According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, the World Surf League is threatening to cancel all 2019 Hawaiian events if the city fails to grant its date change request.
Starting in 2019, the WSL wants to run The Pipe Masters in January instead of December. Unfortunately for the WSL, they’ve already applied for a permit to run the event in December and missed the November deadline to request a change to their permit request, submitting their plea over a month late.
WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt has stated that granting the application change is a simple administrative issue for the local government, despite the missed deadline. “I’m concerned and I hope logic will prevail,” Goldschmidt said. “If we can’t get these minor administrative changes made, we won’t be able to come back in 2019, and if that happens the likelihood is that we won’t be able to return for years.”
The 2018 Pipe Masters will run in December as it traditionally has. If the WSL’s request is granted, there will be two Pipe Masters events within a month of each other–one to end the 2018 World Championship Tour season and one to kickoff the 2019 ‘CT.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has stated that he feels he’s being strong-armed by the WSL to circumvent processes that have been used to obtain event permits for decades. He also feels bowing to the WSL would not be fair to other event permit applicants who submitted on time.
“The WSL missed deadlines in the process and now they’re trying to take dates that others have applied for prior to the process being completed,” Caldwell said. “That’s not how we do business in Hawaii. That isn’t pono.”
Sounds like a real standoff. Should the local government bend or should the WSL get cracking on an artificial Pipeline pool?
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