Answering Kelly Slater’s call to include The Box surf break in Margaret River’s bid for a World Championship Tour event was “the game-changer” in this week’s good news, according to Surfing WA chief executive Mark Lane.
Mr Lane told the Times the 11-time world champion’s tip-off that organisers should add The Box as the event’s alternate break helped woo the ASP board, with the WCT status a major win for the region.
“The Premier had a conversation with Kelly,” Mr Lane said, “and he said he would back the idea, but suggested we use more of the region’s great breaks, especially The Box.”
“We had some off-the-cuff conversations with other surfers too and they all said Margs was good, but if we could include The Box, that would be the game-changer.”
Another key to locking down the status upgrade was targeting a lull in the women’s tour schedule, Mr Lane said.
“We noticed that the women’s calendar looked a bit light-on and that there was a real absence of a big wave location for the girls,” Mr Lane said.
The gap offered a perfect opportunity to snare a women’s WCT event, which Mr Lane hoped could help Surfing WA capture the elusive men’s main tour fixture.
Mr Lane said Surfing WA made its official pitch to the ASP board at a secret meeting at Huntington Beach in the USA during June’s surfing US Open.
“We got to have a conversation with the ASP board and 10 other stakeholders,” he said.