There will be no Pipe Masters in 2019 after the Honolulu Mayor’s office and the World Surf League failed to reach an agreement over when the event should be held.
The WSL wants to change the Championship Tour schedule in 2019 and open the season with the Pipe Masters in January, instead of traditionally closing the season with the event in December.
However Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that the WSL failed to submit changes to its permit application by November as required by the city Department of Parks and Recreation’s rules.
Caldwell instead encouraged the WSL to consider implementing the changes they requested for the 2020 winter surf season. City officials say they’re even willing to consider a multi-year deal so the league doesn’t have to go through this process every year.
“Please know the city fully appreciates the economic spending the WSL brings to the islands, but as I’ve stated, this is an issue about fairness, not about money.
You have stated that the changes are minor, and if this is truly the case, we are perplexed that you would jeopardize your relationship to Hawaii on a minor change.
I sincerely hope the WSL will continue to hold events in Hawaii, the birthplace of the sport of surfing,” Caldwell wrote.
World Surf league CEO Sophie Goldschmidt responded by saying there will be no 2019 Pipe Masters.
“We are disappointed we will not be able to run the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters,” said Goldschmidt.
“However, we are pleased that the Mayor recognizes that fundamental changes are required to the permit process that will benefit Hawaiian surfing, the surfers, the community and other stakeholders.
We will assist however we can during this process and once we understand the changes, we will be able to determine which events we can invest in bringing to Hawaii in winter 2019 and beyond.
As previously stated, we would love to continue to bring our full array of events to Hawaii, but we need to be able to plan long term and receive the appropriate local support in order to help grow Hawaiian surfing in a sustainable way.”
Its going to be hard to imagine the World Championship Tour without the Pipe Masters but surf fans will still be able to watch the worlds best surfers at the iconic wave of Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay this July.
The Corona Open JBay is set to run from 2 – 17 July, with the Womens tour returning to Jeffreys Bay for the first time since the 1990’s.
The 2017 Corona Open JBay is regarded as one of the best surf contests of all time, with pumping waves on offer for the entire waiting period of the event.