Welcome to another edition of Extreme Exposure, a weekly column that brings you the best photography and news from the world of action and outdoor sports. This week Weston Peick rallies for a motocross win in France, surfing’s world title chase heats up and much more.
Winning Despite Tragedy
The weekend got off to a horrific start in France when terrorists unleashed a series of ruthless attacks on civilians Friday night that took place simultaneously across the City of Light, killing more than 130 innocent people.
But just an hour north of Paris at the 2015 Lille SX, authorities gave the go ahead to run the event despite the situation. And the event belonged to Weston Peick, who took home the overall "King of Lille" title after winning the main event Saturday at the packed Stade Pierre-Mauroy and finishing second Sunday. Peick, who turns 25 this week, has had a rags-to-riches story this year. He was just picked up by a main sponsor at the start of 2015 after racing the motocross circuit on his own dime most of his career, packing his equipment into vans and trucks to get to different races. Known as “privateers” within the sport, Peick has definitely shed that label.
And it all comes down to this. With the World Title races going to Hawaii in both men’s and women’s surfing, the women will start off the chase for the title later this week at the Maui Pro at Honolua Bay. Courtney Conlogue and Carissa Moore have traded the yellow jersey all season long (Moore currently holds a modest lead in the rankings). Honolua Bay is a fantastic venue as the right point break offers both barrel and performance sections that showcased the women’s game in grand fashion last year, where Moore took home the event title and played spoiler to Tyler Wright, who was chasing her first WSL crown (Moore’s win gave Stephanie Gilmore her sixth world title). This year the tables have turned as Moore seeks her third title and Conlogue—who’s had a breakout year with three event wins—goes for her first.
The men’s race is just as interesting as the title race will be decided at the sport’s preeminent event, the Pipeline Masters, where Mick Fanning is seeking his fourth title, holding a slim lead in the ratings over Filipe Toledo and Adriano De Sousa with Gabriel Medina within striking distance if the top three falter. The dynamics are interesting to say the least. Fanning represents the old school, his game is built on rail surfing and powerful hacks where he attacks the lip while Toledo’s is built on the new school mentality of going to the air. Many traditionalists are rooting for Fanning, who’s a well-established barrel rider. Toledo, who failed to catch a wave at Teahupoo this year, one of the sport’s heaviest events, has drawn criticism from pontificators that he could win the title without riding a single heavy wave (his event wins include the Gold Coast, Rio and small conditions in Portugal).
No Place to Put It
A couple of environmental issues we’re keeping an eye on this week: the first in Montreal, where city officials controversially dumped an estimated 4.9 billion liters of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence river where kayakers and river surfers ride waves year round on the standing waves in the city. Protests came in varied forms from demonstrations to an online petition against the dumping that garnered nearly 100,000 signatures. “It’s disgusting,” Xavier Nonnenmacher, who organized the petition told the Global News. “The river is important, it’s the symbol of Quebec.”
Meanwhile, a train carrying thousands of gallons of ethanol derailed in Wisconsin, sending thousands of gallons of ethanol into the Mississippi River according to Reuters. It was a rough one in Wisconsin, as this spill came just after 13 Canadian Pacific Railway cars derailed, spilling oil and forcing evacuations in Watertown.