Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Friday, June 29th) The Rio Surf International wasagain postponed this morning, but is now set to commence tomorrow with theopening round of competition. Much speculation has arisen these past fewdays as to the likelihood of the event ever starting, but those rumours havenow been laid to rest.
Event organizers did get caught in a political dispute regarding thereleasing of US$250,000 in event funds. ASP International and the men’s top45 surfers were also inadvertently stuck in the crossfire and the tournamentwent on hold until the dispute was settled. As it happened, stormyconditions persisted during the past two days of negotiations and onlycleared today, as news of the resolution spread.
ASP President Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew attended a meeting with theSecretary of Sport for the State of Rio last night, whereby a financialpledge was made as guarantee to the Rio Surf International.
“We had two days of stormy surf where the contest would not have been run,so it gave me valuable breathing space to find an amicable resolution tothis conflict,” explained Bartholomew. “The sole objective from ASP’sperspective was to have the WCT event go ahead, and I am delighted toannounce that the State Government has given me a guarantee that all themoney will be forthcoming, so the contest can begin tomorrow. Funds will beavailable today, but ASP was not prepared to start the event until the moneywas in the bank and accounted for, under the circumstances. In essence, wehave only missed one decent day of surf and still have six days of thewaiting period remaining, so it’s business as usual.”
With competition postponed and marginally improved conditions on offer, ahost of the world’s best surfers took to the waves of Barra da Tijuca inanticipation of tomorrow’s start. Among the lineup were current rating’sleader Cory Lopez (USA), defending Rio Surf International champion KalaniRobb (Haw), as well as wildcard entrant and three-time world champion TomCurren (USA).
Each morning a 7am decision will be made as to the event’s schedule andlocation.
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