Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Surf League (WSL) has made the decision to cancel the 2020 Corona Piha Pro Challenger Series event in Auckland.
After postponing the event in the days before it was due to commence in mid-March, it has become clear that the inaugural Piha event will not be able to run in 2020. The current and quickly evolving restrictions on international travel and border closings along with the continued spread of the virus has made it extremely challenging to determine an appropriate and safe time to reschedule the event this year.
“It was an extremely difficult, but necessary decision to postpone the Corona Piha Pro event only one day before it started due to the Covid-19 Pandemic,” WSL Asia Pacific General Manager, Andrew Stark said.
“At the time we felt confident to be able to postpone the event until later this year, but after much consideration by all key stakeholders, we feel the right decision is to formally cancel the event for 2020,” Stark said. “We are now focussed on delivering the event in 2021 and we sincerely appreciate the New Zealand Major Events’ and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development’s support of this decision and for their broader assistance throughout a very difficult period.”
Manager of New Zealand Major Events, Susan Sawbridge, said this was an incredibly difficult time for the events industry as a whole.
“We feel for WSL, the competitors and supporters of the Piha Pro,” she offers. “We are committed to continuing our support for the event, and know the Piha Pro in future years will be a great success.”
Sawbridge said New Zealanders could look forward to a fantastic Piha Pro in 2021.
Steve Armitage, said it supported the organiser’s decision.
“We were hopeful this international event could go ahead later this year, but we fully respect the WSL’s decision to cancel it given the global situation,” added ATEED General Manager: Destination, Steve Armitage. “ATEED strongly believes that world-class events such as the Piha Pro will play an important role in the future recovery and the rebuild of Auckland’s visitor economy.”
The WSL is committed to delivering Piha Pro Challenger Series event in 2021.