THE UL­TI­MATE SELFIE

WALSHY AND LAIRD IN A GOPRO MO­MENT

Tracks - - Buzz - BY LUKE KENNEDY

It's the morn­ing of fi­nals day at the 2014 Women's Pro Fiji and Cloudbreak is fir­ing at 8-10 foot. Laird Hamil­ton and An­thony Walsh are part of a hun­gry pack try­ing to se­cure some tube time be­fore the con­test or­gan­is­ers clear the lineup, sound the hoot­ers and send the girls out in the con­test of their lives. "Laird was get­ting a lit­tle bit greedy," sug­gests Walshy. "He was get­ting in re­ally early on his SUP so I de­cided that next time a set came through I was just go­ing, whether he was on it or not." When Laird hauled his way into the next bomb, Walshy slipped in be­hind him with GoPro in hand and got all pa­parrazzi in the pipe. "He didn't even know I was there un­til I pulled up into the tube," chuck­les Walshy. "Al­though the photo looks like there is a lot of dis­tance between us I was only about two feet be­hind him." By the time both surfers came fly­ing out of the bar­rel Laird was dig­ging the idea that his ride was be­ing cap­tured, and urged An­thony to pull in again on the next sec­tion, but Walshy was a lit­tle wary of sharing an­other shack with surf­ing's ver­sion of He Man. "There's not as much room in the tube down there at shishke­babs."

Laird high-fived Walshy on the pad­dle back out and was so pumped he en­cour­aged his new Aus­tralian friend to do it all again. Un­for­tu­nately they didn't get an­other chance and it wasn't un­til later that af­ter­noon that Walshy got to see the prod­uct of his labours. "The girls fi­nal was on. So it wasn't un­til we were sit­ting down at Tavarua later that af­ter­noon that I got to see it." It was then that he re­alised he had pulled off the ul­ti­mate selfie with Laird – not only was the oar-wield­ing gla­di­a­tor per­fectly framed be­neath a curl­ing lip, but there in the fore­ground was the out­line of Walshy's face also.

When Shane Do­rian set eyes on the well-com­posed, cou­ples shot, he re­port­edly went straight over to Laird and said, "Laird you have to see this." Ac­cord­ing to Walshy, Laird took one look at it and bel­lowed to the crowd who were now hunched be­hind Walshy's lap­top. "Oh my God that's the shot of the cen­tury!" Not bad props from the man who is cred­ited with rid­ing the Mil­len­nium wave at Teahupoo in 2000.

Al­though pleased with his po­si­tion­ing and the end re­sult, Walshy had only one re­gret. "I just wish I'd turned to look at the cam­era, then it re­ally would have been the ul­ti­mate selfie with Laird."

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