WSL return to Grajagan in 2020
Twenty-three years after Grajagan last hosted a contest, the World Surf League is set to return.
It's been the worst kept secret in surfing, that the WSL has been making plans to book out the surf camps of Alas Purwo National Park and return to the original Dream Tour venue. Swellnet can now report that the WSL have locked in a two week waiting period, from June 3rd to June 16th next year.
Those dates partially overlap with the rejigged Margaret River Pro so the Margs comp will again have to be shuffled.
If the as yet untitled contest replaces Keramas - and we assume it does, Keramas is operating year by year without contract - then the Margaret River Pro will simply move forward a few weeks, the three contests of the Aussie leg will again be held consecutively, and Grajagan will become the fourth contest of the year.
The inaugural Quiksilver G'Land Pro was held in 1995 and was won by Kelly Slater. At the time, the tour was shifting focus, stepping away from the 'bums on seats' city events to adventure destinations such as Reunion Island - which became a tour stop in 1991. Similarly, specialty events such as the Billabong Challenge proved that contests could be held in remote locations.
The 1996 Quiksilver G'Land Pro was won by Shane Beschen, with Luke Egan winning in 1997. In 1998 the uncertainty of the Asian Financial Crisis spelt the end of the G'Land Pro.
In recent years Grajagan has been hiding in plain sight; out of favour with surfing's tastemakers, longtime visitors have reported civil crowds, even on good swells. Putting it back into the spotlight will change it again.