What if there's no surf at Trestles?
Here's a simple way to gauge how good the surf is gonna be at an upcoming CT comp: check how many sites do early forecasts.
I work with forecasters and I know how damn excited they get when they see storms advancing into the waiting period. God how they love to be the bearers of good news!
However, there's also an inversion of that law: a lack of forecasts is directly related to how bad the forecast is gonna be. And unfortunately for the upcoming Hurley Trestles Pro the forecasts are thin on the ground. Yep, it's gonna be bad - dire in fact.
The competition starts on September 6th, which is one day after a small southwest swell, say about chest high, tapers off leaving the opening day with knee to perhaps chest high waves, which, improbable as it seems for an eleven day waiting period, may just be the biggest surf of the competition.
Trestles, not this week.
We can say that with some degree of certainty owing to Trestles orientation toward the south. The long-period swells that constitute Trestles' summertime bread and butter originate deep in the southern hemisphere. Spawned in the South Pacific Ocean they travel north, cross the equator, and then progress on into the North Pacific Ocean before striking the Californian coastline. Their travel time is around a week, sometimes more.
Therefore if the forecast was promising we'd be seeing the storms brewing right now, however instead of wind-whipped ocean the South Pacific is a bit more, erm, pacifying. Hence why you're not reading much about it.
Adding to the difficulty is Trestles location inside a Californian State Park making it subject to timetable restrictions. The WSL can only run on one day of a weekend, yet there are two weekends in the waiting period meaning they could potentially lose two days. Plus they can only run from 8am to 5pm so there'll be no dawn to dusk squeeze such as we saw at Teahupoo recently.
The WSL has some form on the board vis-a-vis extending waiting periods. In recent years they've extended Snapper Rocks (2015) and Teahupoo (2007...yeah I know it's not recent), both to finish the contests in a swell falling outside the waiting period.
Whether the WSL can pull strings over a tightly regulated spot such as Trestles remains to be seen.
And if they simply don't get enough swell to finish the comp?
Again, there's some history to call upon.
In 1992 at the Quiksilver Surfmasters Biarritz the contest was cancelled after the quarter-finals with the remaining contestants splitting the prizemoney. While in 2013 The Women's Roxy Pro Biarritz was cancelled due to lack of swell, though it was simply rescheduled to later.
The WSL rulebook states that if a contest is cancelled wihout having commenced, the prizemoney is split evenly and no points are awarded. However, the surf forecast at Trestles ain't that atrocious, there will be some surfable days in the mix. Therefore the previous rule in the book is of greater concern, and it states that all remaining surfers receive the prizemoney they'd get if they were eliminated in the next round, then the balance is split. And as for points, arguably more important as the title race speeds up, each remaining surfer will receive the points earned from the previous completed round.
Another photo of Trestles not flat.
The last time an event was cancelled, though it wasn't for lack of surf, was J'Bay 2015 when Mick copped a rub from the shark and the final was cancelled. Many people thought Mick and Julian Wilson should've split the points for first and second, however as per the rules they both received the points for second place. If Mick won he would've taken the yellow jersey off Adriano de Souza, but he didn't and ADS retained the jersey, exchanging it at the end of the year for the first place trophy.