Remember when Filipe Toledo got banned from the upcoming Fiji event for “storming the judges’ tower”? Here’s a quick recap: In the third round of the Oi Rio Pro with Kanoa Igarashi, Toledo was called for interference on the very first wave.
“When heats start, neither surfer has priority, so old-school paddle battle rules apply,” wrote the WSL. “The surfer with inside position has the right-of-way. Kanoa and Filipe were both interested in the same wave at the start of the heat, and they both raced to their feet to establish priority, but Kanoa got down the face faster, forcing Filipe to hang back. But not before Filipe was called for a paddling interference, a penalty that halved his second-highest scoring ride from a 5.67 to a 2.84.”
Anyway, after the heat Toledo was pissed–but video of him actually being pissed was sparse, until Comenta Cako emerged with some. The term “storming the tower” makes it sound as though Toledo was sprinting up the sand screaming obscenities before climbing the scaffolding in a mad rage. But was he? Or was the suspension just a tad harsh? The WSL released a statement about what happened. “It’s disappointing when we have to pass disciplinary action for any of our surfers, but that behavior is not acceptable for the sport,” Renato Hickel, WSL Deputy Commissioner, said. Filipe knows this and we look forward to seeing his talent back on tour very soon.”
Turns out, though, that he did not sprint up the sand screaming obscenities before climbing the scaffolding in a mad rage. He merely pointed at the judges, told them what he thought of them, and stormed off–which is a lot different than “storming the tower.” Granted, this video doesn’t show what he did in between the water and the base of the tower, but if this was the end result, it doesn’t seem all that bad. But rules are rules, I suppose. It’s just that some rules are dumb rules.