Stab Magazine | Dane Reynolds ain't in Portugal
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Dane Reynolds ain’t in Portugal

Dane Reynolds dazzled at the Quik Pro, France last week. After a string of no-shows, it was his first WT event this year – for the Quik Pro, Gold Coast, the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach and the Billabong Pros at Rio and J-Bay, Dane provided medical excuses that were cleared by the independent medical […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dane Reynolds dazzled at the Quik Pro, France last week. After a string of no-shows, it was his first WT event this year – for the Quik Pro, Gold Coast, the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach and the Billabong Pros at Rio and J-Bay, Dane provided medical excuses that were cleared by the independent medical board that reviews ASP cases. For the Billabong Pro, Tahiti Dane was fined under the former system, which was $5k for a first offence, or $2.5k with notice. As he gave notice, it was a $2.5k fine. During J-Bay the ASP held a Tech Comm, at which the competitor no-show fines were tabled for increase. In between Tahiti and NY, these increases were ratified by the board.

Dane then skipped out on the Quik Pro, NY and the Hurley Pro, Trestles due to some busted ribs he scooped in Japan. After surfing in France, he showed that he’s in shape to compete. But, the Venturan then pulled outta the Rip Curl Pro, Portugal (on right now) and gave no reason. For the most recent withdrawal, here’s the ASP’s official statement: “Dane has withdrawn from the Rip Curl Pro, Portugal. As he hasn’t yet provided a medical reason for his absence, he will be held to the ASP Rulebook for the missed event and fined $25,000.” (The $25k is the revised amount, agreed upon at the ASP Tech Comm in J-Bay.)

The ASP also said that fines are generally deducted from the absentee’s prize money at the following event (or events, depending on the size of the fine). We wouldn’t have thought that the prospect of travelling from France to Portugal to surf perfect Supertubos with one other man was all that scary, and certainly not scary enough to throw away $25k. Anyhow – interested by the specifics of this penalty, Stab spoke with the ASP’s International Media Director, Dave Prodan, who’s the kinda guy that makes us feel like the competitive future of our sport’s in good hands.

Stab: So, is that $25k for all the events he’s missed this year, or just for Portugal? What’s the fine for each event?
Dave Prodan: It’s $25k for Portugal. At the moment, the no-show rule reads something to the effect of the first no-show without medical approval is $25,000 (or $12,500 if notified beforehand). For the second offence, it’s $50,000 (or $25,000 if notified beforehand). For the third offence, it’s a three-event suspension. So, I would imagine that all up for Dane, it looks like $27,500 this season, which includes Portugal and Tahiti.

If Dane doesn’t surf another event this year, how d’you get the money? Well, I’m sure we’d ask him to pay, but if he didn’t, then he wouldn’t be able to compete in any other ASP events until it was paid off. As is my understanding, he’s planning on surfing in San Francisco as well as doing the Triple Crown so I doubt we’d have an issue with it.

Say he doesn’t wanna do any more events. Then he’s told that, if he does do an event, his winnings will have to go towards repaying his fine. Is it worrying for the ASP, like, the possibility of scaring him off, or giving him another reason not to bother competing? I wouldn’t assume to know Dane’s intentions or motivations, but I would find it surprising if the fine amounts dictated whether or not he wants to compete. The fines are there in order to protect the tour to a degree – a lot of energy and effort and financing goes into promoting the ASP Top 34 (both from the ASP and the event licensees), and our fans (which are now numbering in the millions for each event) expect and want to see these guys turn up and surf live – that’s always been the big attraction to the sport. The discipline in this respect is there as a protective measure.

Uh-hu. Anything else? That said, to best of my knowledge, Dane’s really never had anything but nice things to say about the ASP. He’s even cited recently that some of his best performances ever have been in a singlet and that’s why he enjoys competing – he enjoys the atmosphere he’s in by being around the world’s best and seeing how that affects his surfing. Again, I wouldn’t assume to know any revolutionary insights into the man, but suffice it to say, the ASP World Title is not for everyone. There’s a massive dedication of effort and energy that goes into it and those who achieve it attain a level of accomplishment that is unparalleled in our community. It’s unfortunate that Dane doesn’t seem to be motivated by this at the moment as he is incredibly talented, but I would say we’re fortunate for his contributions to the ASP to date – he’s pushed the envelope to the point where you’re seeing unprecedented levels of high-fi ripping in nearly every heat now. He’s changed surfing for the better, and we’ll continue to enjoy him with every opportunity we have to see him in a singlet and putting his talents to use in the “live” arena.

So, what d’ya reckon? Is $25k a lot for Dane to throw away, or a worthy price for avoiding crowds, cameras and the possibility of grovelling? Or, is the revised amount, $25k, a little excessive on the ASP’s behalf?

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