Clear your calendars starting the 18th of September. The WSL just announced that they’re bringing back The Azores Airlines World Masters Championship and the invite list is stacked with absolute legends. Historical names of the sport like Tom Curren, Sunny Garcia, Shaun Thomson, Wayne Bartholomew, Layne Beachley, Gary Elkerton, Derek Ho, Shane Beschen and more (see full invite list below) will slap on the jersey again for the shot at the event title.
The event is returning for the first time since 2011, when it ran in Rio de Janeiro and Nathan Webster and Iain Buchanan claimed the Masters (Over 45) and Grand Masters (Over 55) titles, respectively. This time it’ll take place at Sao Miguel, a wave-magnet island in the Azores, and the forecast is looking like it’ll be in the six-to ten-foot range towards the middle of the waiting period.
The event format is, admittedly, a tad complicated so we’ll let the WSL do the explaining: “Turns out it’s a ‘Round-Robin’ type of draw. To simplify: In groups, each surfer will surf against everyone else. There are 12 Masters (aged 45 and above), 9 Grand Masters (aged 55 and over) and for the first time 6 women Masters. So basically a total of 33 qualifying heats before we turn to the usual man-on-man Semis and Final. All three divisions have equal prize-money and each winner will take home US $18,000 and the prestigious World [Masters Championship] Titles, runner-ups will earn US $10,000, equal thirds will get US $5,000 and the rest of the field US $4,000.”
Full list of invitees:
Men’s Masters (Over 45)
Women’s Masters (Over 45)
Grand Masters (Over 55)