Inaugural Piha Pro to attract "600 million" TV viewers
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."