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“Do irate surfers ever approach you outside of hours over a tough call? Honestly, when I first started in 1999, the surfers were much more aggressive and fiery and there were often blow ups and altercations and a fair bit of vibing but over the last 8 or so years we have built up a lot more respect and there is rarely more than the odd verbal tirade, which is usually fined. I haven't been approached other than the odd query or heat of the moment vibe in a long time. There is a protocol with which surfers need to fill out a complaint form and hand it to the beach marshal and it’s dealt with at the end of the round or. I'm sure its hard for the surfers sometimes when they lose heavy, close heats then see us in the surf, at the restaurant, at the hotel and at the airport. But honestly, I feel there is quite a cool respect from the surfers. When you watch any sport, the judges and the referees are always getting criticised. They're the ones making the hard calls and most of the punters are out there not knowing all the rules and the ins and outs of a sport. Most people just love the controversy.
Can you recount one of your most tense days at the office? The 2003 Pipe Masters when K.S (Kelly Slater) and A.I (Andy Irons) were going head to head for the title. They surfed the heat after each other from the 4th Rd. There were literally seven heats in one day that could have decided the ASP World Title. The judges' whole year of work and the two surfers' whole year of competing came down to one day. That's a lot of high-pressure situations. The title was decided in the final and there was almost an interference situation, which would have made it even gnarlier.”