WSL Confirms G-Land As Tour Venue, Will Return To WA During Its Sharkiest Season
Find the whole 2020 Championship Tour schedule, here:
Roughly three months ago, Stab reported on a rumor (from our good friends at Swellnet, thanks Stu!) that G-Land would return to the 2020 Championship Tour schedule.
Today, in a live video announcement, the WSL confirmed this rumor along with detailing the entire 2020 Championship Tour schedule.
Framed as a revolutionary and insightful reveal, the program actually consisted of Chris Cote and Pat O'Connell talking about all the same old CT venues (besides G-Land), as if we haven't been watching them for the past decade. It felt like this show was catered to fringe surfing fans more than our salty core, which is strange, as I can't imagine many fringe fans logging onto worlsurfleague.com to watch a live 2020 schedule reveal.
In the beginning of the show, Cote and O'Connell explained the WSL's three-pronged objectives for the 2020 Championship Tour. They include:
- Providing a fair playing field for goofy footers and regular footers.
- Giving ample leeway for Olympic-bound surfers
- Finishing in great waves
Did they achieve their goals? We'll let you decide.
Here's a breakdown of next year's Championship Tour schedule:
- Corona Open Gold Coast (starts March 26)—Quiksilver dropped this event after decades of endorsement in order to sponsor G-Land, which they first promoted in 1995.
- Rip Curl Pro Bells (starts April 8)—the legacy of cutbacks and hopping continues!
- Margaret River Pro (starts April 22)—this is a curious one, as it was my understanding that the WSL changed the dates of the WA event in 2019 to avoid the annual salmon run, which brings a disproportionate number of white sharks to the region. However, the 2020 contest window falls just after the 2018 window, when the WSL was forced to cancel the event on account of multiple shark attacks in the vicinity of the comp site.
- Quik Pro G-Land (starts June 4)—this will be the first time we've seen Grajagan on Tour since 1997; it will replace this year's Keramas event, thus helping to weaken the Tour's right-hand bias. A two-event swing, if you will.
- Oi Rio Pro (starts June 18)—this is quickly becoming one of the best CT events. Can Barra provide three years in a row?
- Corona Open J-Bay (starts July 7)—praise Jordy!
Olympic Break—the Olympic window is from late-July to early-August. With at least 18 CT surfers competing, they needed to leave this window open.
- Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o (starts August 26)—praise Owen!
- Freshwater Pro Lemoore (Sept 15-20)—did you read somewhere that this event was leaving the Tour in 2020? Wrong! However, the six-day event window for this event is both frightening and confusing. For the past two years, the WSL needed just three days to run the pool event, which already felt like a lot. Will there be an update to the competition format in 2020? And how much pool putzing can we watch before going positively mad?
- Quik Pro France (starts Oct 1)—wine.
- Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal (starts Oct 14)—sardines.
- Billabong Pipeline Masters (starts Dec 8)—duh.
Aaaaand that's it! Only one change, really, being G-Land in and Keramas out. Not super exciting, but nothing especially negative to report. See yas in 2020.
Or, actually, Pipe and Honolua. Those are still happening.