Italo wins and Mick Fanning retires at Bells, the Margaret River Pro is cancelled due to concerns over shark attacks and the Andy Irons biopic is released. Yep, it’s been an emotional month for the surf world. Here we take a look at how it all went down as said by surfing’s biggest players and Tracks’ venerable hacks.  

‘“They changed him,’ says his wife Lindy in the film, simply summing up how Andy’s addiction, coupled with his bipolar disorder, eventually robbed her of a husband and her son Axle of a father.” - Kissed By God, the teaser to the Andy Irons biopic is released and looks set to tell the real story of Andy’s demise. 

“The WSL CT model is broken and in dire need of reinvention. Should the WSL hitch their cart entirely to wave pools they can kiss goodbye to their core. It all seems like fertile ground for a rebel tour.” - Our own Alex Workman ponders CT life in a new wave pool fill world. 

“It’s not really a discussion about people being cowards, or the WSL being shortsighted. It’s also not a discussion about setting precedents, or about the somewhat ridiculous projection that all surfing events are eventually going to be held in wave pools.” - Craig Jarvis, who has seen firsthand the impact a shark attack has on a community, gives his opinion in a piece called The Cycle of a Shark Attack. 

“He was a unique talent, one of a kind who is very much a living legend in his own right.  He was a big man and it’s a big space to fill,” - legendary surf filmmaker Dick Hoole on the death of the broadcaster Darryl Eastlake. 

Josh Tabone snaps off a frame during a visit from a phantom fish. Photo: Tabone

“That particular day, I saw the fin whilst looking through my eyepiece and quickly pressed the shutter, I looked up and it was gone...” - Photographer Josh Tabone talks through his thrilling, and chilling, image of a shark fin taken from the water. 

“Italo and Medina were banned for one event (that couldn’t be J-Bay) and forced to paddle from the Bombie to the Box with three cans of PAL down their wetsuits.” - Tracks imagines an alternative reality after the cancellation of the Margaret River Pro.

“We’ve already had several alerts. Life goes beyond that! I hope it does not happen to any of us. I do not feel comfortable training and competing in places like this!” - Italo Ferreira voices his concern with regard to safety in Margaret River. It seems his status after Bells as the most liked Brazilian in Australia was short lived. 

“The one conversation was through physically showing them photos and what we do at home  - this is exactly why I love doing what I do - I don't even need to start the conversation - the images of the ocean do.” - Photographer Woody Gooch heads to the hills, or Nepal, to expand his universe. 

There's no way a Ted Grambeau image only garners a three second glance. Photo: Grambeau

“The recent phenomena of assigning a three-second value to an image I think won’t be so pervasive in the future. I’m passionate about having a legacy and I think making a beautiful book is the best way to have that.” - Ted Grambeau on his new book Adventures In Light.

“At one point in the evening when Kelly Slater was chatting a little too much in the front row, Rosy  looked down from the rostrum like a displeased head-mistress and quipped, ‘Now Kelly, be quiet, it’s not about you tonight.’” - Luke Kennedy, sitting next to Tommy Peterson, entertainingly reports from Mick Fanning’s Retirement Party in Torquay. 

Tommy getting involved in the festivities at Mick's banquet.

“Zeke quickly turned into the human road-block, denying John John any hope of gaining access to the inside. It was aggressive, it was a little ugly, it was everything the priority system tries to avoid, but it worked.” - Luke Kennedy reports from Bells, where Zeke Lau may have found a way to stop the current World Champ.