Usually the hot rumours turn out to have some flame behind the smoke. Not this one!
In 2012, I sat at the water cooler after the presser of the Quik Pro had concluded and had a random chat with Rip Curl boss Doug Warbrick.
The summary of his thought was something like: times is tough, (pro surfer) rosters will be cut and pro surfing will likely skid along on the bones of it’s arse for a while helped by the taxpayer. He might dispute the details but the gist of it is inarguable.
Dane had quit three months earlier, Quiksilver was on it’s knees, the whole damn thing looked like collapsing and it was six months before Speaker officially announced the Dirk Ziff rescue package.
Which means to pro surfing watchers casual and professional the annual Tour Event schedule is one of the most keenly anticipated “reveals” of the year.
I do confess to finding that more arresting than the latest crop of CT rookies. The most remarkable thing about the reign of Sophie G is that she’s managed to keep a relatively stable event roster. Even more amazing now that the great wavepool zig has to be zagged.
Usually, the hot rumours turn out to have some flame behind the smoke. We learnt via a deep mole from Margaret River that G-Land was back on the schedule next year. The countervailing rumour (reported by STAB) was that Snapper had been dropped. A persistent rumour started by Sean Doherty in 2018.
Despite the fact I was elbowed off Duranbah beach by a 200-pound born again gun nut this year my ardour for Snapper burns undimmed. It remains almost the perfect venue for a Pro surfing contest.
If it’s big you go to Kirra, medium: the best high performance wave on Tour at Snapper and, small D-bah will turn anything into rippable teepees. It also concentrates the circus and keeps it well the fcuk away from my local.
I’ll spare you the arcane details of getting to the bottom of the rumour. It’s complicated.
Surfing Queensland is the nominal permit holder, but they don’t know.
WSL pleads the fifth.
Gold Coast City Council is a bureaucratic nightmare that would put a Kafka novel to shame.
Eventually, I got on the buzzer to a sharp cat at Tourism and Events Queensland, underwriters of the Gold Coast event.
“Oh no,” he said ,when I put the rumour to him, “We’re on, I’ll send you a presser”.
I’ll try a Chas and walk you through it. Please hold my hand as we read together.*
Gold Coast secures WSL Championship Tour events until 2021. Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the contract extension was another major win for Queensland and would deliver more than $13 million to the state.
“There’s nothing more Gold Coast than watching the best surfers on the planet carve it up at Snapper Rocks and we know this event is a highlight on the It’s live in Queensland major events calendar, offering a unique experience for visitors.”
Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO said the Gold Coast had played a critical role in the surfing world, and specifically professional surfing since its inception in 1976.
“From its fantastic waves to its many Champions, the Gold Coast is one of the most revered and celebrated spots on tour,” she said. “Our partnership with TEQ ensures that the world’s best surfers will continue to come here over the next three years which we’re delighted about.”
Two things: Do you think Sophie actually wrote that and this is very old news.
Still, Snapper is on!
Short, sweet and good news. Even quitters can watch!
*Quoting press releases, Chas style, is actually a lot harder than it looks.