Step into to Anthony WALSH’S liquid office.
This is Anthony Walsh hard at work. No, seriously. You see Walshy is the man who has scored himself the enviable gig of overseeing the GoPro challenge during this year’s ASP World Tour.
Running at five events in 2014 including Fiji, Tahiti, France, Pipe and West Oz, the GoPro Challenge is a battle between the surfers on tour to see who can procure the best GoPro footage of a single wave during each event window. The reward? $10,000 if the footage is captured during a freesurf, and a hefty $15,000 for the added risk of capturing it during a heat.
Josh Kerr took home the first round of the challenge in West Oz during the Drug Aware Pro. Kerrsy earned himself a cool $10,000 for a ridiculously deep barrel on a slabby number at The Box, complete with acid-drop exit into the channel in front of a dumfounded CJ Hobgood. Check the ASP site if you haven’t seen it.
Walshy’s job is to cut and edit the footage on site, and basically oversee the running of the challenge at each event. But being one of the best on the planet at capturing GoPro footage himself, Anthony’s job description of course involves stuffing himself deep inside a plethora of his own tubes, and if he was in the running for the prize, he may well have come close to claiming the winning dollars himself.
West Oz photographer Russell Ord finds it hard to remember anyone surfing the box backside with as much success.
“I have been shooting The Box for years and I am pretty hard pressed to think of anyone that has surfed it so well on their backhand,” says Russ. “The wave is super tricky for goofy footers, with all the steps and shallow bubbles, but Walshy looked very comfortable. Seeing a goofy standing tall and deep with no hands on the rail at The Box is a rare site in my eyes.”
“I grew up on rights on the North Coast of NSW," explains Walshy of his approach." I know Lennox Head is a little different to The Box but I love a good barrelling right as much as barrelling lefts. I try to take off as deep as possible, to the point where if I was any deeper I would miss it! The deeper you are the easier the drop. You always think you're going to be to deep out there, but you go so fast that in the end you’re never deep enough.”