Stab Magazine | Will G-Land Return To The WSL Championship Tour In 2020?
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Will G-Land Return To The WSL Championship Tour In 2020?

The WSL won’t confirm… and that’s typically a sign that points to yes. 

news // Jul 31, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday, it was reported by Australian surf forecasting and news site, Swellnet, that G-Land will hold a spot on the 2020 WSL Championship Tour. 

Seeing as how G-Land doesn’t appear in the QS top-500, this is a bold claim for Swellnet to make, but they have it on good authority that the WSL will grant G-Land an event wildcard due to its stellar performances in ’95, ’96, and ’97, where it was the unanimous winner amongst surfing’s premier talents of the time, including a 20-something Kelly Slater. 

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MCaZ7mo6hy8

Here’s Swellnet’s report:

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.

ScaleWidthWyIxMjAwIl0 02 Mick Fanning credit Trent Mitchell Rip Curl

Fanno fades a large, eerily familiar wall. Photo: Rip Curl

When pressed about Swellnet’s reporting, the WSL gave their infamous no-answer answer that, in our experience, typically coincides with a truthful rumor. Here’s the official word:

“The WSL cannot confirm any details regarding the 2020 calendar at this time. We look forward to announcing a full schedule of events in the near future.”

G-Land has reportedly been training hard for an Occy-esque return, even soliciting the help of 3x World Champ Mick Fanning and Hawaiian tube tamer Mason Ho to get itself back in fighting form. During a remarkable swell in early 2019, Mick and Mason taught G-Land all about the modern barrel-riding techniques, so that it could be prepared to grapple with the world’s best in 2020.

Our bet’s that it stays undefeated. 

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