Competitors line up for a (uncancelled) event on the Standup World Series schedule. They won’t be doing the same in Brazil. Photo: Standup World Series
Breaking News: Brazilian Grand Slam Cancelled
Events have been dropping like flies from the ever-evolving agenda of competitive standup paddling. Between the loss of the BOP and the cancellation of the SUP World Cup in Germany, we’ve seen an unprecedented amount of last-minute schedule modifications in the world of elite SUP competition in 2015. And when schedules change last minutes, athletes and industry folk who plan their year banking on event stability suffer the immediate effects. How many fees from cancelled plane flights and hotel bookings, support crews and board shipments would you tolerate before losing faith in the system?
“When events are cancelled last minute, it really makes things difficult for us,” champion competitor Annabel Anderson told SUP mag in a recent phone interview. “My year is planned out well in advance due to operating in two hemispheres.”
And now, to make matters worse for Anderson and her fellow competitors, the Brazilian Grand Slam—a favored event in both surfing and racing put on by the Standup World Tour (surfing) and Standup World Series (racing)—two of the most established circuits in standup paddling—has been cancelled.
The Brazilian stop was originally intended to be the opening event on the Standup World Series calendar. When it was rescheduled to run mid-season, August 14 through 23, after the Brazilian government modified the terms of their financial support, Tour/Series coordinators and athletes alike were scrambling to make adjustments.
“It was either move the date of the Brazilian event, or the event gets canceled,” Tristan Boxford, chief operator of the SUWT/S, told SUP the mag. “The Brazilian government, which is providing 100 percent support for this event, told us super late in the game that we needed to move the event to August if they are going to fund it.”
But today we heard from Waterman League athletes that the Brazilian event is now completely done for. In other words, athletes, sponsors, fans, media outlets and event coordinators, all of whom already shuffled schedules and paid extra fees by modifying their calendars to accommodate the event change, must now cancel their plans entirely. Needless to say, everyone involved is bummed.
This unpredictability stems specifically from a lack of cooperation from the Brazilian government, which the Waterman League was counting on to sanction and fund the event in order for it to take place. Until now, World Tour/Series orchestrators have been able to put on great events in Brazil despite the hardships of running events in country. Unfortunately, a major curve ball hit the SUP world today and the Grand Slam was officially cancelled for the year.
Waterman League director Tristan Boxford could not be reached for comment at the time of this story, so stay tuned for updates as it develops.
SUWS competitors Zane Schweitzer and Casper “The Viking” Steinfath, expressing their stoke after the last SUWS event in Italy. Something tells us they’re making similar expressions about the cancellation of Brazil, this time in sorrow and disbelief. Photo: Standup World Series