LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Monday, November 4, 2019) - Today, the World Surf League (WSL) announced a new partnership with cbdMD, a nationally recognized consumer cannabidiol (CBD) brand that offers a comprehensive line of 100% natural, hemp-derived CBD oil products. cbdMD will be the official title partner of the Jaws Big Wave Championships for the 2019/2020 Big Wave season.
The official holding period for the WSL Big Wave events opened November 1, 2019, and will run through March 31, 2020. This year's big wave season will feature the cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships and the Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge, two new events that will showcase the best of big wave surfing in the paddle and tow-in disciplines.
A must-see for every surf enthusiast, the cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships is the world's premier paddle-only big wave event, taking place at the famed Pe'ahi surf break on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii. Rich with the sport's history of innovation and progression, the contest brings the world's elite male and female athletes together at the ultimate proving ground to compete for the coveted Championship.
Jaws' reputation as the pinnacle for big-wave surfing has been solidified by history-making performances over the past decade. Jaws has hosted some of the biggest waves ever witnessed in competition, and winning this event sets the standard for the sport.
The partnership with cbdMD marks the biggest deal in WSL's big wave history and WSL's first-ever CBD sponsorship. This partnership will enable WSL to advance the sport while featuring unique marketing integrations with athlete ambassadors. cbdMD partners with elite athletes across a wide array of sports, including Olympians Kerri Walsh Jennings and Lolo Jones, professional golfer Bubba Watson and more, alongside big wave surfers Makua Rothman and Nathan Florence.
As of January 1, 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from the list of prohibited substances - in or out of competition.
"I'm extremely excited to announce our partnership with the WSL for this year's cbdMD Jaws Championship," said Caryn Dunayer, President of cbdMD. "Surfing has been an integral part of our brand strategy and growth within the action sports community and we're grateful to have this opportunity to solidify our footprint."
"The WSL is always trying to push the boundaries of progression and break new ground," said Cherie Cohen, WSL Chief Revenue Officer. "We are excited to announce our partnership with cbdMD for the Jaws Big Wave Championships, the WSL's first CBD partnership. Performance and recovery are key to surfing, especially big wave surfing, with the sport's unique challenges. This partnership with a CBD category leader will help inform consumers of CBD's benefits."
In the men's division, 24 competitors are divided into four heats of six surfers for the first round. Heats are generally 45 minutes and surfers may catch as many waves as they wish with a panel of five judges scoring each ride on a scale of 1 to 10. Each competitor's two best waves are counted, with their best wave score doubled. The three highest-scoring surfers advance to the semifinals, which run in the same format, and the top three from the Semifinals advance to the Final.
The women's division runs in a similar format with 10 competitors participating in two five-surfer Semifinals with the top three surfers in each heat advancing to the Final.
The Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa will feature a unique tow team "expression session" format. Ten two-surfer teams will participate. Within each team, the competitors will both drive the jet ski and surf, with each participant needing to ride at least two waves. There will be four one-hour heats with five teams per heat, each team will participate in two heats, with a priority system indicating which pair has their preferred choice of an incoming wave at any moment. The event will be broadcast live and captured on video from multiple angles. At the conclusion of the competition, a nominating panel will examine the video evidence and select the biggest, best-ridden waves of the day as finalists. At an awards ceremony later in the day, the competitors themselves, along with a group of big wave judges, will review the nominated rides and place their votes in an assortment of categories including Men's Wave of the Day, Women's Wave of the Day, and Team Champions.
WSL Big Wave event officials are already monitoring swell producing storms and will continue to watch for the conditions that will produce waves in the 30-to-60-foot range between now and March. Competitors will have 72 hours' notice to be ready to compete once event organizers call on the event.
cbdMD Jaws Big Wave Championships Competitor List:
Paige Alms (HAW)
Justine Dupont (FRA)
Emily Erickson (HAW)
Raquel Heckert (BRA)
Keala Kennelly (HAW)
Andrea Moller (BRA)
Felicity Palmateer (AUS)
Bianca Valenti (USA)
Wildcard 1 TBD
Wildcard 2 TBD
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Alex Botelho (PRT)
Russell Bierke (AUS)
Lucas Chianca (BRA)
Trevor Carlson (HAW)
Nathan Florence (HAW)
Natxo Gonzalez (EUK)
Greg Long (USA)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Tyler Larronde (HAW)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Tom Lowe (GBR)
Torrey Meister (HAW)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)
Jojo Roper (USA)
Koa Rothman (HAW)
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Nic von Rupp (PRT)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Wildcard 1 TBD
Wildcard 2 TBD
Nazaré Tow Surfing Challenge presented by Jogos Santa Casa Competitor List:
Team World: Sebastian Steudtner (DEU) & Maya Gabeira (BRA)
Team Brasil: Rodrigo Koxa (BRA) & Pedro Scooby (BRA)
Team Great Britain: Andrew Cotton (GBR) & Tom Butler (GBR)
Team Australia: Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS) & Mick Corbett (AUS)
Team Portugal: Alex Botelho (PRT) & Hugo Vau (PRT)
Team Young Bulls: Lucas Chianca (BRA) & Kai Lenny (HAW)
Team Europe: Nic von Rupp (PRT) & Francisco Porcella (ITA)
Team France: Benjamin Sanchis (FRA) & Eric Rebiere (FRA)
Team Atlantic: Grant Baker (ZAF) & Antonio Silva (PRT)
Team Justine: Justine Dupont (FRA) surfer only/Fred David driver only
WSL Big Wave is proudly supported by cbdMD, Jogos Santa Casa, Michelob Ultra, Corona, Red Bull, Alexander & Baldwin, Surfline, Visit Portugal, Portuguese Waves, West Tourism Region, The City of Nazare, MEO, and Hertz.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
About cbdMD cbdMD is a nationally recognized consumer cannabidiol (CBD) brand whose current products include CBD tinctures, CBD gummies, CBD topicals, CBD bath bombs, CBD vape oils, and CBD pet products. The company also operates licensing and corporate brand management businesses, as well as the products division.