According to a press release from the WSL issued on Monday, Filipe Toledo has been fined for attempting to storm the judges tower after a Round-Three interference call at Saquarema and is officially suspended from competing in the OK Fiji Pro.
“I’m a passionate guy and surfing is my life,” Toledo said in the press release. “After getting an interference in the third round in Saquarema, I was very upset and my actions after the heat were unacceptable. After cooling down, I realized that I was not myself. I’m very sorry for my behavior. I want to apologize to the fans, my sponsors, the media and WSL. I take full responsibility for my actions and accept my suspension. I am disappointed to miss the next event, but looking forward to returning stronger for Jeffreys Bay. Good luck to everyone in Fiji and thank you all for the continued support.”
The debated call occurred at around the 27-minute mark of Toledo’s Round Three heat against Kanoa Igarashi. Neither surfer had yet established priority. Toledo and Igarashi paddle-battled for a peak, and both got to their feet on the left, though Kanoa won out on the exchange. WSL judge Pritamo Ahrendt later explained that Igarashi owned the peak because he established middle positioning in an equal left-or-right situation. Judges decided that Toledo hindered Igarashi’s takeoff, meaning that Toledo was slapped by a non-priority interference call just under four minutes in.
The press release then explains that Toledo, upset by the call, attempted to storm the judges tower after the Round-Three loss. The WSL Rules and Disciplinary Committee evaluated the interaction and suspended Toledo from competition until after the OK Fiji Pro, along with a penalty fine of an undisclosed amount.
“Filipe (Toledo) is a really good kid and an incredible surfer,” Renato Hickel, WSL Deputy Commissioner, said in the press release. “The WSL is very fortunate to have someone of his caliber on tour and he is constantly progressing the level of surfing in the live arena. It’s disappointing when we have to pass disciplinary action for any of our surfers, but that behavior is not acceptable for the sport. Filipe knows this and we look forward to seeing his talent back on tour very soon.”
[Featured Photo by Taras]