Nelscott Reef is a special place in Lincoln City, Oregon where the conditions are just right for big wave surfing from October to March. Waves can reach as high as 50′ to 60′. Its no wonder that promoters are willing to go to great lengths to secure the spot for an event. Two separate competitions are fighting over the same set of waves and this is the story of that battle.
The Nelscott Reef Pro-Am features event organizers that previously worked for the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic but were fired by John Forse. The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic has been running in Lincoln City since 2005 and it has had a few different names over the years but John Forse has held the permits and been in charge of the contest. The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Pro-Am is trying to “Piggyback” on the good name of the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic. What’s that mean? Well we need to dive into the mess that has been caused by multiple jurisdictions, nefarious internet characters, and intimidation from key players.
How I learned of the Battle
A Gabe Smith from Portland contacted Lincoln City Homepage back in June to tell his side of a story about why he wasn’t defrauding sponsors. The story Smith provided turned out to be full of holes and I could not run the story. When I told him I could not advertise the Nelscott Reef Pro-Am because I contacted Oregon Coast Bank and they thought they were supporting the local Classic event and not the outside Pro-Am event he hung up. Oregon Coast Bank told Gabe Smith to remove their logo from the nelscottsurf.com website because they felt misled.
Gabe Smith Claimed John Forse had Dementia
After meeting John Forse and over the course of a few weeks I could see that John Forse doesn’t suffer from any mental conditions except an obsession with surfing. Forse has the support of the Mayor of Lincoln City, Don Williams, and the North Lincoln Fire Department Safety Director Jim Kunz. A dozen local businesses including the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce, have supported the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic for the entire duration of the event.
Phone call from Eric Akiskalian
On Tuesday September 19th I received a phone call from Eric Akiskalian. Eric is a big part of the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Pro-Am team and is the owner of Towsurfer.com. He lives in Washington state and is an alleged water safety and logistics director. He introduced himself to me and knew right away I had become the admin for John Forse’s website, nelscottreef.com. He proceeded to threaten my business and offer me money to shut down nelscottreef.com, or at the least remove the Hall of Shame from that website. I informed Eric that the website would remain the way it is and he lost it. I remember holding the phone to my ear standing outside my truck and watching my kids play inside as he descended into chaos. His threats included having John Forse’s website taken offline and destroying my Wernerhost business.
I started getting fake reviews on Google for my business and I had to ask Google to get them removed. I was able to trace back one of the Google+ profiles to the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Pro-Am. Check out Ed Smizek below.
I have received numerous email subscriptions for gay and lesbian magazines, groups, and even a phone call asking when I want to go on a cruise and “get down.”
There have been a few significant attacks on nelscottreef.com and wernerhost.com since I met John Forse and all have been negated (not mitigated). I have advised John Forse that an attack on his website the day of the competition is likely and we should prepare for such an event.
Phone Call From Adam Wagner
Right after speaking with Eric Akisalian I received a call from Adam Wagner. Adam Wagner is part of the Nelscott Reef Pro-Am team and lives in Portland. Adam pleaded with me to remove the post on nelscottreef.com: https://nelscottreef.com/letter-to-eric-akiskalian-from-adam-wagner/.
I had to inform him that I could not do that. He became agitated and told me that John’s sites had been taken down before and it was just going to happen again. That statement proved false after talking to LVSYS who has hosted John’s site before. LVSYS told me they did not want the drama and told John to host his own site on Godaddy.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of this story. It gets way worse and if you get offended easily I suggest you stop reading.
When Gabe Smith (Now with Nelscott Reef Big Wave Pro-Am) and John Forse (Founder of Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic) worked together they both had access to the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/nrbwc/
When I was brought on to salvage the most defaced account I had ever seen on Facebook, I was amazed at the level of detail and the time it must have taken for someone to do this. John Forse’s personal Facebook had been subscribed to over 100 gay and lesbian groups. All of his books and movies were changed to gay and lesbian titles. The actual Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic Facebook page was blocked to the United States so anyone looking for the event could not see it. The person responsible also changed the name of the event to: Nelscott Reef Big Gay Classic.
The changes to John Forse’s account were deep and tricky to find and just reverting them took a great deal of time. I was able to get an IP address (18.104.22.168) that had accessed the account and made these changes. John Forse is contacting law enforcement so they can investigate further. Additionally, a comment was left on nelscottreef.com and the IP’s matched.
Author: John loves #%%$ Forse (IP: 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199)
Email: [email protected]
John Forse was out of his element in the computer age and had to reach out to me to get back in control. I had him change his passwords and we have secured his accounts so going forward there should be no more problems.
Nelscottsurf.com Vs. Nelscottreef.com
Nelscottsurf.com is a website that Gabe Smith set up after being fired from the Big Wave Classic over sponsor issues. This website was created on: 2017-08-08. Gabe Smith violated copyright laws by pulling images from nelscottreef.com. Forse had to file a copyright infringement notice with nelscottsurf.com’s web host Godaddy who moved quickly to have the copyrighted works removed.
Nelscottreef.com was created on: 2003-12-27. You can see the official permit issued by the City of Lincoln City on the site. The Visitors Convention Comittee also awarded John Forse a grant for $15,000. The Testimonials page speaks volumes about the battle as well as the Hall of Shame Page.
Its pretty bad what’s happening to John Forse, a Lincoln City resident who founded the event back in 2005. He also got bit by a shark which is a cool story (Skip to 23 minutes).
Justin Werner’s Statement
I just stumbled into all this. I was contacted to assist John Forse with a simple website conversion from HTML to WordPress. I completed that job and after investigating all the angles have moved to protect John Forse, a 70-year-old, from Elder Abuse. In my opinion what the Nelscott Reef Pro-Am is trying to do to John Forse and Lincoln City is reprehensible. This is a Lincoln City event that has always been run by John Forse and that does not need to change. I bet if the sponsors, and World Surf League knew the truth they would do the right thing. Until that happens I will do my absolute best to protect John Forse and ensure he and his competition are not defamed anymore.
UPDATE: Just got a call from Graham Stapelberg
EVP/ GM Tours and Events – World Surf League. He said that they have nothing to do with the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Pro-Am. Stapelberg said the WSL would issue a cease & desist order. The picture below from http://nelscottsurf.com clearly shows that the Nelscott Reef Big Wave Pro-Am has been falsely claiming they have WSL support.
Surfline Editor Marcus Sanders just confirmed that they are not sponsoring the Nelscott Reef Pro/Am. From the website and photo above one would be led to believe that they are working closely with event organizers to guarantee the best day for the event.
This article is part of an ongoing investigative series. More to come.