No Pipe Masters in 2019?!
The latest back and forth battle between the World Surf League (WSL) and the City & County of Honolulu has come to an unfortunate conclusion.
With Honolulu administrators not changing their position, and the WSL not developing a revamped season, it’s now official: 2019 Pipe Masters will not happen. At all.
Here’s WSL’s press release breaking the news:
Mayor Kirk Caldwell met yesterday with WSL at his offices, where positive discussions were held on the future of the permit process, as well as medium and long-term objectives for surfing in Hawaii. In his press conference yesterday, the Mayor acknowledged the need to overhaul the permit rules, to support competitive opportunities and nurture young, aspiring surfers to uphold surfing’s place as the lifeblood of Hawaiian culture and community.
WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said, “We are disappointed we will not be able to run the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters. 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.”
It's not all doom and gloom though, as neither side has ruled out a return in 2020.