Multiple members of the world tour lost their shit yesterday, and none more so than reigning World Champion and winner of last year’s Quik Pro Gold Coast winner Gabriel Medina, who was given an interference call in his Round 3 heat against Glen Hall. On one of the most gloriously entertaining, unfalteringly eventful days in recent pro surfing history, and in what must go down as one of the great post-heat interviews, Medina laid into both WSL commissioner Kieren Perrow and his opponent Glen Hall, managing to slip a “fuck you” in there too, even if he was only quoting what Hall had said to him earlier. Pete Mel, the WSL man with the microphone, hurriedly drew the interview to a close before handing back to an almost speechless commentary team.
For the moment it’s not available to watch on the heat analyzer, the WSL having taken down heats 5 to 8 in a somewhat spineless not to mention counterintuitive move. Lay day after lay day waiting for the contest to resume, a thoroughly underwhelming Round 2 providing very little in the way of entertainment, and then something like this happens, and they won’t even let us watch it? But there is a video of the crucial part above, and the transcript of the interview can be read below:
“Uh, yeah, I got an interference in that heat. I think they changed the rules, you know? I wish you guys could explain the rules. Because I didn’t get it, because it just happened in my heat because one guy was sitting, like, down at the point… I didn’t touch him. I didn’t see the footage, but I didn’t even touch him. I don’t know, I didn’t get the rules. I thought it was one thing, but now it’s not the thing I was thinking.
“Actually, like, first of all, that was a really bad call for the comp. We waited like 10 days, we extended two days to get waves like this, and I think KP [commissioner Kieren Perrow] didn’t do a really good job. I hope he can get better.
“And second was the interference. One day I will try to understand this new rule.
“And the third, is uh, next time Glenn [Hall] says ‘Fuck you’ to me, I’ll teach him some –”
Teach him some what? At first listen it’s hard to make out, but he seems to be saying he’ll teach him “some bad words in Portuguese” — as opposed to, say, “some Brazilian jiu-jitsu, because I’m gonna kick the shit out of that little leprechaun prick.” Fairly innocuous, then.
Glenn Hall seemed unfazed by the whole thing, and had nothing but kind words for the 21-year old Brazilian. “Obviously the end result’s a bit wild with the interference,” he said. “But there were a couple of little heckles there that I thought, y’know, with priority, maybe I could’ve had a little more room to make the takeoff a bit cleaner. The first one I thought I couldn’t paddle for the wave ‘cause he was right in front of me, and they didn’t call it which is all good, it’s their call. But then the second one, as I took off, he was trying to kinda cut out I suppose, but he was way too close for me to be able to get a clean takeoff. So unfortunately for him, they called an interference. That’s what priority’s there for, to get you in the position to takeoff where you want to takeoff from.
“It wasn’t anything personal. I really like Gabriel, he’s a great dude and I was legitimately stoked for him last year. And then at the Banquet this year, I feel like he got a lot of fans – his speech was awesome, and he’s a really good dude. He’s passionate in the water and he’s a legend out of the water and I love that, I think that’s what it’s all about. So we had words, it was more just I was explaining what I was blowing up about and he was telling me to calm down (laughs). It’s all good, it’s nothing personal.”
Kieren Perrow’s response, meanwhile, was thus: “This is professional surfing’s biggest stage, the stakes are high and there is no shortage of passion. Gabriel’s post-heat interview was not worthy conduct of an athlete at this level and the league has engaged in discussions with him and will take further action if necessary.”