The Quiksilver Pro World Championship Tour (WCT) event scheduled to take place at G-Land (East Java, Indonesia) this coming May/June was cancelled today due to increasing social unrest in the region. In a necessary, though nonetheless unfortunate situation, the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), was forced to withdraw one of the premier surfing tournaments in 2001.
“Due to concerns with the unpredictable nature of ongoing social unrest in East Java, and in the interest and safety of the world’s best professional surfers, staff and media, ASP International has, after consultation with Quiksilver, cancelled the 2001 Quiksilver Pro slated for G-Land, Indonesia in May/June,” the President/CEO of ASP International, Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew, said today.
G-Land, which is one of the most consistent, prime surf locations in the world, is situated on the southernmost tip of East Java. The ASP and Quiksilver went through an almost identical scenario back in 1998 when the Quiksilver Pro had to be cancelled just days before competitors were due to arrive. As was the case then, the U.S. Government has again issued warnings to citizens urging them to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia.
After the 1998 cancellation, Quiksilver relocated their event to the idyllic surf camp setting of Tavarua and Namotu Islands, Fiji, for 1999 and 2000. However, event plans and logistics were well underway to return to the G-Land ‘jungle’ this year.
The managing director of Quiksilver International, Bruce Raymond, said the rapid deterioration of the situation in Indonesia, particularly recent events in East Java, was a major concern and disappointment.
“We had three ground-breaking events at G-Land from 1995 to 1997, which changed the face of professional surfing, and we were very much looking forward to returning,” Raymond said. “The venue has such incredible surf that it’s worth the special effort to put on a top-level competition there, but we can’t risk people’s safety.”
Special venues such as G-Land and Fiji’s Cloudbreak were rare in the surfing world, Raymond said, and it was now impossible to try to find an alternative, first-class location. Fiji, for one, was out due to full camp bookings at Tavarua and Namotu Islands.
“The Quiksilver Pro needs a two-week window and the dates are not available,” Raymond said. “We are running the smaller Roxy Surf Jam, a WCT event for the Top 16 women, in Fiji this year with a one-week window. But we have reserved a two-week booking for the Quiksilver Pro in Fiji for 2002. Our hope is that Indonesia finds a clear path through its problems and that we can eventually return to G-Land.”
**** Quiksilver Announces Richest Prizemoney Event ****
Quiksilver announced today that due to the cancellation it was increasing the prizemoney for their new Quiksilver Pro France WCT event by US $50,000 to US $300,000 — making it the richest event in the history of professional surfing.
The Quiksilver Pro France will be a mobile event on the Southwest Coast of France from September 27 to October 9.
Current world number-two rated surfer Luke Egan (Aus), who won the last Quiksilver Pro at G-Land in 1997, as well as the 2000 Quiksilver Pro in Fiji, was notably upset when first hearing the news of G-Land’s cancellation, but offered the following perspective.
“From a surfer’s stand-point I’m extremely disappointed,” said Egan. “I understand the situation and that it’s out of Quiksilver and the ASP’s control, but it’s going to hurt the surfers. Quiksilver has been backing us so well this year, and it’s great they’ve done what they can to compensate by upping the prizemoney ante in France. But we didn’t want to lose a WCT for the world title, and we all want to surf waves like that.”
– The preceding press release was brought to you by Jesse Faen and the fine folks at the ASP.