The WSL have picked a hard battle to fight.
Tracks has just received word that Margaret River Pro event organiser,Tim Thirsk, met with the Northampton Shire Council in Western Australia, along with members of the Kalbarri Boardriders club, to discuss moving next year’s WCT to Jake’s Point Kalbarri, 569 km North of Perth.
Jake’s Point, the proposed site for the contest, is a hollow left-hander that breaks over a shallow and often unforgiving ledge. The wave is surrounded by the Kalbarri national park, a region known for its striking beauty and abundant marine life.
The Kalbarri boardriders club have formally stated their objections to the initiative, but according to a committee member from the club, who preferred to remain anonymous for now, the initiative will now go back to Tourism WA and Surfing WA for an official proposal. “We are currently going through our options to try and fight this happening here,” indicated the committee member in an email to Tracks.
According to the committee member from Kalbarri there is some suggestion that Gnaraloo,a further 590 km North of Kalbarri, is also being considered as an option for the WCT event. When Gnaraloo was sighted as a preferred location for a Rip Curl Search event back in 2007, the initiative was met with heavy opposition from WA surfers. Ultimately the Gnaraloo station owner, Paul Richardson, withdrew his support for the contest and it never went ahead.
Whichever of the two hallowed locations the WSL set their sites on, it seems likely that they will be in for one helluva fight. Watch this space.