to do. I did nothing but surf my brains out for three months and get high on life and never wanted to come home.

It amazed me how in a third world country with no education where I didn’t speak the language people just accepted my Tourettes and me for who I was. I came back a different person. The next year I went back for three months again in the same cave, and I’ve been back to Morocco seven times. It’s like another home for me. When I was 21, I went to Australia. After arriving off a 24-hour flight straight into New Year’s Eve with no sleep and jet lag, I was on a bus into Noosa Heads, and these little shits started ripping the crap out of me. Before I even turned around, a woman stood up and went fucking mental at them. I was so shocked I didn’t even know what to say. I said, “Thank you.” But I was like, “Holy shit. I love Australia already!” I stayed in Australia for six months and found the people just amazing. I never really got any shit off anyone and found them so easy going and more relaxed. I liked it so much I went back three times, and now I’ve decided to emigrate there. I came back last year after being there for nearly a year and started my visa process. I’m a carpenter by trade, and that’s what I do to earn my money as well as the gigs. I found, in North Devon, there’s not much of a music scene, and I don’t fancy playing pubs for the rest of my life. And I certainly don’t want to live in London away from the sea. So I decided to move to Byron Bay. It has a lot to offer, and the music scene is fantastic, not to mention the surf: the hollow beach breaks are just endless and so many options with all the different winds. Byron feels like home, and I’ve been there a lot and made some excellent friends. One really good friend I’ve made is Matt Wilkinson. We met through his best mate Alain who I play music with in Byron. I play golf with Wilko, and he’s been such a legend and introduced me to so many amazing people who all have my back in the sea and accept me for who I am. It means so much to me that world-class surfers have my back and makes my Tourettes feel like nothing when I’m with them. I wish I could surf like them! I’ve just come back from France where I spent a lot of time with Wilko, and we certainly had a laugh with Tourettes and just sat and watched the Frenchies reactions over coffee!

The waves were pumping in France, and it was great to get away. I drove my van down from Plymouth to Roscoff and down to Hossegor. People always ask me “How the hell have you got a driver’s licence?” But when I drive, I’m relaxed and don’t have many arm twitches. I still shout “Cunt” at every car that passes and stick my middle finger up in traffic though! I’ve been chased before. It’s fucking hilarious. Some people are very fucking angry, and I’m not the person you want to see when you’re mad! I found the French very hard this time; they didn’t seem to get me at all, to be honest. I got started on every time I went out, so I didn’t bother to go out in the end. It’s so hard being around drunk people with Tourettes. They just don’t get it. I struggle to understand why you would walk up to someone with a bad twitch and making noises and start giving them shit. It makes me so angry and telling a drunk person what Tourettes is like telling a three-year-old what algebra is. I’ve been struggling badly this year with anxiety from going out and having to explain to fully grown adults what Tourettes is. They’re so fucking rude to me sometimes, so I don’t go out anymore. The most shit I get is in my local town where I’ve grown up, Croyde. It’s a beautiful place, and every surfer knows low tide Croyde. But the people that come here now are so up their ass and rich they treat us like nothing. “Yeah, see you at low tide you prick then we’ll see who’s got the chat in the pub!” Haha. I got beaten up in my local pub by five guys two months ago because they didn’t understand and were drunk. I just went to get my pay from a gig, and the only five guys left somehow managed to judge me and start a fight. I held my own for a bit, but five on one is not fair. It sickens me to death that humans can behave in such a manner and they were just lucky my friends weren’t there. I deal with this day in day out, but I’ll never let it hold me back. Four years ago I got some bad news. All the constant twitching on my neck over time has led to spinal compression. This has caused a lesion in my Brachial Plexus, so my nerves in my arm don’t work. I’ve have lost a stone in weight of the right side of my body and pretty much lost most of the strength in my right arm. This has been going on for four years now, and it’s affected my life massively. I can’t surf like I used to and can’t paddle so I only last about an hour now and can’t surf bigger than four foot. It’s made me very depressed, and I may have to have a massive operation, which is life changing. All this is because of Tourettes.

People don’t understand when they give me shit that the effect of what they’re saying adds to my daily struggles. But I never let anything stand in my way. I get beaten up by five guys then go to the pub the next night and get pissed. I can’t use my arm, but I still go out surfing as much as I can. I work full time as a carpenter, lifting heavy stuff, but somehow it works. Tourettes is something I’ve been living with my whole life. Yes, it gets me down, but everyone has shit that gets them down. We’re all lucky to be here, and we all have problems, but it’s all about coming together and supporting one another to make this life easier. Don’t judge people, encourage them, be nice. It’s not hard to be nice. When you speak or even open your mouth, think about what you’re saying to people and how your words affect things. We’re all different, and I could be a lot worse off. I’ve been blessed with many talents and without them I know I wouldn’t be here today. I wouldn’t be able to cope with what I have. I’m 32 years old and live on Baggy Point in Croyde Bay. Living by the sea has given me a sense of calmness and as it would anyone, but listening to the ocean all the time is magical for the mind, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to do so. I live on my own and Tourettes is sometimes a challenge as I cook for myself and try not to stab myself in the face with a knife every time I cook! How I still have eyes I don’t know! When I brush my teeth, I spend most of my time washing the toothpaste spit off the mirro. So if I’m late for work that’s why! It takes me fuckloads more time to do anything, and if I’m on time, some of my mates give me a medal. I also have a tic where I run back into things. This is not fun when you’ve crossed a road and then end up back on the other side weaving in and out of cars! Again how am I still alive? Hmmmmmmm. Fat people hate me because I shout “Fat cunt” all the time and snort like a pig. Police always try to arrest me and try and be all big and shit, and I’m like “Na, mate I’ve got Tourettes you piggy cunt” Then pull out my Tourettes card and they’ve got no leg to stand on. They don’t take it to well, but at the end of the day, ‘CUNTSTABLE’ discrimination is against the law mate. Now fuck off and leave me alone.

I’ve done a few documentaries on Tourettes on the BBC and have found it’s helped massively to raise awareness. I did one called “Tourettes Let Me Entertain You” on BBC Three with Reggie Yates all about people with Tourettes that play music and come together and form a band. It’s incredible how music helps Tourettes, and I found a lot more people understand now from watching these types f documentaries. The most recent one I was in was called “Misfits Like Us” and was on BBC Three and BBC One. It’s all about helping a girl who couldn’t leave the house because her anxiety is so, so we all support her. It’s just won an award, and you can catch it on BBC iPlayer. It was released this summer and is a great watch. I found it so inspiring hanging out with other people with Tourettes and gave me great confidence in going out and about and not worrying about what people think. I’ve never taken any medication and don’t like putting that stuff in my body. I believe strongly in diet, natural produce and being happy. This all helps my Tourettes and what you put in your body certainly makes you feel and be who you are, but I still love a Dominos stuffed crust. I find when I talk to people my tics calm down. I guess that’s what I’m known for “Steve the chatterbox”! Different channels of the brain I think. It’s not all doom and gloom with Tourettes. I do find it’s given me a lot of life experience and given me the ability to work people out within seconds. There a lot of pluses with having it as well as sometimes I get to say what everyone’s thinking haha.

When I’m on a plane, sometimes they move me to first class, and I do get to sit on my own which is lovely. Well, it does save the person next to me stress! So I say that to the airline company before I get on the plane. I had a guy in Agadir walk up to me and put his hand on my heart and just walked off. I’d never get these experiences if I didn’t put myself out there and go around the world. Even going out with the pros like Conner Coffin, Ace Buchan, Bede Durbidge and Wilko who have now become good friends. They all look out for me. But people still come up and give me shit, but I think I’m blessed to be hanging out with such genuine people that care and accept me for who I am. So I’m currently waiting for my visa to move to Australia to start my new life in Byron Bay and have just written my first album which I’ll be releasing next year. So exciting times ahead. It’s been a long, bumpy road of depression, anxiety and making my life better by surrounding myself with the people that make me happy. I want to find a wife in Oz to help me build my own house out of wood and have a dog called ‘Roger’ and a few kids. To start my happiness, to try and be the best person I can for someone that gets me. That’s all I want. Being in the heat helps my back and surfing is a lot easier for me in boardshorts as it is for everyone! I’ve had to embrace my condition which has been so hard but I’m proud of the way I’ve dealt with it and will continue to swear at everyone and I’m sure life will throw more at me, but I’m ready for whatever. I feel blessed and so honoured to have the people that I have in my life and the support I’ve had locally, and around the world, it’s just amazing. The journey is the reward, and I will live every day like it’s my last. The last thing I want to say is never be offended by me I can’t help what I do and its never directed at you. Now please can someone find me a wife! Peace.

£35million wave pool plan for Bournemouth revealed

£35million wave pool plan for Bournemouth revealed

Plans for a new wavepool park in Bournemouth have been revealed. The Lagoon Project aims to be a 15 acre park with a 145 bedroom hotel and glamping site with wave machine capable of 2,400 wave per hour.

Matt Radford, from The Lagoon Project, said: “This will be a destination for every family member to participate in the watersports as well as inland activities.”

BCP Council director Bill Cotton said: “The Lagoon fits in with the coastal watersports lifestyle of the area, and would be an all-year round attraction.”Building work on the complex, which could include a 145-bedroom hotel and glamping site, is expected to start later this year with an opening date of summer 2022.

The Lagoon will be based upon a beach shack style, which will be both authentic and attractive, with ocean inspired décor. With a grass roof for the main building, solar panels and rainwater harvesters the site is planned to be energy-neutral for an environmentally friendly solution.

The people behind this ambitious project are Matt Radford, Founder and MD, who teamed up with Director Martin Spooner to create a fast-moving development company. The visionary duo have also employed an impressive team of local consultants with combined experience managing sites such as Legoland, Longleat, Merlin Entertainments. 

Matt commented: ‘This has been a dream of mine for years, ever since I wanted to teach my kids to surf in a safe and controlled environment. Here we are two years later, and my dream is stepping ever closer to becoming a reality.’

Martin added: ‘We have just hosted our first private pitch event to attract seed capital, and update interested parties, which turned out to be an incredible night for The Lagoon. We are seeking additional founder investors who would like to join us on the journey and a cornerstone investor at this exciting early development stage. Ideally a local entrepreneur from the sports, leisure or hospitality industries.’

An all year round indoor and outdoor attraction, The Lagoon will offer a range of indoor activities from rock climbing to abseiling as well as five different wave areas to cater for everyone from absolute beginners to pros all at the same time. The Lagoon will also offer a tranquil environment with an offering of mixed accommodation styles from a contemporary 145-bedroom hotel to tree houses, woodland lodges, glamping pods and ‘hobbit’ huts. The eco-conscious development will bring a significant number of tourists into the area, create considerable employment and will also supply an important all-weather destination for the local community, holidaymakers and tourists alike. 

Bournemouth has a large surfing population and a strong surf club – Wessex Surf Club. The area regularly produced top British surfers – Dave Weight, Guy Penwarden, Derek Deer, Nick Castle, Tony Butt, Lee Hammond, Si Furley, Terry Crump and more recently Mile Lee Hargraves as well as internationally renowned playboy surf photographer and surfboard collector Gary Knight.

More news as it breaks…

• See what I did there…

Masked Ball Gallery of Fun

Masked Ball Gallery of Fun

This year’s Masked Ball went down a storm as usual and kicked off the festival season in style. The three day event in early May saw thousands of revellers enjoy the multi micro venues and marquees in this unique Cornish festival. With it’s glorious location on the cliff tops above Porthleven on the south coast of Cornwall it was a huge event. With Psychemagik, Body Hammer, Dave Harvey, Felix Dickinson, Telephones, Francis Inferno Orchestra, DJ Format, Optimo playing to packed marquees full of dressed-to-excess ballers. With it’s 24 hour licence those who had the energy partied through until Sunday, for an outrageous and colourful three day refugee from the norm.

Here’s some pics from the event. Photographer Adam Hopkinson

For more info head to maskedball.net