After waiting for waves to show up for five days organizers of the Roxy Pro Biarritz in the southwest of France were forced to cancel the event and reschedule it to coincide with the Quiksilver Pro in Hossegor the end of September.
"It's been a challenging week, surf-wise, but the world's best female surfers have still enjoyed themselves in the beautiful town of Biarritz," ASP Women's Tour Manager Jessi Miley-Dyer said. "While we're disappointed that the swell never manifested, we're very pleased to announce that Roxy have committed to rescheduling the event to run in conjunction with the Quiksilver Pro France men's event in late September. This will allow the 2013 ASP Women's World Title race, as well as the requalification campaigns of the world's best female surfers, to continue in the best possible fashion."
Roxy Pro contest director Lisa Andersen said, "Roxy is 100 percent committed to showcasing the world's best female surfers," adding that this waiting period has yielded "great success" in the past and that this year's outcome was a case of bad luck.
Regardless, the move to Hossegor in September is an infinitely more high-octane wave than Biarritz and it's an upgrade that the Top 17 would surely relish. If they hadn't all paid to fly to France once this year already.
Last week, ASP WCT Manager Al Hunt told Surfline that if the contest didn't run any heats, all of the competitors would be entitled to "equal last 13th and minimum prize money: $5,000." But the fact that the event was re-scheduled, and not cancelled outright, sort of complicates the situation.
"It wouldn't be a problem if we [recovered our] costs," says Rebecca Woods, who sits ranked 15th in the world at the moment. "But we get one event's prize money because, essentially, it is postponed."
According to the ASP Rule Book, "If an event changes and/or cancels its dates within 60 days of the original scheduled dates, then the event will be responsible to cover all costs incurred and which are unavoidable of the competitors and officials the re-scheduling or cancellation fees of each of their flights and accommodation including but not limited to reasonable ASP costs."
At this point, the athletes' compensation is still unclear. The surfers have been told that "some costs [will be] covered in Hossegor."
"What this entails is up in the air," Woods says. "Right now, I'm two weeks in debt from a postponed event run at a fickle summertime beach break, and off to do the Huntington hop tomorrow."
The world title scenario remains unchanged heading into next week's US Open in Huntington Beach, Calif.