Keramas Out, G-Land In: The WSL Has Announced the 2020 CT Schedule

7 Nov 2019 1 Share

Photo: Quiksilver/Testemale

Photo: Quiksilver/Testemale

COASTALWATCH | NEWS

For the first time in over 20 years, the world's best surfers will compete at G-Land, with the Quiksilver Pro G-Land scheduled for June 4-14 2020.

Rumours of a return to the original "Dream Tour" location that circulated back in early August have been finally confirmed by the WSL with the announcement of their 2020 CT schedule.

G-Land was of course an iconic though short-lived stop on the Men's ASP Championship Tour from 1996 to 1998. For many, the Quiksilver Pros there were the embodiment of the ASP's new "Dream Tour" ideal – throwing out the bums-on-seats city beaches event mentality that had come in the pro surfing era before it, and replacing it with the world's best waves in exotic locations. However, this will be the first time that both the men's and women's tours will compete there.

Also included amongst the announcement of the schedule was the following:

  • The Corona Bali Protected at Keramas will no longer feature as a Championship Tour event. 
  • The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast will now be the "Corona Open Gold Coast".
  • Both the men's and women's event at G-Land will be titled the "Quiksilver Pro G-Land", unlike previous Quiksilver/Roxy splits for events sponsored by the mountain and the wave.
  • The Wave Pool event will be called the "Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Freshwater Pro" (rolls off the tongue!).
  • There will be no return to the popular CT locations of either Cloudbreak or Trestles.
  • The 2020 CT schedule will work around the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games (July 24-August 9) and its ISA qualifying event.

It's worth noting, too, that the WSL's previous plans of up-ending the Tour – placing the Pipe Master's at the beginning of the season and deciding the World Title at the end of the year with a final, limited surfer number showdown somewhere in the Mentawai Islands – seems to have completely evaporated.

But the meat of the 2020 CT story is Grajagan. Upping the hype for the breaking news was this quote from Aussie Ace Buchan:

"G-Land was where the Dream Tour was born and it’s so exciting to be heading back there. I grew up watching the likes of Kelly and Tom Carroll compete there and I can’t wait to see how this generation of surfers approach the wave.”

And Tatiana Weston Webb:

“The 2020 schedule will be exciting with the return to G-Land, the first ever Olympics and the new Challenger Series. I think it’s going to be the most compelling year in surfing ever.”

The Challenger Series referred to above is the reformatting of the Qulifying Series, further details of which will be announced at the end of November.

A little more info on Grajagan, Matt Warshaw's Encylopedia of Surfing has this wonderful paragraph on the history famed spot:

Grajagan was first surfed in 1972 by Americans Bob Laverty, who had spotted the break a few months earlier during a plane ride from Jakarta to Bali, and Bill Boyum. The two surfers motorcycled from Bali to the Javanese fishing village of Grajagan, their backpacks full of supplies, ferried across the bay, then followed the shorefront edge of the enormous Plengkung National Forest. For three days they surfed perfect six- to eight-foot waves at Grajagan, camping on the beach near the jungle. Laverty died in a surfing accident just a few days after returning to Bali. Mike Boyum (Bill's brother) opened the G-land Surf Camp two years later, housing fewer than a dozen guests at a time in three wooden huts; Pipeline ace Gerry Lopez was an early and frequent visitor. "It was our surfing monastery," Lopez later said, adding that preferred G-land to Pipeline.

Although the break appeared in magazines and films over the next few years, it wasn't named, and thus didn't become well known until 1980. In 1981 it was listed by Surfing magazine as one of the "Ten Best Breaks in the World..."

When rumours of the WSL move bubbled up earlier this year, they were met with some concern and criticism for two reasons: 1. That the WSL'll be putting the spotlight back on a surf zone that had relatively fallen back into the shadows over the last two decades; and 2. The infrastucture that will likely be needed to make a full on WSL CT event and broadcast run out of the relatively isolated surf spot.

How that plays out will become clearer as we move closer to June 2020.

Here are the full schedules:

2020 Men's Championship Tour: 
Corona Open Gold Coast: March 26 - April 5, 2020
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 8 - 18, 2020
Margaret River Pro: April 22 - May 2, 2020
Quiksilver Pro G-Land: June 4 - 14, 2020
Oi Rio Pro: June 18 - 27, 2020
Corona Open J-Bay: July 7 - 19, 2020
Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o: August 26 - September 6, 2020
Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Freshwater Pro: September 15 - 20, 2020
Quiksilver Pro France: October 1 - 11, 2020
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal: October 14 - 25, 2020
Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8 - 20, 2020

2020 Women's Championship Tour: 
Corona Open Gold Coast: March 26 - April 5, 2020
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 8 - 18, 2020
Margaret River Pro: April 22 - May 2, 2020
Quiksilver Pro G-Land: June 4 - 14, 2020
Oi Rio Pro: June 18 - 27, 2020
Corona Open J-Bay: July 7 - 19, 2020
Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Freshwater Pro: September 15 - 20, 2020
Roxy Pro France: October 1 - 11, 2020
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal: October 14 - 25, 2020
Hawaii Pro: November 25 - December 6, 2020

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