Update: World Surf League Extends Event Window For Quiksilver and Roxy Pros Gold Coast

6 Mar 2015 17

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

The WSL event structure might be getting cosy and making itself at home on the rocks at Snapper for a little bit longer. Photo: Muirhead

The WSL event structure might be getting cosy and making itself at home on the rocks at Snapper for a little bit longer. Photo: Muirhead

By Mike Jennings

Update: The World Surf League has confirmed via Instagram that the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros Gold Coast will extend their event windows an extra two days to Friday March 13. The post of a John Respondek Gold Coast line-up photo went live just after 10am on Sunday March 8 with the caption reading: "We're committed to the world's best surfing. The2015 #QuikPro & #ROXYpro #GoldCoast event window has been extended until Friday, March 13th. Bring on the swell."

Coastalwatch has learnt from inside sources on the WSLCT (such acronym!) that with a dismal forecast filling out the back end of the waiting period for the Quiksilver and Roxy Pros, the World Surf League are looking at the prospect of extending the event window past the March 11 deadline. That’s right, change your plans, change your flights, clear your week and get ready to wake up every morning to more news of lay-days because it’s likely we’ll be watching pro surfing to the smooth tones of Ronnie Blakey and Ross Williams after this coming Wednesday.

Driving this decision is the anticipation of a swell developing off the east coast just as the event is set to close next week, as well as the burning memory of the days that followed the past two years of the WSL/ASP at this location. The immediate days after the 2013 and 2014 Quiksilver and Roxy Pros had wrapped up and packed up saw some of the best surf the Gold Coast has experienced in a decade or two at Kirra and Snapper while the scaffolding was coming down on the foreshore. The bureaucracies of finishing the event on time and a lack of pragmatism around opening the event to a further day refrained the ASP from running what could have been the best surfing competition to ever grace the world’s famous point break (Kirra!) in its entire history. That's a thought that must weigh heavy on the minds of those responsible for hitting green buttons in WSL offices in California, as well as surfers like Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson who call that place home.

Also playing into this historic decision would be the presence of 14 World Titles and two of freesurfing’s biggest names/most dangerous wildcards waiting to surf next in heats 1 and 2 of Round 2. Rounds 2 and 3 are regarded amongst surfers on the CT as the most important of a surfing event. They are are the career defining rounds that send people home, that keep people on and off tour, and they are the highest risk of derailing a World Title campaign. In heat 1 we have Mick Fanning vs Dane Reynolds while in heat 2 we have Kelly Slater vs Jack Freestone. Kelly and Mick are oft noted as being vocal against surfing in sub-par conditions, and are also the most respected and longstanding voices of the surfing fraternity on tour. If they don’t want to surf, they just won’t surf. And it seems that is exactly what might take place this week.

This won’t be the first time the waiting period for a WSL event has been extended. In 2007 Luke Egan, as contest director for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, extended the waiting period of the then ASP event by one day to include one last day of good waves for the event at Teahupoo, won by Damien Hobgood.

“It’s a historic day for surfing and I am really appreciative to the ASP for granting the extension,” Egan said at the time.

The 2007 decision followed one made 11 years earlier at a pancaked J-Bay where the conditions were literally unsurfable. The flat-spell forced a change to the rules of the ASP. Tour manager of the time Renato Hickel stating in 2007 about the 1997 decision, “We had no option but to extend the waiting period until the forecast predicted that waves would be coming. It was then voted on at board level and became a rule at ASP. Since then, we have never used the rule.”

That’s right, it's in there. Today the 2015 WSL Rulebook states: 

"Extension of Event Window to Finish Event 
The remaining Surfers will be consulted by WSL at an arranged meeting in the decision to extend the finish of Event dates. If a Surfer does not attend the meeting, their vote (should a vote be called for any reason) will go back to WSL. The decision will be made by WSL in their discretion with the best interests of the sport the priority in that decision."

As far as Coastalwatch knows, an official meeting has yet to take place or be called for, but it certainly has been the talk amongst the surfers and inner sanctum of the world’s surfing elite in the line-ups around Coolangatta.

The extension would hopefully include the beginnings of a building swell hitting the North Coast of NSW and the Gold Coast in mid March. Coastalwatch Chief Swell Forecaster Ben Macartney has said in his Forecaster Blog (Monster E swell On The Cards For Mid March) that overall the swell models “hint at a moderately large or very large E swell event resulting over the course of the week beginning Monday 16 March”.

Weighing up the cost of booking another one, two, three days? of an event – the wages of event staff and the licensing from Gold Coast City council, possibly even the bills of extended athlete accommodation around Rainbow Bay – up against the prospect of beaming a sub-par sporting spectacle around the world, is the decision at hand for the WSL right now. But with the Rip Curl Pro not set to run to till April 1, they have time up their sleeves to make it.

Tags: wsl , topnews (create Alert from these tags)

blog comments powered by Disqus
More From Latest News
How To Forecast Your Next Surf Trip

How To Forecast Your Next Surf Trip

Six DIY tips to help you get the most of the magic.

0 9 Dec 2017
And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

7 Boards, 7 Weeks Winner Announced!

0 8 Dec 2017
Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

What's the 2018 rook look like on a long righthander?

0 8 Dec 2017
Recent

How To Forecast Your Next Surf Trip

Six DIY tips to help you get the most of the magic.

0 9 Dec 2017
And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

0 8 Dec 2017
Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

0 8 Dec 2017
Jump On The Surfer's Christmas Gift Guide

Jump On The Surfer's Christmas Gift Guide

0 7 Dec 2017
Luke Stedman's Three Mental Things To Focus On In Your Next Surf

Luke Stedman's Three Mental Things To Focus On In Your Next Surf

0 5 Dec 2017
Latest News

How To Forecast Your Next Surf Trip

Six DIY tips to help you get the most of the magic.

And the Superbrand Tazer Surfboard Goes To...

7 Boards, 7 Weeks Winner Announced!

Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

What's the 2018 rook look like on a long righthander?

Jump On The Surfer's Christmas Gift Guide

And stoke out your loved ones!

Luke Stedman's Three Mental Things To Focus On In Your Next Surf

The way you breathe plays a massive role in your surfing.

Popular This Week

Weak Wrap: Man Wrestles Shark!

Plus much more in a very special tropical edition

Wave of the Week: Wade Carmichael On Point

What's the 2018 rook look like on a long righthander?

Go to Top