Standing along the picturesque point overlooking the world’s most ferocious waves, the flock of remaining surfers still seeded in the Billabong Pro Tahiti met with ASP officials last Sunday evening to discuss the tribulations of the new sudden-death format. It’s no secret that the new format has been a bitter pill to swallow for many the Top 45. With many surfers openly criticizing different aspects of the new system, the meeting was inevitable.
Consequently, the ASP and the World Tour surfers boiled down their grievances and formulated a proposal for a newly restructured system for the remaining ASP World Tour events this season.
According to ASP International CEO Brodie Carr, “The majority of the ASP Top 45 as well as myself and ASP World Tour Manager Renato Hickel held a surfers’ meeting in Tahiti last Sunday where we discussed a variety of issues, including the current state of the ASP World Tour event format.
“The results of this discussion were then taken to the ASP Technical Committee meeting by myself, Renato and surfer rep Kieren Perrow. It has been determined that the following events this season will use the traditional format (3-man Round 1 heats, relegation Round 2):
- Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro
- Hurley Pro Lowers
- Quiksilver Pro France
“Both the Billabong Pro J-Bay and the Billabong Pro Mundaka will use the traditional format should the swell forecast be favorable, but if conditions haven’t allowed the event to run in the first three days of the waiting period, the new format (elimination man-on-man, seeded rounds) will be instituted (pending swell forecast for the remainder of the waiting period).
“The Rip Curl Pro Search event Somewhere in the North Atlantic will be discussed in the next few weeks and the Billabong Pipeline Masters will run man-on-man overlapping heats.”
All of the proposed changes will go to the ASP Board of Directors for final approval.