Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

4.22.14

Features

The Final Day at Bells Beach

Behind the scenes of Carissa Moore and Mick Fanning's paths to victory at the Rip Curl Pro

There was a lone lion on the Bells savannah at dawn this morning. One guy. Jordy Smith. Last year he’d fallen at the last hurdle at this venue, one that should rightly be his. He had the lineup to himself for half an hour, a rare gift, and he had the time to commune with […]

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4.21.14

Features

The Road to Bells Beach

Behind the scenes at the Rip Curl Pro

The last thoughts inside the head of a roadkill kangaroo are all tumbleweeds. For all their cuteness and occasional deliciousness, they can indeed be a very, very gormless animal. This morning on the road to Bells Beach, a kangaroo bounded over the wire fence of Bob Johnson’s farm and straight into the path of the […]

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4.20.14

Features

Blackhawk Down at Bells Beach

Behind the scenes at the Rip Curl Pro

Pulling out onto the Great Ocean Road the other morning I looked in my rearview mirror and saw the future. It was a silver Delorean, late ‘80s model, which had materialized back from the future and was now sitting tight on my bumper. When it pulled back enough for me to get a get a […]

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4.14.14

Features

A Feast Fit for a Spartan

The final day at Margaret River served up Michel Bourez his first Tour win

In the 1800s they used to feed crayfish to prisoners. So abundant over here were these “cockroaches of the sea”, and so lowly prized were they that they were fed to the prisoners while the free gentry dined on delicacies like mutton and black pudding. These days, the only way you’re likely to get fed […]

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4.10.14

Features

Jabber Jaws

Competition moves to The Box for Round 5 of the Margaret River Pro

At certain breaks here this week, it has felt like Amity Island on the Fourth of July, visiting surfers gathering in the car park looking over an empty lineup, waiting for someone to paddle out first and halving their chances of ending up as fish lunch. Visiting surfers have been jumping at shadows this week, panicky, jumpy, walking on water to the beach at the sight of a dolphin fin. Everyone’s seeing something.

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4.6.14

Features

West of Gnarabup

Notes from a day of upsets at the Margaret River Pro

The problem with the wild west is that it’s often wild, and the world’s best surfers have had a tough time domesticating it this week. Bede Durbidge surfed the first heat of the round this morning, the onshore already up, the waves already ribbed, the lineup already hard to decipher. There were waves out there today Dali couldn’t dream up and Bede knew he was no longer in Kansas…nor Snapper. “It’s such a different ballgame,” he laughed. “After Snapper I started surfing The Alley because I knew I wasn’t going to get Snapper when I got here to Margarets. There’s no draw off the bottom and the waves really slopey.” It was a stark contrast to the shimmery cuteness of Snapper. There’d be no finesse about today. Today would be about concrete milkshakes and winning ugly. When pressed for his strategy Bede laughed again and replied, “You just have to hack into it while you can.”

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3.10.14

Features

The Old World Order

Tales from the Gold Coast at the Quik Pro Snapper

So such has happened since we last broke bread. And at the same time, so very little. Fred Patacchia got run over and dinged his board. A great white swam up to Kelly but smelt chia, not blood, and kept on swimming. And Jimmy Buffett dropped by out of the blue. I passed him in […]

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3.5.14

Features

Center Stage

The girls shine in the best conditions of the Roxy Pro waiting period so far

In these seemingly enlightened times, it’s hard to believe that Snapper Rocks was once home to a captive dolphin show, the dolphins housed in a claustrophobic concrete pool just yards from where the original Snapper crew surfed. Bib and Bub as they’d been named—I’m sure they referred to each other as something else in dolphinese—had […]

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3.3.14

Features

Love and Waves

Recapping the Round 2 drama from the Quik Pro Snapper

With the Oscars happening yesterday in Hollywood, we thought we’d open today’s missive with a closing Hollywood scene, one from the action classics, a Die Hard special. In Jordy Smith’s case it has become an all too familiar closing scene… Scene: Jordy’s in a car, which has crashed and is teetering precariously on the edge […]

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3.2.14

Features

Facing Off

First impressions of the new ASP World Tour after Round 1 at Snapper

[Editor's note: The ASP's media policy states that surf photographers like Peter "Joli" Wilson, who have documented the World Tour for decades, cannot cover the event without relinquishing ownership of their images to the ASP. We hope this issue is resolved in the near future.] I had the pleasure of sharing breakfast with Peter Townend […]

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