The World Surf League (WSL) announced yesterday that the Big Wave Tour (BWT) would be condensing to only three for the upcoming season. As they stated in a press release:

“As part of the WSL BWT’s dedication to running world-class big wave events on a regular basis, the 2017 BWT schedule will focus on three prestigious events: the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico, the Pea’hi Challenge in Maui, Hawaii and the Nazaré Challenge in Portugal.”

That removes former events at Punta De Lobos in Chile, Pico Alto in Peru, Punta Galea in Spain, Nelscott Reef in the U.S. and Todos Santos in Mexico for the 2017 BWT season that will kick off on May 1.

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Also part of the news yesterday was the announcement that Peter Mel would be stepping down as BWT Commissioner and handing that title to Mike Parsons, as well as the expansion of the qualification system through the Big Wave Awards. Now, 6 surfers will be able to qualify for the BWT through the Best Overall Performance category instead of the previous 4.

No word on what that means for the fledgling women’s Big Wave Tour, as there was no mention of it in the announcement.

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Grant “Twiggy” Baker at last year’s Nazaré Challenge. Photo: Courtesy of Arrieta/WSL