Image: The perfect waves of Uluwatu. Credit: WSL.
In an unprecedented move, Bali gets a surfing double whammy this year as the World Surf League (WSL) has confirmed that the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia, which was cancelled last month due to shark activity, will be completed at Uluwatu in June, directly after the Corona Bali Pro at Keramas.
In a statement from WSL yesterday WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said, “The cancellation of the Margaret River Pro was due to unique circumstances this season and we look forward to returning to Western Australia in 2019,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. “After consulting with Surfing West Australia about completing the event in 2018, we felt that the shark activity that prompted the event cancellation had not significantly improved and returning was not in the best interests of the surfers this season. We extensively explored various alternatives before deciding to invest in completing the event at Uluwatu in Bali.”
The event will commence within 48 hours after the conclusion of the Corona Bali Pro at Keramas, and finish no later than June 13th, 2018. In the men’s event, 24 competitors remain in the field and competition will recommence with Round 3. In the women’s event, eight competitors remain in the field and competition will recommence with the Quarterfinals.
“As highlighted when we cancelled the Margaret River Pro, there were extenuating circumstances surrounding this season’s event and we committed to trying to finish the competition if possible,” Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner, said. “It’s a significant investment for the WSL, but it’s the right thing to do. Uluwatu is a world-class wave and we’re excited to be completing the event there.”
“It’s fantastic that the WSL is finishing this event,” Lakey Peterson, current WSL No. 2, said. “We love Western Australia and it’s unfortunate what happened to the event this season. That said, Uluwatu is an amazing wave and the surfers are very appreciative of being able to finish the event and have a fairer crack at the WSL Title.”
“I love Western Australia and I’m looking forward to coming back in 2019 but it’s awesome that we’re going to complete the event this season at Uluwatu,” Owen Wright, current WSL No. 4, said. “It’s a high-performance wave and I’m frothing to get out there. It’s great that the WSL is investing in completing the event’s competition.”
The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Oi Rio Pro from May 11 – 20, 2018. The Corona Bali Pro at Keramas, Bali will be held from May 27 – June 09, 2018.