update 29.07.2020: The 2020 Aloha Classic has been cancelled due to ongoing Covid-19 safety concerns for the Maui community & International competitors:
“Maui Mayor seeks renewed inter-island travel quarantine” (Maui Times, July 25 2020)
“Calling recent Oahu COVID-19 numbers “extremely dangerous,” Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said Friday that he asked the governor to reinstate the 14-day inter-island travel quarantine. “The (Oahu) numbers have been extremely high, and it’s passed some of the trigger points we have discussed at some of our meetings about stepping back if necessary,” Victorino said during a county news conference Friday afternoon.” (Maui Times, July 25 2020)
In light of this dangerous resurgence in case numbers and the risk to the Maui community and international competitors, The International Windsurfing Tour (IWT), announced today that the 2020 Aloha Classic will not go ahead.
IWT Director Simeon Glasson said that, “As the Grand Final, the Super Bowl of windsurfing, and the most prestigious event on the official IWT 2020 Wave Tour calendar, we have been working extremely hard to find a way for the event to go forward in this most challenging year in our history. IWT Aloha Classic Event Director Dawn Pooley has been in close and constant contact with the County of Maui staff to navigate options for the event to proceed. Dawn and the County of Maui had a workable plan in motion that would have allowed competitors and local residents to be safe while still running the event in late October, but this new wave of cases across the islands has substantially escalated the risks profile for an international event of this size.”
Mayor Victorino’s letter to the Governor of Hawaii states, “Furthermore, we will be evaluating the need for suspension of medium to high risk activities in Maui County.”
“The IWT supports Mayor Victorino in his call for caution. The IWT supports the County of Maui and the Department of Parks & Recreation, in their decision to protect the Maui community,” said IWT Director Simeon Glasson.
“We are all deeply saddened by theses events, deeply saddened by the further loss of economic activity that this cancellation will mean for the people of Maui (the event is estimated to bring in well over USD $1,000,000 into the local economy), deeply saddened by the economic hardships faced by so many in the local Maui community, deeply saddened by the increasing number of people living homeless on the island as a result of the loss of a thriving tourism economy, deeply saddened by those who are struggling with illness, loss and economic pain from this pandemic across all of Hawaii, mainland USA and the world generally. These are obviously very tough times indeed and so we will, of course, play our small part in keeping people safe by cancelling the 2020 Aloha Classic.”
The online #IWTBIGWAVE Challenge will proceed as planned. There is no need for any international travel, so no Covid-19 risks, as this competition format is entirely based on people riding big waves wherever they may be (with no physical interaction with large groups) and capturing those waves in photo or video to be posted with the hashtag #IWTBIGWAVE . It turns out that this is a very pandemic resilient contest model! We are grateful that we can still celebrate the great wave riders of the world and entertain the global windsurfing fan base in this way and we look forward to the big swells rolling in around the world. Stay tuned!
The complete IWT calendar, except the IWT Big Wave Challenge had to be cancelled in 2020. Let’s hope that we will see events happening in 2021.
update 17.06.2020: The IWT announced further cancellations of the event dates:
The Pistol River Wave Bash and the Pacasmayo Classic are cancelled in 2020. Just the Aloha Classic, the big final is still pending. It could start on October 26th.
IWT: “Due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, the IWT and local organisers, have made the call to postpone both the Pistol River Wave Bash in Oregon USA , and the Pacasmayo Classic in Peru, to 2021. All resources for these 2020 Wave Rider Tour events will now be directed toward bigger and better events for 2021.This leaves the mighty Aloha Classic on Maui’s north shore, as the final possible IWT event of 2020. The viability of this event rests first and foremost on a decision from the county of Maui regarding community safety and whether they believe it is safe to issue an event permit.”
update 08.05.2020: The IWT announced the changes of the event dates:
We have updated and revised the official Wave Tour calendar. The Oregon USA event dates have been pushed back as far as possible to late August to hold onto the slim chance that we can still compete if the crisis abates in time. We have closed all registrations, for now, to avoid having to refund if the events are unable to proceed. We continue to focus on community safety as the #1 priority throughout the pandemic. We will keep you all posted on developments.
update 11.03.2020: The IWT is saddened to report, that as of today March 11, the 2020 Topocalma Infernal is cancelled. Options for rescheduling are under consideration. The remaining events on the 2020 calendar are currently under review as we wait for WHO guidance.
“Hello IWT, given the world contingency due to the “Corona Virus”, and following the opinion of Chilean medical experts and authorities, we have decided to cancel the Topocalma Infernal Championship. Chile has not been exempt from this problem, from Monday 9th to today the outlook has changed a lot. As organizers and hosts we want the best for everyone, which is why we made the decision against our will.” (Chile Event Organizers)
The International Windsurfing Tour (IWT) announced their 2020 tour calendar with 5 wave events in 4 different countries. The wave tour is managed by a new team with Simeon Glasson & Russ Faurot for the second consecutive season after the retirement of former tour manager Sam Bittner Wilson in 2018. Sam created with her team the AWT (American Windsurfing Tour) starting with the first event in Pistol River in 2010 and later in 2017 changed the name after adding a few more international events to IWT (International Windsurfing Tour). The IWT went global and she has run the tour for two more seasons. Sam managed to get 9 events on the tour plan, but added freestyle and racing events to the wave events. Simeon Glasson and Russ Faurot try to get the the tour on a new level and try to collaborate with brands or organizers to get more price money for the events. They managed to combine their season final with the PWA’s wave tour final at the Mercedes Aloha Classic 2019. Sarah-Quita Offringa and Antoine Martin won the combined IWT/PWA event. Sarah-Quita won the female PWA wave title and Antoine Martin won the male IWT overall title. Let’s see what 2020 will bring and if the Aloha Classic will be a combined IWT/PWA event again.
- interview with Sam Bittner Wilson about the AWT
- interview with Sam Bittner Wilson about the IWT in 2017
- interview with Sam Bittner Wilson about the IWT in 2018
- the new Aloha Classic format in 2019
- Aloha Classic 2019 video highlights
Simeon Glasson, Russ Faurot (IWT Directors) and the IWT announced their 2020 tour and stated:
“The new calendar focuses on 5 key dream wave events, with a new system of event prize money and event points that will count toward the overall IWT Wave Title. This new structure mirrors the massive global success of Tennis and Golf by grading events on the basis of money and strength of field, and brings a strong business logic to brand engagement at events. By allowing different events on tour to have different impacts on the overall title outcomes, we create financial incentive for events to raise more money that benefits riders. The more prize money an event offers, the more points that event earns for its attending riders. The system offers low level entry options for new brands who want to test a brand partnership with the Wave Riders, while also giving opportunity to fully committed brands for major engagement. All brand partners will benefit from the ever expanding IWT media platform.”
2020 IWT Calendar
March 4- 9: #1 Omaezaki Japan Cup, Japan – Pro Men / Women / Y / M / GM / OPEN 15.000US$ confirmed (cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)) March 21 – April 5: #2 Topocalma Infernal, Chile – Pro Men / Women / Y / M / GM / OPEN, Prize Money pending, confirmed (cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19))
April 10: IWT BIG WAVE Awards night, Paia Town, Maui, Hawaii, USA – Men, Women, Y – done
August 29 – September 05: #3 Pistol River Wave Bash, Oregon, USA – Pro Men / Women / Y / M / GM / OPEN, COVID-19 pending (cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)) September 13 – 19: #4 Pacasmayo Classic, Peru – Pro Men / Women / Y / M / GM / OPEN, COVID-19 pending (cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)) October 26 – November 6: #5 Aloha Classic, Hawaii, USA – Men / Women (Y/M/GM/OPEN pending), Grand Final (cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19))
Unfortunately the first IWT event of the season in Japan had to be cancelled (Grahic: IWT)
Update February 25th: Wave Tour update from the organizers of the IWT 2020 Omaezaki Japan Cup:
“We are very sorry to inform that we have decided to cancel IWT Omaezaki Japan Cup 2020, considering the increase of the current risk of Corona virus. (COVID-19). We sincerely tried to proceed with the contest this year as scheduled but we judged this cancellation because of:
- Latest Japanese government policy for the virus which was updated today.
- Global public opinion as well as US Department of State travel advisory level.
- Riders’ and organizers’ health.
Please accept our apologies to decide to cancel at this time, but your understanding would be highly appreciated in advance.”
General Updates about the IWT 2020
The IWT is looking forward to secure prize money at the events. The first event of the season, the Omaezaki Japan Cup had 15.000 US$ confirmed prize money, but had to be cancelled. The rest of the events have a pending prize money. The season final, the Aloha Classic in Maui, has a pending prize money of 50.000 US$
Prize Money and Points
$0-10k event prize money = 50% event points
$15K event prize money = 70% event points
$25K event prize money = 80% event points
$50K event prize money = 100% event points
Results Toward Overall
With 5 Events – A Riders’’ best 4 results will count for Pro Men
With 5 Events – A Riders’’ best 3 results will count for Pro Women & Youth
With 4 Events – A Riders’’ best 3 results will count for M, GM, Open
Elite Event Access
$10k-$25k events have open field sizes for all access. $50k+ Events are limited to 48 Men + 16 Women. Access to 50k+ events is based on a World Wave Ranking. A rider builds a ranking at lower events to gain access and must maintain a top ranking for 50k+ access.
“Prize Money Pending” means
There is no prize money for these events at this stage. Even with no prize money, these events will receive 50% points in 2020. Points count towards the 2020 IWT Wave Rankings – not PWA Rankings. The IWT is in negotiations with brand partners to secure more prize money. If negotiations go well then the IWT will add prize money + % points during the season.
2020 IWT Divisions
PM = Pro Men
PW = Pro Women
Y = Youth (Under 20)
M = Masters (45 and over)
GM = Grand Masters (55 and over)
O = Open
Source: IWT 2020