The great Sean Doherty is hanging around the Gold Coast this week, reporting from ringside the goings on at the Snapper event. Seano is perfect for this kind of reportage because, not only can he bang out 1,000-word articles in 30 minutes flat, but he also knows everybody. Seriously, everybody.
And one of these everybodies has apparently passed along a little note to Seano, a little whisper of a rumor: Fiji is back on Tour next year.
Did you catch this bit in his most recent recap?
“Because just when you start making jokes about a rope swing in the surfers’ area or some double entendres in the commentary, a little bird whispers in your ear and suddenly everything is right again. I’ve heard on the coconut wireless that Fiji is back on Tour next year.
Yes, Fiji, the same Fiji event that got calved from the schedule this year. Whether the loss of Pipe from next year’s schedule had anything to do with its reinstatement, we don’t know. But Sophie [Goldschmidt]’s here. I’ll go ask.”
The rumors come from a source closely connected to the dreamy island resort that hosts the Tour, and while we have yet to hear confirmation from the WSL, we’ve all got our fingers crossed [Update: according to the WSL’s Dave Prodan, nothing is confirmed in regards to Fiji or the 2019 schedule, but he offered that the WSL “highly values Fiji and looks forward to returning there in future.”]. Fiji is easily the most watchable event on Tour, save giant Teahupoo and Pipe. It’s a devilishly difficult contest to pull off--remote, infrastructure must be dragged halfway out to sea, everything costs a ton--but for fans, it doesn’t get a whole lot better.
With Pipe being unceremoniously dumped next year because of, uh, clerical issues I guess, Fiji would go a long way to showing the WSL is serious about the whole “best surfers, best waves” bit they trot out from time to time.
Stay tuned for more information.