ASP World Tour Returns to Tavarua in 2012
Volcom Signs 3-Year Deal With ASP as Event Sponsor
Monday, July 25th – After a four year hiatus, ASP International has announced that the World Tour will be headed back to Tavarua, Fiji for the 2012 season and beyond. Volcom has signed on as the event sponsor and licensee for three years, with a possible extension available after 2014.
World Tour competitors and spectators are surely delighted at the news, which comes after a bit of backlash resulting from big-city stops on this year’s tour schedule. This is undoubtedly a positive move for the ASP, and is a move that will gain respect from fans of the original concept of the “Dream Tour.”
For Volcom, the 2012 Volcom Fiji Pro will mark the first ever World Tour event for the Southern California based company. After a string of successful years at the ASP 5-star rated Volcom Pipeline Pro, CEO Richard Woolcott pulled the trigger for a World Tour event while simultaneously adding another world class wave to a schedule that includes A+ venues such as Snapper Rocks in Australia, Teahupo’o in Tahiti, Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa, and Pipeline in Oahu.
A succession of military coups in Fiji had put an end to competition since the 2008 Globe Fiji Pro was held in perfect conditions, which saw Kelly Slater take the win en route to his 9th World Title. Still under military dictatorship today, Fiji has had it’s share of international headlines that include corruption, suppression of the media, and extradition of foreign investors or anyone else opposing the military’s rule. With the recent decision of the Fijian government to allow free access to once privately controlled surf-breaks with the Fijian Surfing Areas Decree, the move to allow a World Tour event bodes well for a government seeking some good PR.
Past event winners of Fiji World Tour events include legends like Mark Occhilupo (1999), Luke Egan (2000), the late Andy Irons (2003), and two-time winners Damien Hobgood (2004, 2006), and Kelly Slater (2005, 2008). -Ryan Richardson