Big Wave World Tour Blocked From Dungeons
It has been made official that the Big Wave World Tour will not grace Cape Town’s shores this winter -this even after being offered a ‘free’ event by the World Surf League. The Big Wave World Tour Blocked From Dungeons. The BWWT comes to South Africa’s shores annually in hope that the big wave beast, Dungeons, will come to life during the stipulated waiting period in order to crown a champion.
Dungeons is a notoriously big wave spot and respected amongst big wave surfers alike. We all agree, it certainly isn’t a place to be taken lightly. Dungeons has been a proving ground for numerous South African big wave surfers and in many cases been the stepping stone in hoisting South Africa’s big wave maniacs into the limelight. Guys like former BWWT champion and South Africa’s own Twiggy Baker has made Dungeons his bread and butter over the years and been out there during virtually every swell. It seems strange that the Cape Big Wave Trust (CBWT) would remove the welcome mat and send the BWWT packing. After all that Dungeons, and competitions at the renowned reef has gifted South African surfing.
CBWT spokesperson Barry Futter went on to explain that he believed the BWWT required a qualifying model that is transparent and does not lack certainty: “We are holding the WSL accountable to create an organised and quality Big Wave Tour with a transparent qualification system. We believe that we have some of the best big wave surfers in the world and require a competition that allows us to showcase the depth of our talent.”
There were also plans to reduce the number of local wild cards from an original six down to four and potentially just two by 2016. This added further fuel to the CBWT fire, “How is having 2 South African surfers in an event at our own spot of any help to the development of Big Wave surfing in South Africa when there are already probably 8 people who are skilled enough to be very competitive on the tour? At what point do you stand up for what you believe in and say this is unacceptable? If we roll over on this issue we are effectively reducing any potential development of big wave surfing in South Africa as well as handing over the fate of Dungeons to be determined by people who do not actually live here. By standing our ground on this issue we are encouraging the BWT to raise the bar of the whole tour.”
These statements gave rise to a strong response from BWWT Vice president Gary Linden who went on to state that he would be willing to give South Africa their six locals plus a wildcard making it seven South Africans. He said he would even be willing to fly to South Africa in order to negotiate with the CBWT. CBWT responded that he would be wasting his time!
Gary Linden went on to state that the benefits of the BWWT far outweigh the negatives. The current means of qualifying for the tour heavily favour the locals because of where the events are held, and this is a direct path to compete.
The fact of the matter is that the BWWT does not have a clear and concise qualification method. How one surfer essentially makes the tour over another is open to debate and it throws the whole legitimacy of the tour into the abyss. However, having an event on South African shores will greatly enhance South African’s ability to gain exposure via the event and even make the tour per se.
Twiggy, South Africa’s BWWT champion had this to say, “I would have loved to surf a contest at home. It would have given me a great chance at a second World Title, as well as putting a stepping stone in place for our best young surfers. But right now, as a community we need to respect the vote of the locals and hope they have the best interests of surfing in South Africa, Cape Town and, in particular, Dungeon’s at heart.”
Author Cyle Myers