On This Day: Luke Egan wins the last Quiksilver Pro G'Land
On 8th June 1997 the last Quiksilver Pro G'Land was won by Luke Egan who beat Chris Gallagher at six foot Speedies.
Though they weren't the first top-tier contests in Indonesia - the Om Bali Pro, held in 1981 and 1982, took that title - the Quiksilver Pro G'land comps of the mid-90s represented a shift in focus for pro surfing and were the blueprint of the soon-to-be realised Dream Tour.
Except for the Hawaiian events, the modus operandi for surf contests had been to put bums on seats at a big name city beach. It had been this way since the pro tour began in 1976, much to the displeasure of competitors.
In 1992 Al Hunt and Sid Cassidy redesigned the qualifying process and split the tour in two, the Qualifying Series and Championship Tour, thereby sowing the seeds of the Dream Tour. Top tier contests no longer had to cater for 100+ surfers, but just a select few - at first a Top 44, then a Top 32.
Contests could now focus on showcasing the very best surfing, not slowly whittling down numbers from the Round of 164. Shortly thereafter Quiksilver had the spark to take the concept one step further and feature the very best surfing in the very best waves. From the get go they took it to its logical conclusion, removing all spectators and replacing them with a stripped down crew of staff and media. Thus was the Quiksilver Pro G'Land born.
In 1995, Kelly Slater beat Jeff Booth to claim the inaugural event, then in 1996 Shane Beschen beat Kong, and on the 8th June 1997 - 21 years ago today - Luke Egan won.
For three years the Quik Pro was held in early June and it always scored great waves. In fact, records show they barely had any lay days.
By 1998 the Asian financial crisis halted the G'Land contests. However, Quik didn't let the idea die, they simply shifted their focus to the South Pacific and in 1999 the first Quiksilver Pro Fiji ran. It occupied the same early June window with the same concept: no spectators, just staff and media beaming the images out via the rudimentary World Wide Web. The 1999 tour also included the first CT at Teahupoo with the Dream Tour concept becoming more than one lone event.