COOLANGATTA, QLD/AUS (Friday, April 17, 2020) – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Surf League (WSL) has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Corona Piha Pro Challenger Series event in Auckland.
After postponing the event in the days before it was due to commence in mid-March, it has become clear that the inaugural Piha event will not be able to run in 2020. The current and quickly evolving restrictions on international travel and border closings along with the continued spread of the virus has made it extremely challenging to determine an appropriate and safe time to reschedule the event this year.
“It was an extremely difficult but necessary decision to postpone the Corona Piha Pro event only one day before it started due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,” said WSL Asia Pacific General Manager, Andrew Stark.
“At the time we felt confident to be able to postpone the event until later this year, but after much consideration by all key stakeholders, we feel the right decision is to formally cancel the event for 2020. We are now focussed on delivering the event in 2021 and we sincerely appreciate the New Zealand Major Events’ and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s support of this decision and for their broader assistance throughout a very difficult period.”
Susan Sawbridge, Manager of New Zealand Major Events said New Zealanders can look forward to a fantastic Piha Pro in 2021.
“This is an incredibly difficult time for the events industry as a whole and we feel for WSL, the competitors and supporters of the Piha Pro. We are committed to continuing our support for the event, and know the Piha Pro in future years will be a great success.
Steve Armitage, ATEED General Manager: Destination said it supported the organiser’s decision.
“We were hopeful this international event could go ahead later this year, but we fully respect the WSL’s decision to cancel it given the global situation. ATEED strongly believes that world-class events such as the Piha Pro will play an important role in the future recovery and the rebuild of Auckland’s visitor economy.”
WSL looks forward to running the new addition as part of its list of events in 2021 and hopes Piha turns on some of the perfect world-class conditions it’s known for.
The WSL will continue to provide updates as they are available.
For more information head to WorldSurfLeague.com or download the free WSL app About WSL The World Surf League (WSL), established in 1976, is the enablement platform for surfing and surfers worldwide. The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke. The WSL is a global organization, headquartered in Santa Monica and with regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA. The WSL possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation, and performance at the highest levels. The WSL is comprised of Tours & Events, celebrating the world’s best surfers across all disciplines and annually running more than 180 global contests and crowning the undisputed World Champions across all divisions; WSL WaveCo, where innovation meets experience; and WSL Studios, which offers best in class storytelling across competition, lifestyle, and conservation. For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com
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Author: Ben Kennings