The WSL announced its new schedule for the 2024 Championship Tour; world surfing champions will once again be crowned in San Clemente
The World Surf League released the schedule for the 2024 Championship Tour, with the WSL Finals set to return to Lower Trestles next September.
The other big news is that 2024 is an Olympic year, so there’s a break in the schedule in mid-summer, and the Championship Tour will also return to Cloudbreak in Fiji for the first time in more than five years.
In terms of the WSL Finals, the initial agreement between the WSL, surfwear sponsor Rip Curl and the California State Parks was originally for three years and kicked off in 2021 and ran through 2023.
And for the third consecutive year, according to statistics shared by the WSL, the 2023 Finals was the most-watched day in professional surfing with more than 10 million video views on Finals day, breaking viewership records set in 2022 by nearly 30%.
“For 2024, the WSL Finals will return to Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California, where the men’s and women’s Top 5 surfers will face off for the World Titles in the one-day, winner-take-all format,” the WSL said in a press release.
“The waiting period will run from September 6 to 14, 2024, which is the ideal time of year for favorable Southern Hemisphere swells at one of the most high-performance waves in the world,” the WSL continued.
An interesting twist in this story that may or may not ultimately factor in, California’s 50-year lease of San Onofre from the Department of the Navy, which was signed in 1971, is set to expire in August 2024—days before the WSL Finals.
After issuing a short-term, three-year extension to the lease, the federal government, the State of California, Southern California Edison and a number of other groups invested in the future of the area have quietly been negotiating behind the scenes in an effort to come to the best possible outcome for all parties.
The area in question stretches from San Mateo Point (Cotton’s) all the way through Trail 6 at the Bluffs Campground. It also comprises nearly 2,000 acres of land, including camping facilities. No official statement on the subject has been released at this time.
“Surfrider believes a lease extension will provide the Department of the Navy, which owns the Camp Pendleton property, with a path towards planning for a long-term lease renewal of San Onofre,” explained Surfrider Foundation’s Stefanie Sekich-Quinn in 2021 when the short-term lease extension was announced.
“The timing of the park lease extension would coincide with the decommissioning and dismantlement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station,” she added. “In 2024, an easement between Camp Pendleton and SONGS’ operators is set to expire. Surfrider believes a park lease extension will provide the DON with additional time to collectively analyze the issues regarding the park and SONGS leases.”
More immediately in the world of WSL surfing, the final two events of the Challenger Series are right on the horizon. The Ericeira Pro in Portugal gets underway on Oct. 1 followed by the Saquarema Pro in Brazil on Oct. 14.
There are a number of San Clemente surfers who will be looking to secure their spots on the 2024 Championship Tour, including Crosby Colapinto, Sawyer Lindblad, Kade Matson and Jett Schilling.