The Woz announces Hawaiian contests via baffling press release
There's a lot to take in here so I hope you're appropriately caffeinated. First up, read the Woz presser and I'll meet you at the bottom:
"The World Surf League is excited to be approved for its 2022 - 2024 North Shore triennial permits. Starting in 2022 the WSL Championship Tour will start in Hawaii, the birthplace of surfing, with back-to-back events on the North Shore at Pipeline and Sunset for both women and men. The season-opening event will mark the first women's Pipeline CT in the history of surfing."
"In addition, the WSL was approved for a Haleiwa Challenger Series (CS) event, which will conclude the projected eight-event series and determine who ultimately qualifies for the CT the following season, as well as a Regional Qualifying Series (QS) event at Sunset. All events, at all levels of competition, will include both women and men and award equal prize money.
With limited permits available, both the WSL and Vans agreed to apply for Pipeline event permits independently, for the dates of December 8-20, 2022 - 2024, and Vans, who owns the Pipe Masters trademark, was awarded that permit. Although the WSL is disappointed to have not received the December Pipeline permit, which would have benefited Hawaii's surfers, both men and women, seeking Regional QS points, we look forward to working together with Vans on the future of the event."
Now, let's tick off the gimmes:
- The Woz will run CT events at Pipe and Sunset for both Men and Women.
- Haleiwa will be a CS - Challenger Series - event and also include Women.
Where it gets a bit hazy is that last paragraph. You'll know that Pipe permits are rare, Honolulu City Council get inundated each year with many organisations applying for time at the break. For instance, in season 2018/2019, they received 26 applications to use Pipe, with 23 of them in direct conflict.
As most applications get rejected, both the Woz and Vans - who sponsor the Triple Crown and own the Pipe Masters trademark - applied for events (ostensibly the same events, but doubling their chances of being succesful).
The Woz was rejected but Vans was successful, so it appears the Pipe Masters will be on between Dec. 8 and 20th (run by Woz, sponsored by Vans), but what does this mean: "the WSL is disappointed to have not received the December Pipeline permit, which would have benefited Hawaii's surfers"?
If they were both applying for the same time frame - which the press release states - then why are Hawaiian surfers hindered by Vans getting the permit? Can anyone make sense of that..?
More concrete is that if Pipe is now the season opener - remember the closer is top five at Trestles - then we can assume the CT season will always start in December.
And if the three-year deal starts December 2022, then that means the gender inclusive deals don't begin until season 2023 - i.e two seasons from now - which is fortunate as it gives us time to make sense of the press release.