Mick Fanning is your 2013 ASP World Champion and bravo to him and hooray for him. He won his third title on a large day at Pipeline with Ke11y waiting in the wings, waiting for him to stumble. He won, in the dying minutes, against CJ Hobgood and he won, in the dying seconds, against Yadin Nicol. But was his wave against Yadin overscored?
Those standing on the beach thought “NO!” and they roared as one. Those watching the webcast thought “YES!” and they drew sharp breaths of ire. In clinical retrospect it certainly does appear that his wave was overscored, particularly as it compares to Yadin’s wave earlier in the heat. It appears as if the judges may have been swayed by the great collective roar.
Now, everyone knows that even the best judging will be subjective. But when a giant mob is roaring, roaring, roaring and then staring back at the judges scaffolding then roaring some more it is very difficult to vote against them. The judges gave the mob what it wanted. Very difficult not to.
But there is a solution! Just as my bank has outsourced its call center to India, the ASP should outsource its judging there. Auditions can be held around the sub-continent and the best and brightest will be given judging jobs. Once hired, they will be trained in the arts of surf. What does it mean to be “on the foamball?” Why is a giant slob better than a simple alley-oop? And when their training is complete they can remotely judge surf competitions based purely upon what they see in front of them. They will have no bias, most likely having never heard of either Mick Fanning or Ke11y. They will not be swayed by the roaring mob on the beach, sitting in air-conditioned sterility right down the hall from my bank’s call center. They will judge perfectly, and at a fraction of the cost.
Yes, outsourcing is an ingenious American solution to rising health care costs, shareholder demands for massive earnings and workplace regulation. It should be the ASP’s solution to fear as well. —Chas Smith