Vanished in the night!
I spent much of yesterday pondering the newly released 2019 World Surf League championship tour schedule and can we all admit that it is almost perfect? Oh of course it is our job to grumble, and we get paid very well for it, but really it feels like the WSL listened to our pleas and responded.
The season ends at Pipeline like it’s supposed to and begins on the Gold Coast, a nod to those simpler times when the Association of Surfing Professional’s offices occupied a tidy second story Coolangatta floor. Marg River might not be a favorite but I do love that the WSL is returning to a very sharky land maybe hoping for another “Mick Bump” as the sky high ratings for J-Bay ’15. The rest is as it should be, as we’ve grown accustomed,
Many openly question the viability of the World Surf League moving forward but ’19 is robust. The only thing I’m really curious about is the naked events. Sponsors disappeared into the night. Vanished without a trace except Meo and Oi which may or may not be cell service providers and Billabong for Pipeline and Rip Curl for Bells.
But the rest? Where did they go? Quiksilver has been sponsoring the Gold Coast event since I cut my teeth on surf journalism. Quiksilver has been synonymous with France since Tom Curren was a competitive threat. Same-ish with Billabong and Tahiti and Billabong and Teahupoo.
So maybe it’s only Oaktree brands which have been disappeared but still 7 out of the 11 events are nude.
And do you think it is possible, even the slightest chance, that we could crowdfund title sponsorship of one? The BeachGrit Bali Pro say or the BeachGrit Pro Bells Beach (in association with Rip Curl)?
Which do you think we should choose?
Gold Coast Men’s Pro: April 3 – 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 – 27, 2019
Bali Men’s Pro: May 13 – 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 – June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 – 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 – 22, 2019
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o: August 21 – September 1, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 – 22, 2019
France Men’s Pro: October 3 – 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 – 28, 2019
Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8 – 20, 2019