December 9th 2015: A morning’s warm up sesh at unruly Pipeline saw then World no.5 and World Title contender (DeSouza would go on claim the crown) Owen Wright suffer a nasty wipeout and a multiple wave hold down that saw him exit the water a bit wobbly on his feet.
He walked up to the beach to the Rip Curl house located next to the path at Off The Wall and took a nap.
Hours later, still feeling unwell, he was taken to hospital with a suspected concussion.
Reports came through of bleeding on the brain, an injury much more serious than anyone had first thought. Owen wouldn’t be competing at Pipe. It was assumed he’d be back in jersey at Snapper for the 2016 season.
As weeks and months went on, it became obvious that Owen had actually got much more seriously hurt than anyone, himself included, had first thought.
He was spotted on the webcast at Snapper last March supporting his sister Tyler. Kind of hidden under a wide brimmed hat, the glimpses viewers got of Owen did little to raise the spirits of those hoping to see him back in action anytime soon.
All kinds of rumours started to go around. About him never being able to surf, much less compete again. It was said he had to re-learn how to walk. It certainly wasn’t looking good.