Inaugural Piha Pro to attract "600 million" TV viewers

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Next year's Australasia leg of the QS will have a new and lucrative stop if Auckland's surf community has its way. The New Zealand Herald is reporting that "discussions are advanced for Auckland to host a World Surf League challenger event."

A "challenger event" is a Qualifying Series event as described by a sports reporter who's never covered a surfing story before.

In documents obtained by the NZ Herald, the event is, "pitched as a World Qualifying Series 10,000" and set for Piha sometime in March 2020.

11 time World Champion Kelly Slater may surf at the proposed Piha Pro

The Wozzle shaman have clearly been working their voodoo as, if the event happens, it would be broadcast to 600 million people. Or to put it another way, 1 in every 12 people on Earth will watch the Piha Pro, which would be a fantastic outcome for a second-tier surfing event of a third-tier sport at a beach most people haven't heard of in a country most people couldn't place on a map.

Incredibly, it would mean that every second TV set on Earth will be tuned in to the (soon to be) famous black sand beach.

To get an exact fit you might have to stretch those statistics a little bit this way or a little bit that way, but don't worry, you won't be the first.

Iconic surfer Kelly Slater could be on his way to Auckland

When it happens - and we've no reason to doubt that it will - the Piha Pro will eclipse the 2017 PNG Kumul World Longboard Surfing championships as the most-watched surfing event on Earth. The Kumul championships attracted a mere 120 million viewers.

The New Zealand Herald reports that both Federal and local governments are understandably supportive of the event and that, "all that seems to be stopping the Piha Pro from happening, is money."

Comments

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 10:05am

“ If the Auckland surf community get their way ....”

Is that the same as the CT in WA moving north if the surfers of the Northwest get their way ?

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 10:07am

This august rag wouldn't be the sister publication of our own Betoota Advocate, now would it?

Don't let the bastards grind you down

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 10:56am

The Auckland surf community? I think when you're at least a 1 hour drive from Piha it's hard to claim local status.

Are 10,000 events supposed to be at great breaks?
1 hour drive to Piha from Auckland, stunning location but bog standard beachie and often too big to surf.
90 minute drive to Raglan from Auckland, stunning location, long point break.

channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom's picture
channel-bottom commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 10:58am

And youtube the Uncle Toby's 1996 Piha series for a laugh.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 1:32pm

That was my first thought when I saw Piha mentioned. It was carnage that day! I frothed out watching it at the time as a young grommie.

Duesouth's picture
Duesouth's picture
Duesouth commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 11:11am

Kept the Wozzle the hell out of NZ, we don’t want them and don’t need them, thank you very much.

tidak_bagus's picture
tidak_bagus's picture
tidak_bagus commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:05pm

Ha ha ha this is brilliant!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:10pm

“The New Zealand Herald reports that both Federal and local governments are understandably supportive of the event and that, "all that seems to be stopping the Piha Pro from happening, is money."”

Gold

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:27pm

It's the world's most recyclable sentence.

"All that seems to be stopping <insert idea here> from happening, is money."

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:30pm

Closely followed by

"It's also understood that discussions have been held with arguably the greatest surfer of all time, 11-times men's world champion, Kelly Slater."

Add Slater to the mix for 100 fold increase in readability and credibility apparently.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:39pm

But.. in context:

"It's also understood that discussions have been held with arguably the greatest surfer of all time, 11-times men's world champion, Kelly Slater. The legendary American is believed to be keen to head Down Under to use the event as preparation for the season-opening event on Australia's Gold Coast. Slater was in Piha earlier this year and is thought to have loved his time."

"It's understood that..."
"... is believed to be keen..."
"... is thought to have loved his time."

Passive voice much? 

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 4:14pm

exactly......its like having an unnamed source.

Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon's picture
Ted from the moon commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:28pm

No wonder it so busy back home these days

"a 2017 study found that there are 300,000 active surfers in New Zealand." Thats like over 6% of the country. Amazing.

That would have to be one of the worst written articles I have ever seen on the homeland.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 2:22pm

Auckland surf community
Now theres an oxy moron
Cant imagine the piha locals I know will be too chuffed about the idea.
A beach known for deadly rips and huge west coast closeouts. Hardly a spot the average Auckland surfer can drive out to and pick one off the locals.
Fuck the WSL. FUCK NZ surfing .org
And any one else that wants that circus in this country

seaslug's picture
seaslug's picture
seaslug commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 5:36pm

"The WSL Had Big Plans for Florida, Instead They Were Kicked in the Teeth" NC

poo-man's picture
poo-man's picture
poo-man commented Thursday, 13 Jun 2019 at 2:11am

From what i can gather there's a fair bit of support for this from the local piha crew. Ratso (WSL judge) is from there and Elliot would be obviously competing in it plus Piha has a long history of hosting various international events. i can't see much local opposition here. Having said that, i can't see it getting off the ground either and the article was more than likely a last ditch attempt to get some local government money from ATEED (Auckland Tourism Events Economic Development). Thats the reason it has to be at Piha and not Raglan as Raglan isn't Auckland.

poo-man

eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 4:18pm

This is hilarious

Gale force on shores

It won’t be closing out , it will be lumps of slop .
But could actually be big lumps of slop.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 4:57pm

Scored some great waves at Piha on an NZ trip. Got quite a lot of punch for a beachie too. Locals were pretty cool as well.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Billyw's picture
Billyw's picture
Billyw commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 6:28pm

they.

B Dub

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 6:17pm

I wouldn’t get too worked up bro. It was quite clearly a dig at a stupid article rather than an anti NZ thing. I thought it was hilarious.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 7:03pm

Cheers Spud...

Roadkill's picture
Roadkill's picture
Roadkill commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 7:01pm

Local govt in NZ will believe these figures. Piha is a cold miserable shit hole.

inzider's picture
inzider's picture
inzider commented Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 at 9:36am

Nice joint in summer

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid commented Tuesday, 11 Jun 2019 at 7:33pm

600 million? chicken feed. Just wait to see the numbers watching the broadcast from the Australian taxpayer funded wave pool

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 commented Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 at 7:04am

Could Piha be the new the new Rio? Shitty closeouts...meh. They do love to talk the big talk at Wozzle headquarters, 600Million? That's more than double an F1 Grand Prix or Fifa World Cup. Amazing reach...

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 at 4:08pm

'would be a fantastic outcome for a second-tier surfing event of a third-tier sport at a beach most people haven't heard of in a country most people couldn't place on a map'
Absolute Gold Stu.

Cams's picture
Cams's picture
Cams commented Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 at 6:10pm

Maybe "broadcasting" to your familty tv still counts, even if you're tuned in to something else...

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Wednesday, 12 Jun 2019 at 6:24pm

Might be time to tighten the drag Stu

burtousy's picture
burtousy's picture
burtousy commented Thursday, 13 Jun 2019 at 7:12pm

missing the tasman swells this year made the aus / indo leg look like a amateur pro.. fiji, tahiti been cooking its nuts , needs to variable on the long wave trough direction... if its to come here then. i kno its the most promising time of year but so hit in miss..
for years in a row the superbank has just missed out ... or more reality the frothing viewers.. the locals scored

fad's picture
fad's picture
fad commented Wednesday, 19 Jun 2019 at 2:30pm

I would tune in to watch the pros jump in and paddle out through that cave they call the keyhole at Piha. You can't really see the sets from inside the cave and you just have to dive in and go hoping not to get washed back into the cave/rocks.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 19 Jun 2019 at 5:01pm

That would indeed be worth watching, however I imagine if paddling out is an issue they'll be on the back of a jetski.