The WSL Is Going Back To Bali, Ditching Fiji & Trestles

21 Nov 2017 10 Share

Julian Wilson at Keramas during the Bali event in 2013. The WSL returns to Keramas next year.

Julian Wilson at Keramas during the Bali event in 2013. The WSL returns to Keramas next year.

NEWS

Hooo boy!

The WSL have released the schedule for the Championship Tour events in 2018 and, on top of confirming the date for the unprecedented wave pool event, they've dropped four bombshell, surprise changes to the schedule:

– The CT will be returning to Bali with a major event at the end of May.

– The CT will not be returning to Fiji in 2018.

– The CT will not be returning to Trestles in 2018.

– The women's CT will be included at J-Bay.

SEE ALSO: GOLD COAST SWELL LIVE BLOG

While those four are the big news items, the schedule also reveals that the women's CT will not be contesting in Portugal in 2018 either.

The announcement of these changes comes less than a week afterwe learned that the WSL would be hosting a Championship Tour event in a Kelly Slater Wave Pool at the Surf Ranch facility in inland Lemoore, California. It is now revealed that said event will take place as a direct swap for the Trestles event beginning on September 5 with a... umm... waiting period... of five days, finishing on September 9.

Despite open criticism from surf fans, and alleged hushed criticism from competitors, the men's and women's events of the Oi Rio Pro remains as a championship tour stop in 2018.

The comp at Keramas, Bali, Indonesia will be a welcome return for CT competitors to the world class, high performance wave that played host to an event in 2013 – won by Joel Parkinson, but remembered most for John John Florence's 10 point alley-oop. However, it comes at the cost of the event at Fiji and the so-good-you'd-kill-someone-to-surf-them waves of Cloudbreak and Restaurants. Fiji has arguably been the most popular CT venue on the schedule since it was reintroduced in 2012, for competitors and fans alike.

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt made it clear in the press release where the responsibilty for the loss of the the blue-ribbon event lies:

"While Fiji has been a multi-year pillar of the Dream Tour and we may return in future, appropriate support from the government of Fiji is needed to bring the world’s best back to Cloudbreak and Restaurants."

The best news today – unless you're Tatiana Weston-Webb or any other goofy on the women's CT – is the inclusion of a women's event at the South African stop of J-Bay. 

"2018 is looking like the most exciting calendar year for women’s surfing yet," said CT competitor, and current world no.7, Sage Erickson. "Mixing up the venues and adding in new ones for us like Keramas and Jeffreys Bay is going to really showcase a new level of surfing from the women."

THE FULL SCHEDULE:

2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men's Championship Tour:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, Australia - March 11 - 22, 2018
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Australia - March 28 - April 8, 2018
Margaret River Pro, Australia - April 11 - 22, 2018
Oi Rio Pro, Brazil - May 10 - 19, 2018
Bali Pro, Indonesia - May 27 - June 9, 2018
Corona Open J-Bay, South Africa - July 2 - 13, 2018
Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o, Tahiti - August 10 - 21, 2018
Surf Ranch Lemoore, California/USA. September 5 - 9, 2018
Quiksilver Pro France, France - October 3 - 14, 2018
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Portugal - October 16 - 27, 2018
Billabong Pipe Masters, Hawaii/USA - December 8 - 20, 2018
 
The 2017 WSL Men's Championship Tour will finish with the Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons in Hawaii, USA from December 8 - 20, 2017.
 
2018 World Surf League (WSL) Women's Championship Tour:
Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Australia - March 11 - 22, 2018
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach, Australia - March 28 - April 8, 2018
Margaret River Pro, Australia - April 11 - 22, 2018
Oi Rio Pro, Brazil - May 10 - 19, 2018
Bali Pro, Indonesia - May 27 - June 9, 2018
Corona Open J-Bay, South Africa - July 10 - 17, 2018
Vans US Open of Surfing, USA - July 30 - August 5, 2018
Surf Ranch Lemoore, California/USA. September 5 - 9, 2018
Roxy Pro France, France - October 3 - 14, 2018
Hawaii Women’s Pro, Hawaii/USA - November 25 - December 6, 2018
 
The 2017 WSL Women's Championship Tour is culminating next week at Honolua Bay, Hawaii with the Maui Women's Pro.

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