Fri, 13 March 2020

Of course, its Friday 13, and a rapidly evolving Covid-19 has led the World Surf League to cancel events for the rest of March including the 2020 tour opener on the Gold Coast.

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GOLD DROPS: The opening event on the WSL Championship Tour is cancelled. Photo WSL / Cestari

The WSL says it has also canceled the Papara Pro Open Tahiti and Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast, but has postponed the rest, including a range of longboard and WQS events. No South African events are on the list because the African leg of the QS only begins in April.

The decision is apparently based on guidance from the World Health Organization, who has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, as well as Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, governments and local public health authorities.

“Coronavirus is having massive consequences for sporting events and gatherings of all kinds around the world, and we are no different,” said WSL CEO Erik Logan. “We did not take this decision lightly as we are aware that it has a significant impact on the surfing community. However, the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff are paramount. From the standpoint of social responsibility, we also take very seriously the role our events might play in accelerating the spread of the virus. We’ve been in close contact with our athletes and we feel strongly that this is the right thing to do right now.”

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GLOBAL LURGIES: The spread of the Covid-19 virus has been declared a pandemic.

“The fluid nature of this situation is forcing us to evaluate things day-by-day, and even hour-by-hour,” Logan said. “As this continues to evolve, we’ll continue to adapt, endeavouring to make the next right decision each day.”

Based on current information, the WSL said it was not cancelling more events. The situation continued to evolve, and the league was closely monitoring and evaluating the status of upcoming events, including the next CT event at Bells Beach. The WSL was carefully considering the impact of cancellations on its tours and would communicate this as information became available.

For events in progress, the WSL has implemented safety protocols and protective guidelines for athletes and staff. These include information on travel advisories and restrictions so anyone travelling can plan their travel routes to and from events to best limit their potential exposure; additional hand-washing facilities and hand sanitiser at events; and minimising surfer and fan interactions.


Papara Pro Open Tahiti, French Polynesia - canceled
Piha Pro Junior, New Zealand - postponed
Corona Piha Pro, New Zealand - postponed
Seat Pro Netanya, Israel - postponed
Barbados Surf Pro, Barbados - postponed
Corona Open Gold Coast, Australia - canceled
WSL Awards - postponed
Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast, Australia - canceled
Jack's Surfboards Pro, USA - postponed
Longboard Pro Espinho, Portugal - postponed
Caparica Surf Fest Pro, Portugal - postponed
Central Japan Open, Japan - postponed
Krui Pro, Indonesia - postponed

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