“It’s a bummer for sure, but irrelevant considering the state of the world today when lives are at risk,” said Neil Ridgway, Rip Curl Chief Brand and Marketing Officer. “Being at Bells at Easter with the surf pumping and the stands are thumping is better than Christmas for us, but in the end it’s just a surfing contest.”
“Rip Curl look forward to a happier time in 2020 when the event can run and we can ring a Bell at the 59th Rip Curl Pro.” - Neil Ridgway
While full details about the impact these changes will have on the 2020 Tour are not yet available, the WSL is working diligently to land the best solution for surfers and fans alike.
“We have every intention of commencing the 2020 Championship Tour season, all our tours, as soon as possible.” said WSL CEO Erik Logan, in a video released on all WSL channels today. “We are already hard at work doing scenario planning for what a reimagined 2020 tour might look like.”
The current and quickly evolving changes to international travel are making it extremely challenging to determine an appropriate time to recommence and get surfers to and from event locations safely.
“I’m a fan, like you,” Logan continued, “And I want to see the world’s best surfers battle it out on the best waves in the world. However, the WSL’s primary concern right now is for the health and safety for our athletes, fans and global employees.
“We are a truly global sport. Moving tours and events between countries is challenging under the best of conditions. Under current circumstances, it’s just not possible, and will not be for some time to come. As a league that organizes public gatherings, we are also extremely conscious of our social responsibility not to enable and accelerate the spread of the virus.”
Based on the information the WSL is receiving from global experts and agencies regarding the pandemic, June feels like the most likely time to kick off the 2020 season safely, thus the decision made today.
The WSL and Rip Curl will continue to provide updates as they are available.