Recently, the ASP announced their 2009 tour schedules, and as usual, there are a few changes to the Men’s World tour. Brazil, long since proven to be an event that many surfers stay home from at the end of the year, has been moved up to the beginning of the year. This will hopefully increase attendence of the Top 45 at the event after 13 of the Top 45 surfers did not attend the 2008 Brazil event.
The European leg of the tour seems to have a bit of intrige to it as well as the schedule appears to include 3 events – not the usual two. The Quiksilver Pro France and the Billabong Pro Mundaka remain in their normal spots on tour, but immediately following the waiting period for the Mundaka event, the Rip Curl Search event has been added to the schedule. In the past four years, the event has been typically held in the first half of the year between the South Pacific events and J-Bay. But in 2009, the waiting period for the Rip Curl Search event starts a mere 2 days after the conclusion of the Mundaka waiting period.
Does this mean that the Search event will be held in Europe? Possibly, but we know that the event will at least be held somewhere that can be easily accessed by the entire Top 45 within 2 days of travel from Europe. South Africa, maybe? Morocco? Iceland? We’ll have to wait and see.
But the most interesting twist to the 2009 tour is the apparent loss of the Globe Pro Fiji. It’s current omission from the tour schedule comes as a surprise, but with the current state of the world’s economy, really can’t be that unexpected, can it? Fiji, and Tavarua Island in general are one of the most expensive destinations to run an event at, and the ability to run a solid webcast will almost certainly be called into question after the 2008 event. Factor in the continuing political unrest in Fiji, and you can see the deck is stacked against this event coming back any time soon.
For now, there are 10 event scheduled for the 2009 ASP World Tour schedule, but we’ll have to wait and see if there are any additions that will be made in the next few months.
Men’s ASP World Tour 2009 Schedule:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: Feb 28 – Mar 11, 2009
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: Apr 7 – 19, 2009
Billabong Pro Teahupoo: May 9 – 20, 2009
Hang Loose Santa Catarina Pro: Jun 27 – Jul 5, 2009
Billabong Pro J-Bay: Jul 9 – 19, 2009
Boost Mobile Pro pres by Hurley: Sept 11 – 20, 2009
Quiksilver Pro France: Sept 23 – Oct 4, 2009
Billabong Pro Mundaka: Oct 5 – 17, 2009
Rip Curl Pro Search: Oct 19 – 28, 2009
Billabong Pipeline Masters: Dec 8 – 20, 2009
For all the 2009 ASP schedules, including the Women’s World Championship Tour, Men’s & Women’s WQS tours, ASP Juniors, and ASP longboard tours, visit www.ASPWorldTour.com/2008/2009schedule.asp