Fiji to see return of World Surf League championship event for first time in six years

Fiji to see return of World Surf League championship event for first time in six years
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The World Surf League (WSL) and Fiji Government have today announced that Fiji will return to the Championship Tour (CT) schedule in 2024 with the world’s elite doing battle on the perfect lefts of Cloudbreak next August.

    The Fiji event will be the last stop on the schedule and be the last event to help decide the WSL Final 5 ahead of the one-day WSL Finals to decide the 2024 World Champions.

    Today’s announcement is monumental in the surfing world as Fiji is regarded as one of the most perfect and exciting waves and has been home to some of the most memorable moments at the Championship Tour level.

    The return of the Fiji Pro is thanks to a three-year partnership between the WSL and the Fiji Government. It will see competitors and surfing fans worldwide extremely excited to see one of their favourite stops back on Tour. “2024 is set to be a big year for surfing, and our schedule is designed to support that,” chief of sport, WSL, Jessi Miley-Dyer, said.

    “I’m stoked that we’re bringing Fiji back. It’s such an iconic wave, and it’s the perfect place to test our surfers as they battle to secure their place in the WSL Final 5.”

    WSL’s APAC president, Andrew Stark echoed Miley-Dyer’s sentiment, “This is an outstanding result for the WSL Championship Tour, and we are absolutely thrilled and sincerely thankful to partner with the Fiji Government to bring the event back for 2024,” he said.

    “The Fiji event has always been a favourite for surfers and fans alike, and we look forward to watching the world’s best take on the infamous Cloudbreak next August. We are also truly excited to work with the Fijian people and local communities to create a lasting impact in Fiji”.Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Viliame Gavoka, added that Fiji and its tourism industry was excited to see the Fiji Pro return.“Fiji has always been a special place for a lot of reasons,” he said.

    “For some, it’s our hospitality; for others, it’s our natural environment or culture. In this case, it’s our renowned oceans and surf. This event not only highlights Fiji as a premier surfing destination but also opens up opportunities for surfers to relish arguably the best surf breaks in the world. So, we look forward to Fiji Pro returning for the next three years.”The Championship Tour got its first taste of Fiji’s world-class lefts between 1999 and 2008 when it first ran. It then returned in 2012 and ran through 2017. Over these years, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has won the event a record four times, and the man known as the greatest surfer of all time is over the moon to see Fiji back on tour where it belongs.“I’m so excited to hear this great news that we have the contest back at Cloudbreak,” Slater said.

    “All the surfers on tour who surfed in Fiji have been missing it, and everybody who never got a chance to surf it is so excited to now have the chance.

    “The whole surfing world has been missing it, so I want to say a massive ‘vinaka vakalevu’ (thank you very much) for having us back; I can’t wait.” Eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore is thrilled she will get another chance to join the honour roll at one of the world’s most perfect waves. “Seeing Fiji back on the CT schedule for 2024 is super exciting,” Gilmore said.

    “I’ve competed in Fiji several times and have always enjoyed myself there.

    “It is such a beautiful location; the people are always so friendly and welcoming, and the waves are perfect.

    “It’s a place I’ve always hoped to do well at, so I’m excited to get back and challenge myself.”

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