Rip Curl Pro locked in for 2024
THE Rip Curl Pro is heading back to Bells Beach, with the World Surf League (WSL) locking in the dates for its Championship Tour (CT) for next year.
The surfing event is enormous both in terms of visitation and economic impact for Torquay, and the Surf Coast Shire is about to start its preparatory work over the next six months.
The WSL’s annual tournament for the world’s best male and female surfers will make two stops in Australia in 2024, with Bells Beach to be the first from March 24-April 5, followed by Margaret River from April 11-21.
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, the fourth of nine stops on the CT, is also the second-last event before the mid-season cut, where the 36-man and 18-woman fields will be reduced to 24-man and 12-woman fields, so competition is again expected to be fierce.
“Planning for the Rip Curl Pro will begin shortly, with our events, environment, waste and operations teams working together with Surfing Victoria and WSL to deliver an exceptional Pro,” Surf Coast Shire general manager of placemaking and environment Chris Pike said.
“Early next year we will team up with Surfing Victoria to co-ordinate the council-run 2024 Rising Star Awards, which recognise the top local young surfers.
“We will also explore ways to engage local businesses, so that we can support them to receive exposure from this international event.
“The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach is the most significant event on the council’s events calendar. It delivers an estimated $8 million economic benefit for our region, as well as priceless global marketing showcasing our magnificent scenery, attractions and waves.”
Australian surfers Ethan Ewing and Tyler Wright won the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, at this year’s Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
In 2024, Fiji will return to the CT schedule for the first time since 2017 as the final stop of the regular season, and that event will take place just after surfing’s second appearance in the Olympic Games at Paris 2024.
Held for the fourth time, the WSL Finals format will return to Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California, where the men’s and women’s top five surfers will face off for the World Titles in the one-day, winner-take-all format.
The waiting period will run from September 6-14, 2024, which is the ideal time of year for favorable Southern Hemisphere swells at one of the most high-performance waves in the world.
“2024 is set to be a big year for surfing, and our schedule is designed to support that,” WSL chief of sport Jessi Miley-Dyer said.
“I’m stoked that we’re bringing Fiji back. It’s such an iconic wave, and it’s the perfect place to test our surfers as they battle to secure their place in the WSL Final 5.
“We’re also really happy to confirm that the WSL Finals will return to Lower Trestles next season. We’ve hosted three exciting WSL Finals at this high-performance wave, which has proved to be an incredible showcase for the WSL Final 5 to crown our World Champions.
“The Olympic Games represents one of the biggest stages in the world, and we want our surfers to have the opportunity to perform at their best, which is why we’ve instituted the scheduled break and updated CT dates in 2024.”