Living legend Kelly Slater on the wrong side of public opinion, called “soy boy” by omertà-friendly surfers for trying to publicly expose an older man burning a younger boy in plus-size Kandui as the door of drilling extends until the third day!
Last week, The current world number one in professional surfing, Filipe Toledo, delighted his compatriots by winning the Oi Rio Pro 2022 in front of a crowd of declared World Surf League CEOs numbering twenty thousand. He was passed, shoulder to shoulder, until the scene where the roars drowned out everything Chris Cote was trying to say.
A beautiful moment and one, days later, Toledo would ink on his lower calf in commemoration.
The tattoo featured a beautiful hillside church, four palm trees, a straight barrel with a thick foamy lip and the years 2018, 2019, 2022 underneath.
Surfing fans immediately became concerned. Yes, Toledo had won the Oi Rio Pro in 2018, 2019 and 2022 but he also won it in 2015. A quadruple champion.
Why did 2015 disappear?
A simple accounting error?
A cryptic numerological message meant to signify a possibly unsettling grand prophecy?
As panic began to set in, a brave surf journalist took it upon himself to solve the riddle resembling a sphinx, bringing comfort to millions.
The background scene is, very clearly, Saquarema. There is no sugar loaf or Christ the Redeemer. No festival or Morro da Urca. Very clearly not Rio de Janeiro proper and, although the event is called Oi Rio Pro, only the 2015 event was contested on these sands. 2018, 2019 and 2022 were all ahead of the aforementioned Saquarema. I imagine Toledo has another tattoo celebrating his first victory, somewhere else on his body, and other than the mass shootings, the assassinations, the war, the plague, all is well with the world.