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Beach Grit

Breaking: WSL loses in Hawaii!

Chas Smith

by Chas Smith

But only for now. The future is bright!

We are living in weird times. The far left loves the FBI, populists love corporate tax relief and the World Surf League was not able to grease Honolulu’s civic wheel enough to move its Pipeline Masters permit to January for the 2019 season. Would you like me to recap?

Earlier this month it was revealed that the WSL missed its filing deadline in order change its current permitted window from mid-December to mid-January for 2019. This is necessary, of course, for the new-look tour which begins in Hawaii and ends in Indonesia with stops at not Trestles and Surf Ranch along the way. Honolulu’s mayor, Kirk Caldwell, took a hard line initially, press releasing his displeasure at the WSL’s strong-arm tactics.

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt flew to Hawaii in order to work out details but today, Mr. Caldwell rejected the bid in the name of “fairness.”

“Please know the city fully appreciates the economic spending the WSL brings to the islands, but as I’ve stated, this is an issue about fairness, not about money. You have stated that the changes are minor, and if this is truly the case, we are perplexed that you would jeopardize your relationship to Hawaii on a minor change. I sincerely hope the WSL will continue to hold events in Hawaii, the birthplace of the sport of surfing.”

What happens now? Everything will get fixed and quick is what.

Of course this story can be rolled and spun and chewed as WSL incompetence and/or Honolulu greed and/or some fat transplant’s chance to riff on “the way things are done on the islands” but really who the hell cares? Professional surfing is an important economic/cultural driver in Hawaii. The World Surf League is the only organized multilateral representation of professional surfing. The two will very soon work out a proper way forward and that will be the end.

But we do live in weird times so I’ve already read lots of surf media posts punctuating the importance of getting paperwork in on time and playing by the rules etc. What the hell is that?

The only thing I want is more local wildcards in the Pipeline Masters. I want Honolulu to press its momentary advantage and stick 30 of ’em in there. Don’t you?

Viva Jamie O!