Stab Magazine | Podcast: Why Didn't The WSL Charge Medina With A Rule Book Infraction?

Podcast: Why Didn’t The WSL Charge Medina With A Rule Book Infraction?

A Championship Tour coach and surf conspiracy theorist talk articles of incrimination, the eternal brilliance of Kelly Slater, and everything else Pipe Masters on episode two of CUSP. 

stabfm // Dec 22, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday, Pat O’Connell of the WSL announced the following on the Gabriel Medina/Caio Ibelli interference situation, in reference to the oft-spruiked Article 171.11 of the WSL Rule Book. 

“The Tours/Competition Office and WSL Disciplinary Director reviewed the situation regarding WSL Rule 171.11 in relation to Gabriel Medina’s Round 4 heat during competition yesterday, and determined that while Medina’s interference was ‘intentional’ (as he stated on the broadcast), it was not deemed ‘unsportsmanlike’ or ‘of a serious nature’ by the reviewing committee. The maneuver was deemed as gamesmanship and did not pose a safety risk to either competitor.”

This ruling, along with Medina’s actions in general, has divided surf fans. Some believe Gabby’s tactics were a stroke of genius while others found them dirty and, in retrospect, against the very Rule Book he claimed to base his actions upon. 

In episode two of CUSP (the Currently Untitled Surf Podcast), CT coach Stace Galbraith and I (Michael Ciaramella, surf conspiracy theorist) debate this situation among he myriad other storylines that played out in the year’s grand finale (and how grand it was!).

While Stace and I both gushed at Medina’s decision to burn Caio, we had differing opinions on whether or not Article 171.11 should have been applied. While this rule wouldn’t have any effect on the World Title outcome (as Italo won fair and square), it could bring Medina’s Olympic qualification into question. 

There’s a more detailed outline of our convo below, but we hope you’ll settle in for a long commute or day of yard-work and listen to the whole pod.

Oh, and just a few disclaimers to justify our (but mostly my) podcasting inadequacies:

  1. This was filmed around midnight on finals day of the Pipeline Masters, after 16 hours of running around the beach, writing, and filming the last episode of the Pick-Up, hence my palpable exhaustion. Also I was sick, so please excuse the coughing.
  2. In episode one of CUSP, Stace and I were sitting across from one another while we recorded. Episode two was captured remotely, with me in a parked car in Hawaii and Stace at home in Oz. We used Facetime to communicate and then recorded our own parts with separate mics, which were then cut together to create the illusion of proximity. 
  3. We had no audio technician to help us with recording or editing, so apologies if the sound ain’t what you’re used to.
  4. I had no clue I cursed so much. Will definitely try to clean that shit up in the future, makes me sound really fucking dumb. Dammit!

On a positive note, Stace and I now have three months to improve our podcasting skills prior to the CT start. Like CUSP’s guiding force, Adriano de Souza, we’re gonna train like madmen and come back firing at Snapper. 

A more detailed look at our discourse, here:

0.00 intro
2.00 pipeline breakdown – Italo
14.00 Wildcard seeding, Billy Kemper
16.50 Gabby & Caio Interference
23.30 Unsportsmanlike Rule
26.50 Is Gabby above the law?
32.00 Do we change the drop-in rule?
34.20 Getting comboed, should it even happen?
38.41 JJF v Medina Rivalry
41.33 Who wins the 2020 Title?
42.50 Kelly & JJF Olympics and Kelly chat
44.44 Kelly retirement
47.05 Kelly Late entry to sunset
49.16 Chin Wag Section – Performance drugs in surfing
53.28 Weight in surfing
55.40 Using lighter equipment, is it better?
1.04.10 Who’s the Biggest Hassler at events?
1.08.51 Biggest Hassler not on tour?
1.14.40 What the score? Q1 Gabby crying
1.18.47 Q2 Blocking people on insta



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