2019 CT schedule released

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Overnight the World Surf League (WSL) released the 2019 Championship Tour (CT) calendar. If you recall, 2019 was the big year of change for the WSL, and it it is, but not for the reasons first thought.

In scheduling, not much has changed, Pipe is still there, Margaret River too, albeit a touch later in the year, they'll make a return to Bali, however there's no sign of the top six boat trip to the Mentawais that would decide the world champs.

In all there's 11 contests for the men, 10 for the women, each following a similar pattern to what's been in place the last decade plus.

Instead the changes come from a marked absence of umbrella sponsors. No Quiksilver on the Gold Coast, a contest they'd locked down since 2001, nor Quik for the French CT either, and no Corona at J'Bay and Bali meaning their tenure at those stops lasted just one year.

There's also no sign that Bong will pick up Tahiti, there's no sign of Fiji at all, and thankfully only one wave system event.

Rip Curl continue with Bells, and Bong with Pipe, they're the only two industry sponsors on the Mens tour. The Women have similar changes, Vans out, Roxy out, Rip Curl in.

The full tours are as follows

The Men:

Gold Coast Men’s Pro: April 3 - 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 - 27, 2019
Bali Men’s Pro: May 13 - 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 - June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 - 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 - 22, 2019
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o: August 21 - September 1, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 - 22, 2019
France Men’s Pro: October 3 - 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 - 28, 2019
Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8 - 20, 2019

And the Women:

Gold Coast Women’s Pro: April 3 - 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 - 27, 2019
Bali Women’s Pro: May 13 - 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 - June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 - 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 - 22, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 - 22, 2019
France Women’s Pro: October 3 - 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 - 28, 2019
Hawaii Women’s Pro: November 25 - December 7, 2019

 

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:05am

I’ve heard a rumour that the contract for Margs runs out this year . The permit for WA will be reissued next year but Margs will NOT be the venue.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:07am

Hence the recent news re: Kalbarri/Gnaraloo.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:13am

I’ve been led to believe that we are further down that road than I , for one , suspected.

I never knew Margs was definitely off the table.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:53am

Yeah there's been some behind the scene machinations that are slightly worrying, however in the other corner are various groups (and potentially even one company) pulling together to oppose the WSL. They'd do well to read the signs, take heed, 'cos if the WSL persist they'll shred their last vestige of goodwill with core surfers. They don't have much capital in that department anyway and a move north is sure to unleash an absolute shit storm of anger. Make no mistake about it.

More to come shortly...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 8:19am

Nice work mate .

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:31am

what recent news?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:35am
Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 8:04am

I’m aware of their wish to move the event , I wasn’t aware that it was definite. The event WILL be somewhere else. Where is the question.

Surfing WA - Take a good hard look at yourselves.

I’ve also heard word of a conversation with a Surfing WA official who was discussing the merits of the event. Apparently the event is really good for the community. The Margaret River Football club being supportive of the Margs event was given as an example of the local support behind the event down there. It was put forward that perhaps it’s hard to claim local support for the alternative venues and that maybe the visuals of JetSki riding Police arresting local surfers at their home break after they try to disrupt an event which they oppose to being staged might not be the best look for Surfing WA or the WSL then the quote was “ No one wants it to come to that .”

Surfing WA and WSL in staunch and open opposition to the wishes of the surfers of WA.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 8:33am

The date definitely implies a move.

Margs at that time is likely to be onshore.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 9:17am

Maybe they’ll build a wave pool at the footy club. Could be a bit of wind protection and they seem to be the only people that want anything to do with it.

Dirk can feel free to deny everyone access then.

Can you even imagine parking up for the season at one of those locations as people have done for decades and being told mid season that you’re being evicted for 2 weeks and potentially missing the swell of the year to enable an American billionaire to attempt to make more money and to make way for pro surfers that have no wish to be there ?

That’s the spirit of surfing as viewed through the eyes of the WSL and Surfing WA.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 9:37am

..."pro surfers that have no wish to be there ?"
Pretty sure most (except those shark-phobes) would be stoked at the idea of 6-8ft Gnarloo by themselves...

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 9:54am

The joint is open to everyone.

If they wanted to go they would have been there by now. They don’t need the WSL to surf there.

You think that thy should have the joint closed for them rather than leaving it open to those that love it enough to make the effort to actually go there ?

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 1:29pm

Nah mate, you got me all wrong. I totally agree that the comp shouldn't be held there and it's not a place to handle the infrastructure. I read that you didn't think that the pros would want to go there which I think is ludicrous...the selfish bastards would be all over the idea. Just off the top of my head Parko, Occy, Andy, brothers Wright have all been there of their own volition.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:05am

April start on the Goldie...bet it pumps all Feb...
Losing sponsors especially the new "one and done" non surfing sponsors has got to sting.
It really doesn't look that healthy does it?

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:06am

So after a year of speculation (almost to the date), it looks like none of the rumours will eventuate.

https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2017/09/07/big-changes-a...

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:44am

Kind of a good thing really Mentawai's doesn't really need added attention.

I thought every surfer knew it well, but watching the Nias Pro live feed the amount of people asking in the live comments where is this? was ridiculous and surprising, i also thought every surfer knew Nias well.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:45am

So how does this no sponsor thing for comps work?

What happens if they don't get sponsors?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:56am

Ziffy stumps up.

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 10:08am

Gary would be surprised if that proposition gets Ziffy's stump up

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 10:25am

Or Stiffy's zump.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 7:47am

Interesting that Quiksilver have completely pulled out of their CT commitments, but Quik-owned Billabong have maintained sponsorship of the Pipe Masters.

Perhaps this is a sign of impending subtle changes in brand identity between the two.

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 11:13am

Are the surf companies pulling out or is it a change of direction in commercial model? Must be some serious $ in that FB deal noting Dirk benefactor comments above. Maybe the WSL agreed to keep the Rip Curl Bells and Billabong Pipe due to the strong history, dunno...

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 11:30am

Two year deal at $15m per year. A step in the right direction from previous years, but comparatively small compared to the estimated running costs of the WSL (not just WCT events, but everything).

https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2018/05/31/wsl-pull-trig...

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 9:23am

The Margaret River Pro in winter in Margaret River. You can't script this.....

As Freeride suggested, up north it goes. Good luck with that....

Crystal Clear

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:18pm

Better chance of North Point breaking.

Significantly better chance of cold weather and big stormy onshore conditions.

Even better chance of some pro surfers being out of their depth.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:55pm

Yeah they might score. I might get one of the Wildcards too....

Crystal Clear

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 9:21pm

And why would you do Bali in May beforehand? Surely swap Bali and Margs around at least.

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Friday, 7 Sep 2018 at 7:14pm

Lighter winds for Keramas maybe.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 9:55am

I see they've ditched Huntington for the women. That can only be a good thing. Other than Chopes, it seems the women's tour will pretty much mirror the men's. The equal pay thing that was announced today was a definite step in the right direction too. Equal pay for equal comps.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:13pm

Yawn.
The comps aren't equal, the surfing isn't equal, the skills aren't equal, the viewer numbers aren't equal.
Commie.

Yea, I get barrel

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 1:21pm

Oh Billy....

With that kind of 20th century attitude, you'd be warmly welcomed behind the iron curtain comrade.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 1:27pm

I can understand the argument that they don't generate as much $ so it's fair that they don't get paid the same $, but thinking (and acting) like that is rather outdated and won't change anything.
They should go one further and change who gets the best waves when surfing the same spot/waiting period. Flip a coin, take turns, different days, whatever.

harrykoonya's picture
harrykoonya's picture
harrykoonya commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 10:59pm

Surfing has always been devoid of economic rationalists. They don't even surf the same waves (no reference to Women's Pipe or Teahupoo above?).

True equality results in women and men surfing in the same league. We couldn't have too much equality though, could we.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 11:52am

Brodie Carr ( Ex CEO of WSL ) is the new CEO for tourism WA.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 11:57am

wow.

the plot thickens.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 6:32pm
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 11:52am

a lot of hate for surfing WA of late, is it deserved?
What I do know from the inside is basically In a nutshell the WSL went to surfing WA and said "if you want a comp in WA you will have to give us a jewel in your NW crown" namely jakes or tombies (may-july). "if you do this we will also give you a QS 10,000 in the SW" (march- may).
Surfing WA exists to facilitate and advance surfing in WA and the best way for the to do this is with$$$, how do hey make $$$ ? sponsors. how do we get sponsor? media coverage. how do we get media coverage? ...events. what do events do? fuck everything they touch. catch 22.

Kellya's picture
Kellya's picture
Kellya commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:01pm

Metro beaches have had a couple of pumping mornings lately.....

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:04pm

That’s the spirit !

Or alternatively......just take your entire competition and fuck off elsewhere.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:14pm

Would’ve thought the surfers would be licking their lips at the prospect of surfing in the NW.
Not that I think it’s the right place for a WSL comp, it’s definitly fucken not, but the waves are mind blowing

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 12:38pm

i'm sure the CT surfers would be stoked, both NW options are world class.

I just feel its the WSL's greed that should be copping the angst, surfing WA are just a face on this.
a QS 10,000 would see the margs region fucked for a month (between comp bump in and bump out) as per usual with very little positives for WA coming from it, I mean instead of having 60 well surf fed and well paid surfers utilising local food, wine and stays in the region for a month we'll now have 150 QS battlers camping in car parks and pumping exactly fuck all back into the economy. Only to later on have the 60 CT surfers camped up in the NW where there isn't the tourism infrastructure and stays to even splash a bit of cash back into the state. Its a shit option before you even consider environmental and most importantly short and long term effects of blowing smoke up the ass of places we don't fucking want in the spotlight

monk's picture
monk's picture
monk commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 1:39pm

This is the truth of it. The QS is a bigger problem than the CT. Even with the eyes of the world on Margies over the CT period (albeit not a huge amount of viewers) I would still rather the CT here than the QS. Personally i reckon a CT event in the last week of May is the best thing ever for Margs - its getting a bit cold and gloomy by then, but still a good chance of big, good, waves. Leave the Peak Autumn Period for the locals. I really hope that is what ends up happening. Nothing good can come for WA surfers (well at least 99% of them) with the up-north option.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 5:16pm

"places we don't fucking want in the spotlight"
haha the old not in my backyard hey Bshop, well it was fine for you to exploit South oz with your instagram was it?
glasshouses at its finest

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 5:36pm

Unity required here.

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 5:42pm

I spend as much time in south oz as I do in the north west but consider neither my home, nor would I want either "exploit"ed. I see your angle with the instagram thing but I do try to keep it clean whilst still being able to show what I see and I feel my measly # of follower (mainly friends) as a "spotlight" pales in comparison to the WSL shit show and there literal drive in drive out light towers. I don't have an answer for where WSL should surf but I know I don't want to see the NW exploited by the mainstream. so No Uncle_leroy, I think your wrong there.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 6:26pm

It's pretty simple then, don't want it exploited, don't post photo's, goes for everything in life really, play on fella

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 1:48pm

Serious question - why not Rottnest Island for the new venue?

Assuming the move away from Margs is real, then I reckon Rottnest is a decent choice on a number of fronts. It's already one of WA's premier marketing channels, Strickos is a great contest wave that regularly hold state title events etc (so, Surfing WA have a well-oiled routine to get the infrastructure in place), and it's nice and close to Perth - and a viable day trip option for spectators (one of the three ferries departs from downtown Perth!). 

Rotto also picks up a decent percentage of swell, but is less prone to the regional onshores compared to Margs. 

Hamishnic's picture
Hamishnic's picture
Hamishnic commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 3:46pm

Good call Ben - With everything happening on Rottnest around tourism and it's proximity to Perth, I don't see how they haven't considered this an option. Southern Breaks all work with SE to NW wind (within reason) and Stark Bay in a big swell with a Southerly / SE wind can be a sight to behold. It's not uncommon to surf the south-side of Rotto all day (during that time period) without worrying about onshores as it's quite often Northerly in the arvo. The breaks can be really temperamental with swell direction though. You'd have to think it would work best as a mobile type of comp but I don't know if that's viable.

I certainly love my uncrowded mid week sessions at Rotto but being quite blunt, when you see the some of the boats that pull up to surf Stricko's on a regular basis - it quickly becomes apparent that it's just a day off for some of Perth's wealthy corporate suits. That crowd's far less likely to get up in arms than those up in the Nor West and I'm sure the WSL, Surfing WA and Tourism WA are aware of that.

It's pristine over there, a really special place that everyone would hate to see get trampled over but I wouldn't rule it out...

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 4:19pm

Mate, you do realise that your not just having a private conversation with Ben don’t ya?

Crystal Clear

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 8:27pm

Cheers mate. Me and my $5000 boat aint corporate. Cheers for all the fine details. It used to be uncrowded till now. It's too short a wave for a WSL comp anyway.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 2:10pm

Fingers crossed for that Ben.

Maybe give Brodie Carr a bell.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 2:31pm

Rottnest is a very fragile, pristine environment. Concentrating ferry loads of eager surf fans into any one of the island’s wilderness areas would be a disaster.

Crystal Clear

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 3:09pm

Fair enough. Just figured they may have a solution (their website says "Rottnest Island is fast-becoming a hub for major events and functions") - they've got a tonne of events every year.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 3:22pm

Yeah they do Ben. Mainly based around the established infrastructure in Thompson’s Bay & the Settlement. The WSL contest site infrastructure/footprint alone would be too challenging for the island”s wilderness areas IMO. However, I have no doubt Tourism WA & the WSL would love the idea.

Crystal Clear

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 3:46pm

Agree that Rotto is much less of an option than up north...all are very bad ideas.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 2:39pm

Good call , Rabbits.

Cottesloe it is then.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 6:13pm

Able to be moved to Scabs if swell smaller. Or a real NW venue like the Gero back beach ;)

Kellya's picture
Kellya's picture
Kellya commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 10:49pm

WSL could set up camp in the Wedge shacks for a few weeks?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 3:10pm

Perhaps we need to accelerate the artificial reef proposal at Scarborough.

https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2017/10/20/artificial-su...

Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez's picture
Bshop_feez commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 4:18pm

what about the outdated wave pool they haven't even started building yet? that'll play.
ability to schedule heat times to maximise profit - tick
no tax man - tick
polluted river nearby to make brazzo's feel at home - tick

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 3:20pm

Hey you been to Rotto Ben...very bad idea. There's a wave pool being built at Melville, move it there.

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Friday, 7 Sep 2018 at 8:15pm

onya quokka

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 4:34pm

From what iv'e been told it will be war at Jakes if they move it to Kalbarri,seems as though the local stores want it but local surfers don't, dividing the local community.....pretty passionate bunch up there.

simba

bodheski's picture
bodheski's picture
bodheski commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 4:37pm

I’m with Ben. Provided they control access and protect the dunes then Strickos would be a much better call than the NW. Rotto is already overrun with entitled dudes and their 32 ft Sea Rays who hassle for every wave anyway and it would be great for tourism for the region. It’s really only a 3 turn combo wave though so may receive some similar criticism to Margs.

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Thursday, 6 Sep 2018 at 5:57pm

I'm still of the opinion keep it at Marg's. It is the commercial hub of surfing in WA.
The contest has run for years and there has been no major shark incidents involving the contest.
Margs is built for the tourism and the place is already in the spot light.

Leave the remote remote!

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Friday, 7 Sep 2018 at 2:09pm

Yes Margs for sure, and they could well score some perfection in june. Stricklands is a heaps better wave though.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Monday, 25 Mar 2019 at 10:35am

Surfing WA on the radio this morning trying to get extra days added to Margs waiting period.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 25 Mar 2019 at 11:05am
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Monday, 25 Mar 2019 at 3:45pm

And also hold finals at backup locations or threatening to cancel the comp. Very childish attitude, they want it ALL Blowin.
https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/surfing/surfing-wa-warns-margaret-rive...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 25 Mar 2019 at 3:53pm

It’s not childish.

It’s a foreign billionaire running a private business in our country at our expense and trying to stand over the locals.

All undertaken with adult calculation and cunning.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Monday, 25 Mar 2019 at 4:10pm

Yep, and like many, I'd rather see the potholes in the roads fixed first before wasting more taxpayer dollars.