Story by Elliot Struck
You’ll remember back in August, during the Billabong Pro, Tahiti trials, when Jamie O’Brien and Ricardo Dos Santos both needed scores in their heat, and took off on the same wave. What happened afterwards depends on who you ask, but Jamie told Stab: “I was deeper than him and I had positioning. And the real story is, he paddled straight into me and hit me with an overhand head check. And then he followed up with an elbow to the head. So, when I took off on the wave, I already knew I was burning him, which is no problem. Then I slapped him on the wave. I didn’t punch him on the wave. I slapped him. So we both fell on the wave. And he came chasing after me. He threw the first punch. And y’know, he threw a coupla punches, and I threw a coupla punches, and that was the result of it. It was not a big deal. Yeah, we’re men, and these things happen.”
Ricardo immediately tweeted afterwards, “Thanks, Jamie O’Brien, for punching me in the face during my heat in the trials,” which wasn’t excellent. But what really annoyed Jamie was when Ricardo turned a scrappy heat tussle into a racial incident. “After the episode, @whoisjob, came to say sorry and make sure that will never happen again,” tweeted Ricardo. “For the Brazilian people I told him to put his head down and be humble as a normal human! Brazil, we got dignity back!”
Said Jamie afterwards: “It’s between Ricardo and I, and Ricardo made it between Brazil and I. It’s a real coward thing to do. It’s between me and Ricardo.”
And today we discover Jamie’s punishment for getting in a physical altercation during an ASP-sanctioned event. It’s hard to be know who should be more bummed: Jamie, or spectators at the Pipe Masters…
(Stay tuned for update on Ricardo’s penalty status)
Stab: What’s the damage?
Jamie: I can’t surf any of the triple crown events, or the Pipe Masters. I can’t surf in an ASP event until the end of the year. I guess I can surf the Volcom Pipe event. They gave me a fine, too.
What was the fine? I don’t know. I forgot. (Though, Article 155 of the ASP Rule Book, Physical Assault and Mutual Combat, puts a competitor’s first offence at US$5k, plus an awesome mandatory admin surcharge of 10 percent.)
Ok. So, no surfing in an ASP event until January 1? I guess so, yeah. I qualified for the Pipe Masters, too. And then… nope. It. Sucks. It’s their loss. I mean, it’s my loss, but it’s their loss as well, so, whatever. I’ve won it before, I’ve won multiple events out there, so it’s like, at least I’m an entertaining… well, I’m an entertainer I’d like to think sometimes, when I get the right waves. I’m sure anyone is. It’s just my home, all my friends are here, y’know?
The Pipe Masters thing is what sucks most about this, right? Yeah, I mean, I really like Haleiwa and Sunset, but Pipe… I dunno, whatever, it’s all good. Contests don’t mean anything, anyways. I hope the waves just drop, that’s what I hope. I hope everyone comes here for the Pipe Masters and the waves just suck.
What’s been the untold wash-up since that Ricardo incident? Anything we don’t know about? I don’t know anything. This is all I know.
Let’s jump back real quick: How exactly did you find out about this? I got an email from the ASP explaining the logistics. I don’t what happened to Ricardo. But I just think his whole approach to it was real cowardly. And the way I look at it, I don’t just make my living at Pipeline. I live at Pipeline and all my friends are from Pipeline. So, it’s a bit of a mistake by him. It’s all good, I’m not going anywhere, I live here. It’s his problem now.
What are your thoughts on Ricardo getting a fine? I’d like to hope he does too. But the thing is, it’s not like he was gonna be in the Pipe Masters, he’s not able to get in there, y’know? I’m losing more than him, even if he does get the same penalty. Oh, what, he didn’t get to surf fricken Haleiwa or Sunset? The prize purse if you’re in Pipeline is definitely not like Haleiwa or Sunset.
Well, we’re thrilled to see some freesurfing shots and footage this winter, at least. Oh, It. Is. On. Brother.
More to come soon…