The World Surf League (WSL) has announced today that all surfing events on the Australian leg of the Championship Tour (CT), including the iconic Bells Beach event, will be cancelled.
The announcement comes in response to the continued evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The WSL is postponing or canceling all events, at all levels of competition, through the end of May.
The Australian leg of the Championship Tour is now completely shut down with the Gold Coast, Bells Beach, Margaret River and the WSL Big Wave Awards all shelved.
The Quiksilver Pro G-Land scheduled to take place in a remote part of Indonesia in June will now either be cancelled or moved to an area with better infrastructure.
The WSL says it “is working diligently to land the best solution for surfers and fans alike”.
In a video released on all WSL channels today, WSL CEO Erik Logan said to fans and supporters: “We have every intention of commencing the 2020 Championship Tour season, and all our tours, as soon as possible. We are already hard at work doing scenario planning for what a reimagined 2020 tour might look like.”
The current and quickly evolving changes to international travel are making it extremely challenging to determine an appropriate time to recommence and get surfers to and from event locations safely.
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In the video, Logan also said: “I’m a fan, like you, and I want to see the world’s best surfers battle it out on the best waves in the world. However, the WSL’s primary concern right now is for the health and safety for our athletes, fans and global employees.”
Based on the information the WSL is receiving from global experts and agencies regarding the pandemic, June feels like the most likely time to kick off the 2020 season safely, thus the decision made today.
Logan continued, “We are a truly global sport. Moving tours and events between countries is challenging under the best of conditions. Under current circumstances, it’s just not possible, and will not be for some time to come. As a league that organises public gatherings, we are also extremely conscious of our social responsibility not to enable and accelerate the spread of the virus.”
In the meantime, the WSL is continuing to drive new and fresh surfing content through all of its channels. The WSL is also engaging fans to share how they would like to see the WSL celebrate surfing during a time when we need to see and experience more of what we love.
According to Logan, “We are going to increase the volume of content we are producing from WSL Studios, deepen our editorial, and find new ways to stay connected all while we wait for that next opening horn to sound.”
“The love of surfing is the bond that holds our global community together,” said Logan. “We want to share positivity during these anxious times, by continuing to celebrate that bond, and our shared passion for this sport, the ocean, our athletes and one another.”