The decision to cancel the Margaret River Pro last month due to shark activity was a controversial one, and the WSL took a lot of flack for it. At the time, WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt hinted at the possibility of the event being finished at a later date, but not many people believed that would actually happen.
But the naysayers have been proven wrong, as the WSL has announced that the event will indeed be completed—but on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula rather than in Margaret River. The event is loosely scheduled to be run after the Corona Bali Pro at Keramas, when all of the surfers who are left in the draw are on island. Uluwatu has been named as the venue, and hopefully that means that nearby Padang Padang is also an option if the swell cooperates.
The change in venue will certainly change the dynamic of the event, as it will now be completed at a lefthand point (and hopefully a world-class lefthand reef barrel) rather than a righthand reef/point (with two righthand barrels as backups).
There will surely be those who scream and shout and pound violently on their keyboards as they comment on the fact that the two athletes who were most vocal about cancelling the Margaret River event will no find themselves surfing a wave much better suited to their respective approaches, but the reality is that the tour is notably lacking in a lefthand point, and this move will actually go a long way toward balancing out a lop-sided tour. Plus, any event is better than no event—especially any event run in Indonesia.
The field will presumably include the eight women who had advanced to the quarterfinals at Margaret River, as well as the 24 men who had advanced to round 3—including wildcards Kael Walsh and Mikey Wright. Despite widespread conjecture that this year’s Margaret River Pro might have been the last, Goldschmidt also indicated in her statement today that the event would indeed return to Western Australia in 2019.
The next event on the WSL world tour is the Oi Rio Pro, which has a waiting period that begins today.