The World Surf League will return to the iconic Bells Beach in 2022 with a new three-year deal signed between WSL and longtime partner’s Rip Curl and the Victorian government.
This comes on the back of the world tour being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID and the stop being left off the tour in 2021, along with the Gold Coast round due to interstate complications and failure to make an agreement with stakeholders.
The decision was made after the WSL was unable to secure a pre-approved bubble in Victoria ahead of the event, leaving significant risk attached to sudden public health measures in reaction to COVID-19 such as lockdowns, state border restrictions, and event cancellations. The WSL respects and understands the decision of the Victorian Government in this challenging time.
“It was an extremely difficult decision to cancel one of the most iconic events on the Championship Tour,” said WSL Asia Pacific General Manager Andrew Stark. “However, we are genuinely excited to confirm the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event into the future with a new three-year agreement that will ensure the continuation of one of surfing’s most historical events. We genuinely thank the Victorian Government and our key partners, including Rip Curl and the Surf Coast Shire, for their understanding throughout this incredibly challenging time, and we look forward to working with them in the future to ensure the Bell is rung; annually.”
“The Rip Curl Pro is known around the world and loved at home – and it’s great that it will be returning to Bells Beach in 2022 and for at least two more years after that,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events, Martin Pakua. “Bells at Easter is a pillar of our major events calendar and one of the reasons it’s the best in the country.”
The WSL 2021 is going to look a little different in 2021, and organisers are working up a great schedule of surfing across NSW and WA working closely with Australia’s State Governments and continues to have conversations regarding the locations for the upcoming Australian leg of the CT. They are currently discussing multiple options, making final announcements shortly, and working to be best prepared to get the CT back on and running.