Surf-A-Palooza Jan 24-31

MEXICO NEWS DOS EQUIS: Last week Surf-A-Palooza broke the news regarding the amended plans of the Escalara Nautica project (ENP). It’s quite a story, and proof that timing is everything (quite a cliche). The dominos began to fall as a Wall Street Journal business article, which indicted the ENP figures, found its way onto the desk of heavy hitter’s in Mexico City (presumably Presidente Fox). On the same day, Wildcoast International’s Serge Dedina appeared on Mexican TV discussing the WSJ article and the ENP flaws to a national audience. While Dedina was on the air, a highly placed Mexican tourism official phoned in. An impromptu debate/discussion ensued. Dedina brilliantly framed the project as a good one, just not as currently planned. The official caved into the kill-’em-with-kindness strategy and back-peddled his way into various verbal amendments. For specifics of this news, you can read the exclusive ‘One World’ interview with Serge Dedina of Wildcoast International on this site. I strongly recommend that you do so. As exciting as this news is, I remain somewhat skeptical until some sort of written agreement is inked. Nevertheless, I commend Dedina, Wildcoast, and the others involved for their efforts. Save the waves.

COLIMA ROCKED: A major earthquake struck the agricultural region in and about Colima on last Tuesday night. Obviously this sucks for many reasons, most notably the loss of life. Many of you have expressed concern (via our message board) for friends and family that live in that region. The lack of telephone and power service leaves us to only speculate. A very dear friend of mine lives in the area with his wife and young son, and I share your concern. Please, if you come upon any inside information regarding the earthquake, the damage to Colima or its neighboring cities and villages, log on to the message board and let us know.

LUNATICS TAKING OVER ASYLUM: Big Rock has been the site of alpha male feuds since the early 60s. A minor hassle here or there is hardly newsworthy. However, a heightened sense of dis-ease has griped the lineup these past few weeks. The characters and situations involved could walk of the pages of an Elmore Leonard novel: an angry sponger, touting a life-long chip; a group of holier-than-thou La Jolla locals, peeved at the ability of the spongers to back paddle and get deep positioning at the Rock; knives; baseball bats; lying-in-wait; malice; forethought; choking; gang warfare; specific intent to cause bodily harm. Somebody call a literary agent.

Here’s my alleged, uncertain and ambiguous second hand account of how it all went down:

Day 1: A long running feud between spongers and LJ local surfers boils over with snakes, cut-offs and the usual verbal haranguing. A grumpy belly rider with a chip on his shoulder and a rep for getting into hassles takes matters into his own hands. He punches a local surfer, holds him underwater, and then punches out his fins. Stinkeye and verbal jousting continues all day between belly riders and surfers.

Day 2: Early the next morning, another incident, much more serious though. A group of 12 belly riders, in two separate vehicles, lay-in-wait for a one particular local who had especially ticked them off the day previous. The local guy shows up to check the surf and his vehicle is immediately pinned in–an ambush by the Belly Up gang. Knives and baseball bats are liberated from the squalor of bagel wrappers and coffee cups that lay underneath car seats. The local guy accepts his fate, and gets pummeled into submission. The end result being visual impairment and a lacerated foot. Word spreads through the Windansea lot faster than a pint of Old #7.

Day 3: Chris Ward, of all people, shows up from San Clemente. Completely oblivious to the years of angst that has boiled over, Wardo does his thing, burning a fair share of belly riders in the process. A tussle ensues. Words are spit out, fists fly, antlers lock. The heat has been turned way up.

Day 4: Some belly riders are conspicuously absent, most notably the tough guy who is the belly riders leader. A few, however, do show up. One decides to use his sponge leash as a tea bag string, wrapping it around the neck of a surfer and dunking him like hard biscotti in a Starbucks latte.

Day 5: It is on. Gang Warfare. Neptune street. Spongers vs. Surfers. 6:30am. Everyone meets and words are exchanged–even death threats. A hardened and wise Windansea Surf Club old timer diffuses the situation. The rumble never happens. The characters disperse. No one is pleased.

As of now, the City of San Diego lifeguards are working with the Windansea Surf Club to further diffuse the situation. Interestingly, a 35-year old city ordinance, drafted due to a similar situation at Windansea between surf mat riders and surfers, states that surf mats are not permitted in the surfing zones. Some are suggesting this ordinance binds sponger to Marine Street and the like. That is where it stands. Makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Pretty hilarious really.