Over the last five years the World Surf League Longboard Championship Tour surfers have had just one event to decide who wins the sport's ultimate prize. WSL has been working with partners globally to increase this Tour to a multi-event series with the first brand new event announced as the Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships to be held at Tupira, Papua New Guinea from 18 - 25 March, 2017.
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O'Neill CMG MP, said he is pleased the global surfing community recognizes PNG as a destination to host such a prestigious event.
"Papua New Guinea is looking forward to hosting the World Surf League Longboard Championship in Tupira near Madang," the Prime Minister said. "I am glad that people around the world are discovering that Papua New Guinea is a great surfing destination, with challenging waves in pristine waters on beautiful beaches. I hope all competitors and spectators have an enjoyable time at the first international surfing event ever held in Papua New Guinea."
California's Tory Gilkerson, reigning World Longboard Champion is looking forward to putting her Title defence to the test in a brand new and exciting location for the Longboard Championship Tour.
"Going to PNG for a WLC event is such a privilege and a really exciting new experience for us all," Gilkerson said. "This year will be the hopeful start for multiple events on the WLC and to kick it off with a new venue is so exciting. PNG looks amazing, with crystal blue water, epic waves, and striving local communities that we can give back to. PNG will be a nice change of surf conditions and exciting new experience, I can't wait!"
WSL is partnering with Surfing Association Papua New Guinea (SAPNG) to host the country's first international surfing event. SAPNG is not only the local governing body of surfing in PNG, but they are using surfing as a vehicle to promote social change through a number of world-class initiates. The Pink Nose Revolution - to promote equality between men and women sees SAPNG donate surfboards to communities all over PNG. Half of the boards have the noses painted pink which represents that these are for the girls only, helping to teach from a young age to treat women equally.
"After 30 years since the establishment of the Surfing Association Papua New Guinea Inc (SAPNG), the staging of the inaugural 2017 KUMUL PNG World Longboard Championship marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Papua New Guinea since gaining Independence from its colonial rulers 41 years ago," Said President and Co Founder of Surfing Association PNG Andrew Abel. "As the governing authority of everything surfing in Papua New Guinea and an emerging nation on the international surfing stage, SAPNG are proud to be able to stage this event with the full support of its National Government through the Kumul Consolidated Holdings Group in partnership with the World Surf League."
WSL is thrilled to enter a new region of the world where surfing is such a big part of life and to be able to provide more opportunities for the world's best longboarders to compete for the World Title.
"World Surf League would like to thank SAPNG, Kumul and the people of PNG for supporting this event and the important messages that we will be promoting," said WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith. "Papua New Guinea is a beautiful country with beautiful people and a whole lot of world-class surf breaks. We're excited to see the world's best longboarders come here in March and broadcast to the world what PNG has to offer."
This event is being supported by the Papua New Guinea Government and Kumul Consolidated Holdings who are developing tourism opportunities in PNG through this partnership with SAPNG and will be helping provide the event with all that is required to put on a global broadcast to showcase the waves in PNG have to offer.