New World Surf League schedule returns midyear cut to Margaret River Pro
The World Surf League has confirmed its schedule for next year’s Championship Tour which again places the contentious midyear cut after the Margaret River Pro.
The news confirms the second year of the redesigned world circuit which concluded for the 2021-22 season at Lower Trestles in California last week.
WSL chief executive Erik Logan said the new schedule guaranteed competitiveness in the contest going forward.
“Following the incredible momentum and milestones we’ve hit in 2022, we will continue to build our global platform to progress and elevate professional surfing,” he said.
“We experienced the redesign in its entirety for the first time this year, and we will further strengthen the sport through next year’s fully-combined CT, which will also qualify the first 18 athletes for the 2024 Olympic Games.”
The midyear cut boosted global audiences and increased the value of WA’s State Government investment in the Margaret River Pro.
While professional surfers’ official body endorsed the cut – which reduces the field and tightens the race for overall winner in the back end of the tour – the decision wasn’t without its detractors.
However, Mr Logan showed no signs of changing back to the previous format.
Vice president of tours and head of competition Jessi Miley-Dyer said the changed format had proven its worth.
“The 2023 schedule provides the best possible platform and will continue to drive the world’s best surfing,” she said.
“Seeing the women return to Tahiti for the first time in 16 years in August was incredible, and I’m proud to confirm that 2023 will continue to see equal events, venues, and prize money with this fully combined schedule.”
The CT kicks off at Pipeline in Hawaii on January 29 and the Margaret River Pro is slated for April 20.
After Margaret River, the 36 male and 18 female competitors will be reduced to 24 men and 12 women.
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