World Surf League cancels 2020 season due to coronavirus
MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) — Add surfing to the list of coronavirus casualties. The World Surf League cancelled the 2020 men’s and women’s seasons.
The organization said the decision was made based on the uncertainty of international travel and a desire to protect the health of the athletes. The secondary CT level events and the qualifying series were also nixed.
“While we firmly believe that surfing is amongst the sports best suited for competition to be held safely during the age of unresolved COVID, we have huge respect for the ongoing concerns of many in our community as the world works to resolve this,” WSL CEO Erik Logan said in a video announcement Friday.
Florida Today reports the cancellation puts 11-time world champion Kelly Slater’s future in doubt, although 11 months rest could be the elixir for the Cocoa Beach superstar. It would be his 30th season on the world circuit.
It’s unclear if Slater would return. He suffered a broken foot two seasons ago.
The 2021 season is slated to start in December in Oahu, Hawaii, if state and local governments approve and depending on international travel restrictions.