Sean Doherty

Senior Writer, SURFER Magazine

3.2.14

Features

With Arms Wide Open

The women shine during Round 1 of the Roxy Pro 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.] The battlesong of the new pro surfing republic washed across […]

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2.27.14

Features

The Stadium by the Sea

Sean Doherty reports from the new, new birthplace of the ASP

“Mick!” I check over my shoulder then point at myself, eyebrows raised. “Me?” “Yeah, Mick! Just want to say congrats on the world title and wish you good luck in the contest.” Flummoxed, I slowly make sense of the scene unfolding outside Coolangatta airport this morning; this chick thinks I’m Mick Fanning. It’s an easy […]

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12.14.13

Features

Lightning Strikes Thrice

Kelly Slater Wins the Pipe Masters while Mick Fanning clinches the 2013 World Title in dramatic fashion

Mick Fanning was down the beach, just past Off The Wall, and he’d hardly slept a wink. The swell was one thing. The dull roar of the approaching freight trains on Third Reef, the sledgehammer-on-steel strikes on First Reef that sounded like time being torn, the whole North Shore a white noise cacophony under the influence of a big north-west swell. But the fact Kelly was looming large in his rearview mirror was another thing altogether. Kelly’s Pipe Masters record here is fat as a phone book…and that’s not even the part you’ve got to worry about. Pipe is one giant magnetic field of energy, and Kelly out here is not only purely magnetic but can also influence his opponent’s polarity.

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12.10.13

Features

Shooting Star

Day Two of the Pipe Masters sees Fanning and Slater focus squarely on the World Title

The scene: Kelly Slater’s parked on the side of the road in downtown L.A. It’s four weeks ago today. He’s just squeezed in 13 holes of golf before sunset and he’s on his way to dinner with friends. He picks the phone up and dials a number in Australia. There’s always something cool about “Kelly […]

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12.8.13

Features

Serenity Now

The reef at Backdoor rumbles as the Pipe Masters kicks off in pumping surf

“His violence was in the halo of his serenity.” Norman Mailer, The Fight. Serenity, however, is always in short supply on the North Shore in December. The place is teeming; a poked beehive of teenage cage fighters, teenage girls in bikinis, and the artery-fat of day-tripping tourists from Honolulu. Oh, alongside with every pro surfer […]

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10.17.13

Features

Ottz Wins in Portugal

The new Kai Otton takes the trophy and pushes the World Title conversation to Pipeline

Today, it was Kai who had the coolest head. This was the feel-good win of the season, and it consigned the world title to the back pages.

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10.16.13

Features

The Portuguese Landscape

Julian Wilson throws an oop for the ages, and Mick Fanning is a heat closer to the 2013 World Title

Two champions might be crowned, and a contest that has been characterized for marginal surf might just have one last surprise left for us.

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10.14.13

Features

What Gets You Out of Bed

Notes from the competitor's area in Portugal, where Kelly Slater fell in Round 2

“Kelly only needs a four,” Damien Hardman offers, almost in hope of him finding it. I remind Dooma that last year in the corresponding heat Kelly only needed a three…a three he never found. Hardman is the contest director here in Portugal and lives up to his name when push comes to shove and his […]

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10.9.13

Features

A Place Beyond the Cabbages

The World Title race boils over in Round 1 at Supertubes

Cabbage is not a sexy vegetable, nor will this be a sexy surf contest, and there’s something very right about that. Peniche is not Trestles nor Rio. It’s unfashionable and rustic and there could be no more fitting location to play out a world title that needs to be hard earned.

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8.19.13

Features

Ace Buchan Interview

The Billabong Pro champ reflects on his run through the final rounds at Teahupoo

Ace, that drop on your first wave in the Final. Was it won then and there? Maybe. I just wanted to leave it late, cause I wanted to get really deep. For a split second there I thought I’d left to too late and I was just freefalling, but luckily my fins caught and I […]

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