Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rogue Ferret Wreaks Havoc in Quiksilver Pro Judges' Tower.

Wed 3rd March, Snapper Rocks, Gold Coast, Australia
– A series of puzzling scores and baffling judging decisions at the Quiksilver Pro has been traced to the behaviour of an increasingly aggressive stray ferret loose in the Judges' tower, sources confirmed today.

It isn't clear how the ferret gained entry into the enclosure. Locals say recent heavy rains in the Coolangatta region may have forced the possibly abandoned domestic pet to seek refuge in the elevated judging infrastructure at Snapper rocks.

“Initially, having the little guy around was a bit of fun,” says a judge who agreed to speak to The Goldmine on degree of anonymity. “He was pretty freaked out when we found him, cowering in the corner under some towels, seemed harmless enough, so we left food out for him and let him have the run of the place.”

“He was a well-behaved mascot through the first round, we even christened him Felix, but soon as round two kicked in, things started falling apart.”

Bystanders report screams emanating (in a number of languages) from the judging tower midway through Neco Padaratz and Damien Hobgood's second-round heat.

“Forget 'White LIghtning' said a shocked onlooker, “I didn't know an animal could run up the a judge's leg and into his shorts so quickly.

“One second Felix was curled up on the floor sleeping, the next he's wrapped around a judge's testes, right when Neco was on what looked like a really good scoring wave.”

“How the judge managed to remain impartial and lock in an accurate score I'll never know.”

The rogue ferret's behaviour has not only impacted the occupants of the tower, there are also reports of cables being gnawed through. The $100,000 instant replay system is damaged beyond repair with nesting debris and feces overheating the circuit boards.

According to insiders, key members of the judging staff were 'trying to corner Felix with a broom' as a particularly close heat between Jeremy Flores and Dane Reynolds was unfolding.

Unable to view the replay to scrutinise the ride, judges were forced to fall back on their backup device, the 'Applause-o-meter 2000', which gauges the audio levels of gasps and cheers from the beach and award the scores “pretty fairly to the favourites” it is claimed.

Sources report that the Ferret – described as fawn-coloured with a cream underbelly, black markings across its eyes, and razor sharp claws and teeth – grew increasingly agitated through the afternoon, becoming particularly crazed when the horn blew to signal the start of the day's final heat between Portugese surfer Tiago Peres and South African child-giant Jordy Smith.

“Felix went ballistic, literally leaping from one judge's face to the next,” reports a photographer stationed adjacent to the tower, “by this stage every judge was armed with anything they could get their hands on – dustbin lids, pieces of wood, makeshift body armour, and they're all smashing eachother trying to nail the little fucker.”

With the replay system down and their attention anywhere but the ocean, and the Applause-o-meter in smithereens, judges were apparently forced to stick their heads outside the door and ask bystanders if surfer in red's last wave was 'like, innovative or not'.

Late last night, new head judge Richie Porta was reportedly trying in vain to track down predecessor Perry Hatchett, who single-handedly captured and released a rabid Weasel unharmed from the judges' tower at Trestles in California in 2003. Perry couldn't be raised.

STOP PRESS: In breaking news Felix has been reported heading south towards the Webcast commentary booth.