Dane Reynolds has officially withdrawn from the Billabong Pro Tahiti. After struggling with a knee injury for the first half of the 2011 season, Reynolds returned to competition at the U.S. Open at the beginning of August, posting an equal fifth place result. Inexplicably, he will not be in Tahiti.
Reynolds has yet to offer up a reason for the withdrawl, other than his manager Blair Marlin told Surfline.com that "Dane didn't give an excuse for missing the event in Tahiti, but you will be seeing him in New York."
In an Aug. 15 post on his blog, MarineLayerProductions.com, Reynolds noted, "This summer i'm, like, psyching on surfing cause i'm trying to get back into it..."
Sure would seem otherwise. After missing the Billabong Pro Jeffreys Bay, and receiving a $2,500 fine, this will be the second event Reynolds has pulled out of this year. Depending on the reasoning behind this withdrawal, Reynolds could be facing a $5,000 fine. Should he push the envelope and withdraw from a third event later this season he could face a three-contest suspension.
"We treat every surfer the same. The same rules apply to everybody," said ASP media director Dave Prodan, who forwarded on a copy of the rule: "Failure to attend the World Tour Events entered with warning but no doctor's certificate (men and women seeds only): First offense $2,500; Second offense $5,000; Third offense automatic suspension for 3 Events or remainder of the tour year if less and no entry into ASP Prime and Star Events during this time," reads article 156 of the ASP Rulebook.
If there is an argument for bending the rulebook around Reynolds wishes it is that when he surfs people pay more attention, that there's a distinct ratings boost when he paddles out. But to the contrary, Prodan notes that this year's webcast numbers are all up and more people have been tuning in than ever before -- and Reynolds hasn't surfed in a world tour event yet.
There has been speculation that Reynolds doesn't want to leave California and miss the annual local's only contest he hosts at Point Mugu, but that remains unconfirmed rumor at this point. Over the weekend he attended the wedding of Dan Malloy, and his surfing appeared to be in fine form two weeks ago at the U.S. Open. As seems to be the norm with Reynolds, we'll just have to wait and see what his next move is.
On the bright side, Cory Lopez, one of Teahupoo's all-time madmen, will now gain entry into the Billabong Pro, and given that the forecast is looking very favorable at this point, that could be a lot more fun to watch anyway.