The Human Teahupoo Challenge Cancelled for 2004


posted by Mark Fordham on 23rd April 2004

The Human Teahupoo Challenge, the first World Super Tour (WST) event scheduled to take place at Teahupoo (Tahiti) this coming May has been cancelled due to lack of sponsorship dollars. In a necessary, though unfortunate situation, the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) has had to be forced to withdraw one its premier surfing tournaments for 2004.

"Due to insufficient sponsorship funding and in respect to the Federation Tahitienne De Surf, the original supporting sponsors of the main event and trials and the world's best professional bodyboarders, the IBA has, after consultation with Human and other potential sponsors, cancelled the 2004 Human Teahupoo Challenge that was scheduled for May the 24th to June the 4th," the Managing Director of World Super Tour events for the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA), Mark Fordham, said today.

Teahupoo, situated in the South Pacific was one of the most premiere surf locations on the IBA World Super Tour.

“Last years event was incredible, we had surf in the 6 to 12feet range (2 -4m) with some of the biggest barrels ever seen for an IBA World Super Tour event.” Fordham expressed, also adding that “It is critical for an event like Teahupoo that the infrastructure for the contest is 100% covered. To run successful events like Teahupoo a full scale budget is needed to ensure the best possible event is conducted. Venues such as Teahupoo and Shark Island are important as World Super Tour (WST) events. It’s critical that these events are established and nurtured into viable and successful contests. The IBA will have a good year to source new sponsorship so hopefully next year we will see the Teahupoo Challenge return even bigger.

The Managing Director of Human, Gary Cole, said “It is disappointing that The Human Teahupoo Challenge has had to be cancelled, especially at such short notice; though in light of the situation we can now concentrate on making the Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge the world’s most prestigious bodyboarding event on the IBA WST calendar. We witnessed some of the most amazing waves for the event in 2001, which changed the face of professional bodyboarding as we know it. Witnessing first hand how heavy Shark Island can really get and how hard the top pro’s in the sport of bodyboarding tackle such a radical wave only wants us as a company to build the profile of the Shark Island event. Bodyboarding as a sport has huge potential, guided in the right direction the sport is destined to take off in the very near future. Shark Island has such unbelievable potential, as a venue we feel that it has so more to offer."

Due to the cancellation of the Human Teahupoo Challenge, Human has announced that it will be increasing the prizemoney for their next event, The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge by $15,000 USD to $35,000 USD, making it the most prestigious event on the IBA World Super Tour (WST).

The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge will have a waiting period from the 28th of June to the 28th of July, with an extra weeks waiting period in the first week of August if need by, to hopefully guarantee the chance of scoring the best possible conditions for the event.

Damian King (Aus), who is the current IBA World Super Tour Champion and defending IBA Human Teahupoo Challenge for 2003 expressed, “It is a huge disappointment about the current situation regarding the cancellation of the Teahupoo event, the event is one of the best contest on the IBA World Super Tour, I just hope that the IBA can work out things for next year so we can finally get this event secured and locked in for a period of time. Teahupoo is regarded as the most premiere wave venue in the world. In terms of performance it suits bodyboarding down to a tee. “

King added, “Though in saying that, it is great to see Human come through with additional sponsorship dollars and support for the Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge, they have been such a huge supporter of premiere bodyboarding events in the past 4 years and to see them up the bounty is fantastic.”

The first event on the IBA World Super Tour (WST) is now the Arica Chilean Challenge, schedule for the 10th to the 20th of June. The venue for the event is the renowned heavy left hand reef break named El Gringo’s. A grinding left hander that says sorry for no one.



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