11 November 20
“Putting on an international tour amid a global pandemic is not an easy task,” must rate right up there among the great understatements of recent times. Here’s the latest press release from the WSL:
Los Angeles, CA/USA (November 10, 2020) - The World Surf League (WSL) today announced a four-event tour through December to February. Lower Trestles, CA will be the location of the WSL Finals in September 2021.
Professional Surfing Returns To Trestles
The world-renowned surf break of Lower Trestles is back on the WSL Championship Tour (CT) calendar in 2021, this time as the stage of the first-ever WSL Finals. The men’s and women’s World Titles will be decided in a single-day competition, where the top five men and top five women ranked during the CT season will battle for their respective titles in a new surf-off format at one of the world’s best waves.
The WSL Finals waiting period will run from September 8 - 17, 2021.
“Putting on an international tour amid a global pandemic is not an easy task, but the dedication and work of the entire organization, gives us confidence that we can safely execute these competitions on behalf of our athletes, staff and the local communities,” said Erik Logan, WSL CEO.
It's on! Hawaii to Kick-Off CT Season
The road to The WSL Finals will start at the Maui Pro presented by ROXY with the women competing at Honolua Bay in Maui, Hawaii from December 4 - 15, 2020 (changed from the previous date of Nov 25 - Dec 6). The men will compete at Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii at the Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask from December 8 - 20, 2020 in Oahu, Hawaii.
“I am so excited about WSL’s announcement to start the 2021 Championship tour this December in Hawaii,” said 4x reigning WSL Champion, Carissa Moore. “Honolua Bay, Maui for the women and Pipeline, Oahu for the men. Hawaii is such a big part of surfing history and culture and there is no better place to start a season and end a challenging year on a positive note. I want to express my appreciation to everyone involved in making these events happen including the WSL, state of Hawaii and all the amazing fans for your support.
"As we all continue to navigate these unprecedented times and adapt to a new norm, we are so grateful for your support and good vibes from home this year in order to keep everyone safe. Hope there is some good swell on offer and we can put on a great show for you!“
This season’s Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask will be the 50th edition of this legendary contest, which has crowned World Champions such as Andy Irons, Kelly Slater, and reigning WSL Champion, Italo Ferreira.
The WSL is working closely with the State of Hawaii and local government agencies, to implement the WSL’s COVID safety plans for each broadcast-only competition, which were developed in collaboration with the State of Hawaii and the counties of Honolulu and Maui.
New Tour Stops Added to Opening Leg of 2021 Schedule
The WSL will add two new tour stops to the CT for the 2021 season. Firstly, the CT will return to the iconic Sunset Beach in Oahu, Hawaii from January 19 - 28, 2021 for the Sunset Open. This will mark the first time there has been a combined men’s and women’s CT competition at Sunset since 1991 and the first Women’s CT stop on the North Shore of Oahu since 2010. 33 years after the first CT competition at Steamer Lane, the world’s best surfers are planning to return to Santa Cruz for the Santa Cruz Pro, from February 2 - 12, 2021.
Opening Leg of 2021 Championship Tour*
*All tour stops and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.
Maui Pro presented by ROXY: Maui, Hawaii | Dec 4 - 15, 2020
Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask: Oahu, Hawaii | December 8 - 20, 2020
Sunset Open | January 19 - 28, 2021
Santa Cruz Pro | February 2 - 12, 202
With the current focus on running the opening leg of the tour in the United States, additional changes to the 2021 season include the postponement of the MEO Pro Portugal until later in the season, shifting the dates for the Corona Open Gold Coast presented by Billabong to May 3 - 13, 2021, and moving the Oi Rio Pro presented by Corona to June 11 - 20, 2021.
Based on the global nature of the CT and the unknowns around COVID-19, the WSL will share updates on the remaining schedule in the new year.
The WSL has collaborated extensively with public health officials, medical experts, as well as local government agencies, to create thorough health and plans for the upcoming CT season. These plans were designed to ensure the health and safety of athletes, staff, and the surrounding community. All CT competitions will be strictly executed to follow the WSL’s health and safety procedures, which were developed based on guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and emerging best practices established by other sports leagues and broadcast-only live sports.
These procedures include testing for athletes and essential staff, strict physical distancing measures, temperature checks, limited or no on-site fans, and minimal personnel on-site.
After canceling the 2020 Championship Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the WSL ran a series of regional competitions from August 9 through October 6, 2020 in California, Australia, Brazil, France, and Portugal. These six WSL Countdown stops and two specialty competitions ran with no COVID-19 issues.
Similar COVID safety plans will be implemented for each stop in the 2021 CT season.
- SOURCE WSL