If the Euro CT leg does runs this year, it could well be the last.
German and Korean football leagues aside, sporting events the world over are largely in a holding pattern at the moment.
But there isn’t too much doubt about whether they’ll ever come back.
UEFA’s Euros and the Tokyo Olympics are postponed until 2021, the Premier League is still tied up in knots as to what to do with the 2019/20 season conclusion, but there’s little talk of never seeing them again.
When the C-19 pandemic eventually passes, most sports events will be back to the resumption of regular service, if perhaps a bit slimmed down due to the harder economic times widely anticipated.
But when last month the WSL announced all its events were postponed until the end of June pending another announcement in a couple of weeks from now, it also announced that from next year, the Tour is likely to be radically changed.
Reading between the lines of the shape of competitive surfing’s future outlined in that announcement, the autumn Euro CT leg is feeling more and more like the proverbial dino rolling a glassy eye skyward to behold a giant asteroid burning through the atmosphere, hurtling towards the Yucatan at a million mph.
It could well be curtains.
The WSL will be very likely be back up and running in 2021, but WL understands that the format changes put about by Erick Logan in the last announcement are essentially the format changes his predecessor Sophie Goldschmidt tried to get through a couple of years back.
And while that shake-up turned out to be unsuccessful, presumably due to opposition from athletes and other stakeholders, the C-19 pandemic seems to be the catalyst get those major systemic changes through once and for all.
As E-Lo himself admitted, it’s tough to make massive changes to a Tour that’s in almost perpetual motion. Right now though, in these unique circumstances, the ultimatum in terms of maintaining the vital top down investment from the WSL’s owners could be simply; it’s this tour, or no tour.
While E-Lo talked at some length about the surf off to decide the world champ very much key to Sophie’s 2017 proposal, what wasn’t mentioned was the completion of CT hostilities in September.
Back then, there was talk of shifting the Portugal CT event to spring and the QPF becoming a QS/Challenger Series event, or also being moved to spring. That again, seems very much on the cards.
As yet there is no update to France’s 2020 CT event, but if it (and Portugal and Pipe) do run, it’ll probably be as speciality/showcase events, rather than part of deciding a 2020 World champ.
Or, perhaps less likely, counting towards the new format 2021 Championship Tour.
Either way, the much talked about surf-offs in September (in Indonesia?) seems like the most likely way the next world champ will be decided.
If so, and assuming you’re allowed to get to Hossegor, this year could well be the last Quik Pro France autumn jaunt you do.
The very last time you see John or Gabriel getting a croissant waiting for the offshores to kick in on a lay day, the very last time you paddle out watching Caroline Marks getting coned in front of you, the last time you find yourself making shapes on a 4am dancefloor with whichever early round loser was ‘resetting’ in the traditional Euro leg way.
Unless of course, 2019 was.