Pipe Masters canned for 2019
The passive aggressive grudge match between the WSL, led by CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, and the City of Honolulu continues.
You’ll recall how this Soph opera goes: the WSL wants to reconfigure the 2019 World Tour and needed to get their permits into Honolulu’s Dept of Parks & Recreation, however they missed the November cut off. When it appeared they wouldn’t get their way the WSL took the unprecedented step of issuing a public admonition of Mayor Kirk Caldwell. The mayor didn’t blink, but he kept the dialogue open expressing hope it could be sorted out.
And so we arrive at this point...
Yesterday, the Dept of Parks & Recreation announced preliminary permit approval for all the WSL’s standing 2018/2019 winter events calendar. So far so good.
However the proposed 2019 reschedule had Pipe kicking off the season in February - just two months after it closed the 2018 season - and the Mayor put the kibosh on that. The Pipe Masters can’t open the 2019 season as planned.
In reply to this Sophie Goldschmidt said, “We are disappointed we will not be able to run the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters.”
For their part, Mayor Caldwell acknowledged the permit process needed an overhaul, to which Goldschmidt added, “We are pleased that the Mayor recognises that fundamental changes are required to the permit process. that will benefit Hawaiian surfing, the surfers, the community and other stakeholders.”
“We will assist however we can during this process and once we understand the changes, we will be able to determine which events we can invest in bringing to Hawaii in winter 2019 and beyond.”
So, according to Sophie, the WSL ain’t pulling out of Hawaii altogether - as was threatened a week back - but the 2019 Pipe Masters does appear to be off. No doubt there'll be more news to come.
WSL PRELIMINARILY PERMITTED EVENTS FOR HAWAII 2018/2019
- HIC PRO - Sunset Beach - Oct. 27 - Nov. 9, 2018
- HAWAIIAN PRO - Haleiwa - Nov. 12-24, 2018
- VANS WORLD CUP OF SURFING - Sunset - Nov. 25 - Dec. 6, 2018
- BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS - Ehukai - Dec. 8-20, 2018
- SUNSET OPEN - Sunset Beach - Jan. 18-28, 2019
- VOLCOM PIPE PRO - Ehukai - Jan 29 - Feb. 10, 2019