Could the Meo Pro Portugal be joining Quik Pro France France in getting clipped in the WSL’s 2021 reboot?
Back in May, WL broke the news that fans lining the famous sands of La Graviere in 2019 QPF might’ve been watching their very last edition of one of the Dream Tour’s flagship events.
Kicking off in 2001 and culminating in Jeremy Flores’ historic win last year, the Quik Pro France has consistently been one of the best attended and loved stops on Tour.
When Rabbit Bartholomew rejigged the then ASP WCT in 2000 opting for prime locations in prime season, the 90’s bums on seats (sands) events held in mid summer from Lacanau to Biarritz were upgraded to an autumnal tube shoot out for webcast, in Hossegor.
With Trestles recently announced as the venue for the 2021 CT Finals showdown and the tour wrapping in early September, alas Europe’s prime surf season sits out of bounds for the Championship Tour.
Not necessarily as much of an issue for Portugal, with the Supertubos venue, much more sheltered than France’s SW coast, working pretty well in mid-winter. Water temps don’t even shift significantly year round, making February much viable, while the winter weather in Peniche is milder then Continental Atlantic coast counterparts.
And while provisional schedules had the Meo Pro Portugal appearing early in the 2021 season, the Wozzle’s recent announcement has seen it removed.
Understandably really with the current Covid travel restrictions, it’s impractical to send the tour half way around the world for one event, as opposed to having them in regional clusters; Hawaii/US then over to Australia.
The idea is currently being floated of running the Portugal event in summer, which isn’t ideal given the prevailing swell and wind climates, providing something of a headache for organisers.
Once Covid disruptions are in the rearview, in all likelihood, Portugal should remain a fixture on the Championship Tour.
But as things stand, 2021 could be problematic. And if that were to be the case, unless 11 x World Champ Kelly Slater develops a sudden taste for towing Nazaré, Continental surf crowds may conceivably have seen their very last of Slater in a singlet.