The mayor of Honolulu has officially rejected the WSL's request to swap permits for the Volcom Pipe Pro and Pipe Masters – but will the WSL now pull out of Hawaii?
Earlier this week, WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said that if permits could not be swapped for the Pipe Pro's January date with the Pipe Masters' December date, then the organisation would be forced to look at alternative venues for the 2019 Championship Tour.
But, giving his final decision about the matter on Tuesday, Mayor of Honolulu Kirk Caldwell rejected the proposal, saying he doesn't have the authority to allow for any last-minute changes, saying it wouldn't be fair to other organisations.
He said that the WSL had failed to submit their proposal before the city's deadline, instead, urging the WSL to implement the changes in 2019, rather than 2020.
When applying for the change of date, the WSL said there wouldn't be any increase in competition length. Speaking to Hawaii News Now, Georgette Deemer, the city's deputy managing director said it wasn't that simple: “We do believe that the Volcom event is a completely different event from the Pipe Masters, and I think the thing we're most concerned about is the impact to the community -- the size of the event and what kind of traffic.”
According to Hawaii News Now: “WSL also wanted to relocate the Maui Women’s Pro to the North Shore and run it in conjunction with the Men’s Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, which the World Surf League has also already applied for a permit for. However, in order to accomplish this, WSL officials were asking to extend the competition window by one day from four to five.”
Cover image: Matt Paul