World no. 5 Owen Wright, who snagged an absolute beaut of a Pipe wave three days ago that many are hailing as a ‘Wave of the Winter’ winner, has hurt himself at the very same spot and could miss out on the Pipemasters and a possible World Title.
Freesurfing Pipe in treacherous 12ft conditions before the trials yesterday, Owen exited a tube, fell on a cutback and went in, walking gingerly and complaining of dizziness. “After a nap at the Rip Curl house, Owen woke up feeling disoriented and having trouble breathing. At this point he was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to hospital.” Tracksmag.com reports.
If Owen’s condition is in fact concussion, which the symptoms certainly point to, he could well miss out on surfing the Pipemasters and his shot at a World Title. Outside of South America anyway, the 6’3″ goofy powerhouse is something of a fan favourite to sneak past compatriots Fanning and Wilson and Brazilians Desouza, Medina and Toledo to claim the 2015 crown.
However, concussions in sport are being taken ever more seriously these days, with the potential for long term damage only really beginning to be properly understood.
“At this stage we are still waiting on scans before we say anything,” said Rip Curl Tour pit poss Fletch (the big jolly dude with the beard y’always see on the webcast).
Owen is due to surf in Rd 1 heat 2 of the Billabong Pipemasters against Jadson Andre and Dusty Payne.