THE World Surf League (WSL) recently announced the updated calendar for the remaining 2021 Championship Tour (CT) leading into the Rip Curl WSL Finals in September.
The tour, featuring Culburra Beach siblings Owen, Tyler and Mikey Wright as well as Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons, includes a stop in Mexico for the first time in 15 years and the women surfing Teahupo'o for the first time since 2006.
Following the fourth and final event of the current Australian leg, the CT will head to California for the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro from June 25-27, before holding the Corona Open Mexico at Barra de La Cruz (July 5-15), Oi Rio Pro at Saquarema (August 11-16) and Outerknown Tahiti Pro at Teahupo'o (August 22 - September 1) - ahead of the finals at United States' Lower Trestles (September 8-17).
"Since the tour was cancelled in early 2020, the WSL team has been working hard to resume the CT and we are proud that we've been able to schedule a global tour for the 2021 season," said WSL CEO Erik Logan.
"It's a testament to the tremendous support of our athletes, government partners, local communities, and fans, as well as the continued hard work of our staff and their dedication to the sport, that we have been able to safely put together this calendar of events in the lead up to the inaugural Rip Curl WSL Finals."
As exciting as this is, the WSL reiterated all tour stops and dates were subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.
"It's so good to see the athletes back in the jersey and competing in Australia," SVP of tours and head of competition Jessi Miley-Dyer said.
"I'm excited that we are able to confirm the rest of the tour and I'm looking forward to the upcoming events, especially to see the women surf alongside the men at Teahupo'o for the first time in 15 years."
The Corona Open Mexico replaces the Santa Cruz Pro, which was scheduled for February 2021 and cancelled due to COVID-19.
In addition, the Corona Open J-Bay, originally scheduled for June 25 to July 9, and the MEO Pro Portugal have been postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19.
The WSL looks forward to returning to these key CT stops in 2022.
In other WSL news, the Challenger Series (which could feature Gerroa's Dean Bowen), the ultimate battleground for surfers to showcase their talents for the chance to qualify for the elite-level CT, will include four stops this condensed season with events in California, Portugal, France and Hawaii.
The Sydney Surf Pro and the Piha Pro New Zealand Challenger Series events have been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19.
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