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Friday, February 16, 2018
Will Caldwell Bumbling Wipe out North Shore Surf Contests?
By News Release @ 1:17 AM :: 5046 Views :: Honolulu County, Tourism

Caldwell lost his cool with surf league and let meet get away

David Shapiro, Star-Adv, Feb 18, 2018:  …One wonders if this spectacle might have turned out differently if Caldwell had taken his own advice and acted in the first place with a cool head instead of a swelled head puffed up with self-importance.

It started when the WSL, whose events draw large crowds of residents and visitors and provide opportunities for local surfers, asked to move the Billabong Pipeline Masters into the January 2019 dates it had initially requested for the Volcom Pipe Pro.

It sought no added days, essentially just a name change for the event, which WSL considered “an administrative technicality.”

Caldwell’s response was hostile and haughty, accusing WSL of trying to “usurp” the permitting process spelled out in his precious 24 pages of regulations.

He said the group missed deadlines and was being “unfair” to other surf organizers, insultingly suggesting that WSL Chief Executive Officer Sophie Goldschmidt was new to the job and didn’t know how things worked.

He complained the group had — gasp! — tried to meet to resolve the dispute without an appointment.

Goldschmidt told Pacific Business News: “We feel pretty disrespected, and I don’t know why we don’t get the support. We are just asking for some consistency because it is really hard to run a global league when you have all this uncertainty. No other local government and city puts us in this situation.”

Then came Caldwell’s bizarre news conference Wednesday, at which his pages of scheduling rules suddenly were not so sacrosanct….

read … Caldwell lost his cool with surf league and let meet get away

  *   *   *   *   *   

Pipeline Dropped from 2019 WSL World Championship Tour

News Release from World Surf League, February 15, 2018

Yesterday, the City and County of Honolulu Dep’t of Parks & Recreation announced preliminary permit approval for the 2018/2019 winter events calendar. While all of WSL’s historic permits for the winter 2018/2019 have been granted, including the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters, the WSL remains disappointed that the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters has not been granted. The WSL will pursue alternative options to open the season next year.”

WSL remains committed to a full-tiered scope of events ranging from Junior to QS and CT this-coming winter. We are also committed to trying to foster opportunity for local Hawaiian surfers and Hawaii through events as well as our Junior Development and Careers programs. In the best interests of surfing, the community and all stakeholders, the WSL requires fundamental changes to the permit process in order to determine what its future plans will be from winter 2019/2020 onwards.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell met yesterday with WSL at his offices, where positive discussions were held on the future of the permit process, as well as medium and long-term objectives for surfing in Hawaii. In his press conference yesterday, the Mayor acknowledged the need to overhaul the permit rules, to support competitive opportunities and nurture young, aspiring surfers to uphold surfing’s place as the lifeblood of Hawaiian culture and community.

WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt said, “We are disappointed we will not be able to run the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters. However, we are pleased that the Mayor recognizes that fundamental changes are required to the permit process that will benefit Hawaiian surfing, the surfers, the community and other stakeholders. We will assist however we can during this process and once we understand the changes, we will be able to determine which events we can invest in bringing to Hawaii in winter 2019 and beyond. As previously stated, we would love to continue to bring our full array of events to Hawaii, but we need to be able to plan long term and receive the appropriate local support in order to help grow Hawaiian surfing in a sustainable way.”

The 2018 WSL Championship Tour season will commence on March 11, 2018 with the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks in Australia.

For more information, check out


  • HIC PRO – Sunset Beach – Oct. 27 – Nov. 9, 2018
  • HAWAIIAN PRO – Haleiwa – Nov. 12-24, 2018
  • VANS WORLD CUP OF SURFING – Sunset – Nov. 25 – Dec. 6, 2018
  • BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS – Ehukai – Dec. 8-20, 2018
  • SUNSET OPEN – Sunset Beach – Jan. 18-28, 2019
  • VOLCOM PIPE PRO – Ehukai – Jan 29 – Feb. 10, 2019



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