In a conference call to address updates to the 2018 Championship Tour, World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt announced that the public will be able to attend the contest to be held at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California when the contest runs next September. While it’s unclear what, if any, fee might be required to attend, Goldschmidt said that all webcasts in 2018 will continue to be available to stream live for free.
“The wave company is a game changer,” said Goldschmidt on the call, “and we’ve seen it from the athletes. A lot of them took part in the test event we had in September, and we’ve had dozens of them up there since then, and the feedback continues to be pretty overwhelming.”
Goldschmidt also alluded to the potential for more events – potentially for the Qualifying Series – to be held at the Surf Ranch in the coming years, but for now, there’s no indication when that will happen and/or how many additional events there will be beyond the CT event slated for 2018.
In addition to addressing questions around the KS Wave Co. Surf Ranch, Goldschmidt also took time to address the other major changes to the 2018 men’s and women’s CT schedules.
“A lot of work and extensive consultation has gone into this new schedule,” she said.
On why the OK Fiji Pro was ultimately dropped, Goldschmidt explained, “It came down to a lack of financial support from the Fijian government, which is different than what we were lead to believe.” No mention, though, the outcome or compensation for Outerknown’s three-year contract for the Fiji Pro that began last year.
Astute fans will notice, too, that without Fiji next year’s schedule is predominantly high-performance rights and beachbreaks – Tahiti being the only exception. Goldschmidt explained that would likely change by 2019.
“Yeah, that was something we discussed a lot in this process,” she said. “And it’s kind of cyclical. Fiji has come off the schedule a few times over the last decade… and while I expect that our [schedule of] events to be pretty consistent, it’s likely there will be some rotation, and I think there will be changes in the future.”