As we said a little while back when Joel Parkinson flipped his boat on the Tweed bank, surfers on the Gold Coast receive celebrity-esque attention. So it’s no surprise that when Frenchman Jeremy Flores, Hawaiian Sunny Garcia and one of his sons “marred” the Breaka Burleigh Pro yesterday with “aggro and fisticuffs” (according to news reader Heather Foord), that it found a spot on the evening news.
Sunny and his two sons, Stone and Patrick, are staying at J-Flo’s house on the Gold Coast at present. Sunny and Jeremy struck up a friendship during the Hawaiian season, with Jeremy spending Christmas at the Garcia residence and surfing Fantom’s with Sunny, on the Hawaiian’s 9’0″ gun.
During a freesurf yesterday near the contest site, Sunny’s 16-year-old son exchanged words with a local. At this point it’s unclear as to what ignited the situation, but what’s certain is that Jeremy paddled over to Garcia jnr’s assistance, before the three surfers headed for shore. Jeremy says “I didn’t swing first, I didn’t look for trouble. And I wasn’t just gonna turn around and run away.”
Sunny, spotting the trouble with his son, ran 100m down the beach and into the fray, before grabbing the local in a headlock and punching him repeatedly.
After the initial incident, Sunny headed for the showers and, in true celebrity get-that-camera-outta-my-face style, reportedly kicked an amateur filmer in the back. According to the news report, the man slid five meters on the pavement and received cuts, bruises and a suspected broken hand, (As the voice-over reads this, the victim raises both hands to signify that all surfers are on the same level, both paws seemingly unimpaired.)
For his troubles, Jeremy was disqualified from the Breaka Burleigh Pro. No charges have been made against Sunny at this point. The ASP released this statement regarding the incident:
“Following a physical altercation today, Jeremy Flores, has been disqualified from the event. The Association of Surfing Professionals does not condone any form of physical violence and we have strict rules in place for the conduct of any member. Both Jeremy and Sunny have also been referred to the ASP rules and disciplinary committee, who will review the facts and make a decision if further action is required.”