J-Bay surf spectacle still on for now

For now, the Corona J-Bay Open will go ahead as planned. Five WSL Championship Tour stops have already been cancelled or postponed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic
SURF'S UP: For now, the Corona J-Bay Open will go ahead as planned. Five WSL Championship Tour stops have already been cancelled or postponed since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Image: WSL/PIERRE TOSTEE

The Corona J-Bay Open, scheduled for July, will go ahead as planned for now, World Surf League CEO Erik Logan said.

Responding via e-mail, Logan said it was still “too early” to determine whether the event would be cancelled.

As the global Covid-19 pandemic continues to tighten its grip on sport events the world over, the WSL has seen its first five stops on the 2020 Championship Tour, which was meant to kick off with the Corona Open Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, either cancelled or postponed.

“Due to the continued evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Surf League is postponing or cancelling all events, at all levels of competition including the regional qualifying series,” Logan said.  

“We are extending the postponement of all WSL events through June which means the scheduled Championship Tour stop in June, the Oi Rio Pro [in Brazil from June 18-27], is officially postponed in hopes that conditions of travel ease enough to run this year.

“Our next update for the 2020 Championship Tour season and all our events will be on June 1, and only then can a call be made on the Corona Open J-Bay and the remainder of events for 2020,” he said.

According to the WSL website, the Quiksilver Pro G-Land, scheduled for June 4-14 in Indonesia, has also been postponed.  

The annual surfing spectacle, which brings together the world’s best board riders to compete in the waters of Jeffreys Bay for two weeks, is not only a Championship Tour highlight for local and international surfers but also brings with it a boost in tourism.

Asked if there was a date for the restart of the tour and what would guide the decisions made by the organisation on how to proceed, Logan said they would need to look at a number of  variables.

“WSL will continue to monitor and will run events as soon as safely possible.

“It is too early to tell where and when we would start the Championship Tour season for 2020.

“We need to assess two major variables, the first being when it is safe to travel and the second being what our available options are for the best possible surf conditions,” Logan said.

He said their decisions, difficult as they might have been, were in the best interest of all the surfers and to ensure the health and safety of every individual associated with the organisation.

“At this stage it is too early to determine the qualification process.

“We understand the importance of qualification and the impact this will have on surfers’ careers and we are in close contact with the surfers on these decisions,” he said.

 

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