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WSL will not hold Billabong Pipe Masters in 2019

  • WSL

    John John Florence represents Hawaii during the Finals of the 2017 Billabong Pipe Masters.

The World Surf League announced this afternoon that it will not hold the Billabong Pipe Masters Surf Meet on Oahu in 2019.

The organization, which represents most of the premier surf meets in the world, indicated on its website that other 2019 events on Oahu are yet to be determined.

WSL and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell have been locked in a disagreement over the league’s desire to change the dates on its requested dates for two of its tournaments — the Billabong, which historically has run in December, and the Volcom Pipe Pro, which is held in January.

“We are disappointed we will not be able to run the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters,” WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said in the statement. “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.”

Caldwell, on Wednesday, announced the surf meet schedule for the 2018-2019 season which includes the Billabong set for Ehukai Beach Dec. 8-20, and the Volcom, also at Ehukai, Jan. 29-Feb. 10, 2019. In addition to releasing the schedule, he announced that he will form a committee to overhaul the city’s rules for determining who can hold surf meets and when.

WSL has stated it will still hold the 2018 Billabong in December, regardless of the city’s decision to grant its request to hold the Billabong in January 2019 or not.

WSL sought to hold the 2019 Billabong on the January dates it initially requested for the Volcom, but did so after the city’s deadline to amend its requests. Caldwell refused to accommodate the league, arguing it would be unfair to other surf meet organizers, especially since the schedule calendar had not been released.

Event organizers have 10 calendar days to appeal the dates in the schedule calendar that was released Wednesday.

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