MotoGP Pre-Event: Surfing at Phillip Island
At each MotoGP round there is a ‘pre-event’ on Thursday that focusses on some element of local culture. Trading horsepower for wave power, the Phillip Island round’s event was surfing.
From the circuit, media and riders traveled a short distance by bus to Smiths Beach. Riders exchanged their team liveried street clothes for wet suits, then received learner’s surf boards and a quick lesson from the local pros.
Broc Parkes, suited up and ready to go.
After getting dressed, the riders carried their surf boards from the shop to the beach, a walk of a couple blocks that ended with these sandy wooden stairs. It was quite windy, and carrying the large boards looked to be a challenge, especially for the smaller of the riders, who are not, as a group, what you might consider big guys.
Ricky Cardus, Pol Espargaro, and Stefan Bradl negotiate the treacherous stairs.
But they made it to the shore without incident and once there received more instruction from the local pros.
Remy Gardner, Pol Espargaro, Stefan Bradl and Ricky Cardus getting instructions, the main one being, ‘Avoid those large rocks!’
Yonny Hernandez even enjoyed the lesson.
Though Stefan Bradl joked that he was only here for the photos and not going to enter the water, he was one of the first riders to achieve a standing position on his board. In the background is Remy Gardner, son of 1987 500cc world champ Wayne, who clearly had previous surfing experience. He was the only rider who looked completely comfortable in the ocean.
Stefan Bradl gets up!
Most of the surfing looked something like that shown in this image, in which Ricky Cardus tries not to run over a group of fellow riders.
Ricky Cardus and MotoGP riders trying to avoid a different type of crash.
But a couple of riders ventured out to the larger waves. Here Ant West watches Remy Gardner actually surf.
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