The world’s best surfers will hit the water once again in Hawaii, after a temporary halt following a shark attack and coronavirus cases that wiped out the first events of the competitive circuit.
The men’s event, the Billabong Pipe Masters, was suspended after staff members, including the World Surf League CEO Erik Logan, tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week.
“We’ll look to run competition over the coming days with a promising forecast,” Logan said in a statement. “A mammoth amount of work has gone into getting professional surfing back – part of which included comprehensive COVID protocols to ensure the safety of the local community, surfers and staff.”
The women’s event, the Maui Pro, was halted after a recreational surfer was killed by a shark near the event site.
The women’s event will now be held at Pipeline, the first time women’s Championship Tour competition will ever be held at the venue.
Several Orange County surfers are among the surfing elite on the tour, which has been on hold all year since the pandemic started. The men competitors include Huntington Beach’s Kanoa Igarashi, as well as San Clemente surfers Kolohe Andino and Griffin Colapinto.
On the women’s tour, Santa Ana’s Courtney Conlogue will be competing. It was a tough start in Hawaii for Conlogue, who suffered a broken nose and needed stitches after a surfing accident.
In his announcement Thursday, Dec. 17, on the resumption of contests, Logan said after a positive case, contract tracing was used to identify others who should isolate, including himself, which ultimately contained the number of cases.
“I continue to experience mild symptoms, and am grateful for the medical community on Oahu,” Logan said. “One of the reasons I wanted to share my positive test is to demonstrate my – and the WSL’s – utmost respect for our local community, for all the individuals who make the North Shore, and Hawaii, so special. The trust between our organization and this community is paramount.”
The contest isn’t open to spectators, instead it is being broadcast live on the Spectrum Surf Channel and also on worldsurfleague.com.
Source: Orange County Register