The Arica Chilean Challenge Cancelled for 2004


posted by Mark Fordham on 24th May 2004

The Arica Chilean Challenge, the second World Super Tour (WST) event scheduled to take place at El Gringo’s (Chile) this coming June has been cancelled. In a necessary, though unfortunate situation, the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) has had to be forced to withdraw its second premier surfing tournament for 2004.

“After last minute negotiations with the Mayor of Arica and his representatives , the promoters of the Arica Chilean Challenge were unable to close a deal to secure the event for 2004. The event was scheduled to start on the 10th of June, though due to internal problems the promoters and the city of Arica were not able to lock in a proposed TV / Cable deal to broadcast the event live. A last minute decision was made by the Mayor and his representatives to cancel the event. The event looks to be down graded from a WST event to a Regional WQT for 2004, “The Managing Director of World Super Tour events for the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA), Mark Fordham, said today.

Chile is situated on the west coast of South America and was a new premiere surf location on the IBA World Super Tour.

“The IBA and its professional athletes are disappointment to see this event cancelled for 2004. Huge preparation and networking has gone into getting this event set up and to see it cancelled at the last minute is, at least to say extremely frustrating. It is a huge loss for the sport in Chile and for the region of Arica. This event would have been a major draw card with the IBA planing to making it a dual sanction event in the future, attracting a large number of amateur and professional bodyboarders from all round the globe. South American bodyboarders need events like the Arica Chilean Challenge to help further their professional careers. A path is needed to see these South American bodyboarders have every chance to gain points for the IBA WQT and in turn aim to achieve a position to represent their country on the IBA World Super Tour (WST). South America has one of the largest populations of bodyboarders in the world. “Fordham added.

In a statement released from the promoters of the Arica Chilean Challenge, Maximo Tapia and Cristian Peralta, “We the organisers and promoters of the Arica Chilean Challenge know the problems that are associated with the cancellation of this event, being the Arica Chilean Challenge. We asked for your understanding, we sincerly appologies to the International Bodyboarding Association and the WST riders. We hoped that this does not cause to many misfortunes or inconvienceses. In light of the situation we are determined to plan an IBA Regional WQT for the same dates being June 10th to June 20th. We plan to organise a new proposal to the IBA for a WST event 2005. For now we will be working with the IBA’s WQT manager Derek Hulme and with the resources generated from ACC event we hope to stage a Regional WQT for the same planned dates”.

Due to the cancellation of the Arica Chilean Challenge, The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge will now be the first event on the International Bodyboarding Associations (IBA) World Super Tour (WST) calendar with a $35,000 USD prize purse, $15,000 USD more that last year, lifting the standards and 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 be, to hopefully guarantee the chance of scoring the best possible conditions for the event.

Confirmed riders for the event include reigning CSIC champion Guilherme Tamega, current IBA World Super Tour (WST) champion and previous winner, Australia’s Damian King, Hawaiian Jeff Hubbard, Brazilian Uri Valadao and Australians Sean Virtue, Mitch Rawlins, Benny Player and Andrew Lester.

Western Australia’s Ryan Hardy has confirmed that he will not be available for the event. It will be the first time since 1999 that this big wave specialist has missed a Shark Island Challenge. “I am disappointed to be missing the event, especially with the prize purse on offer. It’s been a dream of mine to win the event so I will definitely be aiming to be at the event next year.” Hardy and his wife will be embarking on a round the world trip that will include Tahiti, Chile, Mexico, UK, Europe and South Africa. He will be looking at entering the Sintra Pro, Portugal in August and the Rio Super Pro which is a new WST event that has only recently been confirmed scheduled for early September.

The restructured IBA World Super Tour Calendar goes as follows:

The Human Cronulla Shark Island Challenge, Australia (WST) – 28th June – 28th July - $35,000 USD
The Sintra Pro, Portugal (WQT / WST dual sanction) – 25th – 29th August - $40,000 USD
The Rio Super Pro (WQT / WST dual sanction) – 7th – 19th of September - $50,000 USD
The Pipeline Pro (WST) early January (dates yet to be confirmed) - $20,000 USD

The IBA is currently working on another WST venue at Reunion Island. We will have confirmation of location and dates come late June.



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