The Dungeons WSL Big Wave event has been called off after the event was unanimously voted against by The Cape Big Wave Trust (CBWT).
Social media was revved into full gear with comments and opinions by the broader South African surf community. But what is The Cape Big Wave Trust, who does it represent, and why no contest?
We asked Barry Futter, the chairman of the CBWT: “It is crucial to note that the CBWT represents all people who regularly surf big waves in Cape Town. We are not an exclusive society, we are open to anyone who loves surfing big waves. The vote not to have the WSL Big Wave event was 100% unanimous. From professional to underground charger, from old to young, Durbanite to Capetonian, all decided that a competition at Dungeons was not in our best interests. It is also worthwhile noting that this has happened at Mavericks and in Australia. We are standing up for the true value of surfing. Why no event?
1. There is not a reliable open and clear qualifying system, meaning that surfers from the media-centric areas get chosen over really good surfers from more remote areas. This would mean that in the event of an event happening here a really good and capable South African surfer may have to sit and watch a less capable, but more social media popular surfer from a different area ride waves here. Given that we only get to surf here 5-10 times a year, this is a bitter pill to swallow.
2. Even if a South African surfer did well at Dungeons it seems unlikely that he would get into one of the major events at another location- like Jaws.
3. We have had some magical days of big wave surfing recently and we were once again reminded that what we have got here is absolute paradise and to prostitute it for media publicity (but no sustainable financial gain) of one or two people would be an absolute sin. It is every surfers dream to be able to surf perfect waves without crowds and a good vibe in the water. We do not want the hype, crowds or politics that a competition brings specially if there is no sustainable long term reward for anyone involved.”
As reiterated on social media by respected big wave surfer Josh Redman: “We voted Barry in to be the chairman because he is the most suitable. Big respect to him as it is a huge weight to carry. I believe that when the t&c’s are right we will have a great event at Dungeons. Until then, happy and enjoyable surfing”