Should the Women’s Fiji Pro be over by now?
There are now 30 minutes left in the Women’s Fiji Pro. When Courtney Conlogue and Tatiana Weston-Webb will surf next is unknown. What is known is that the decision to stop competition for the day right before the climax is weird.
The calls WSL commissioners make are weighty decisions and unless the conditions are flawless and the waves are pumping, chances are somebody’s going to be upset when they go thumbs up or thumbs down. Some decisions, however, just don’t make sense. Yesterday, at the Fiji Pro the women ran all the way from round four through the semifinals. Then they went on hold. Then they called the contest off. Right when the possibility for a dramatic finish came about Martin Potter and Rosie Hodge were left to discuss “what a good day” it was on the Cloudbreak reef.
Obviously, the goal for the final is to put the women in the best surf with the biggest audience watching. When the WSL broadcast went off air the surf was playful but certainly not pumping. The viewership wasn’t exactly there either. There were less than a thousand people watching live on Facebook (the WSL has over six million followers on Facebook). Maybe they’re just buying time to let the hype machine play and drum up interest?
It doesn’t look like they’re waiting for the swell to fill in. The official event forecast reads, “The SW swell that filled in today with fun size and decent consistency will ease on Wednesday. We’ll look for the largest surf early on the lower/incoming tide, with a slow decreasing trend through the day. The swell/surf is expected to trend down further through the end of the work week.”
That leaves the WSL in a tough spot. They’re indeterminately on hold for the sake of 30 minutes of surfing with no real viable options. Tatiana vs. Courtney, while interesting, isn’t exactly a Tyler vs. Steph headline. The media’s going to have a hard time rallying the online masses for this one. And the fact that there really doesn’t appear to be much in the way of waves on the way only dampens the mood further. It seems like the best thing they could have done was just keep running and finish the contest.
“It’s not quite there and I think Courtney and Tati deserve more,” said WSL Deputy Commissioner Jesse Miley-Dyer.
Let’s be optimistic and hope “more” does in fact come.
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