Big news a while back was the takeover of the ASP by ZoSea. Basically the ASP entered into an agreement to have all the tour rights and properties acquired by a media company called ZoSea - who no-one had ever heard of. Lots of ou's reckoned the ASP had sold surfing down the river.
Admittedly competitive surfing was in the dog-house already, as many of the major surf labels could simply not afford to continue to carry the burden of funding event production and webcasts. So the plan was that ZoSea would take over all the broadcasting rights for all the events and subsidize them so whichever brand sponsored the event would only have to pay a flat fee of $1 million for naming rights - instead of the current cost of $2-3mil. So yah, it looked juicy.
Throw in a centralized production team meaning consistent high quality webcasts and decent commentators, as well as better prize money and a pension plan for surfers. So far, so good. Sort of.
No-one really knows who the hang ZoSea are. Zero web presence. Pretty unheard of in 2014. What is interesting is that 2 major players in it are Terry Hardy, Kelly's manager, and Paul Speaker, a Quik director. The plot thickens.
Specially seeing as the grand total paid for this takeover was zero. Zip. Nothing.
The plan is to pitch surfing as a mainstream sport. Speaker comes from an NFL background and is keen "to approach this league as a global centralized sports league.” Hmmm.
Fast forward to today: Since all the hoo-hah about the takeover things have gone quite, Very very quiet. We're already nearly into the second month of 2014 and not a PR release, not a web teaser, nothing to get us amped on what the new-look tour is gonna be all about. No facebook posts, no tweets, nothing on the ASP website. Dunno, maybe they keeping the new-look tour a secret and all will be revealed at Snapper?
Let's work on what we do know. JBay ain't there. Again. There'll be 11 events, including the new stop at Margaret River, home of the Box. Three of the events don't yet have headline sponsors - the Margaret River, Fiji and Bali pro are all nameless at the moment.
So it's all looking a bit vague at the moment. Let's hope what they're planning for the tour is so huge they're keeping it secret, not that there's nothing to hear cos well, there's nothing really happening.
So where's the money coming from to fund the whole shebang? Some billionaire dude called Ziff (let's hope he ain't siff!) is chucking in about $20-30mil to fund it. Then it's up to the ZoSea ou's to make cash outta broadcasting the tour. Do we smell "pay-to-view" in our future?
By Gregg Clarke
7:15 am….Glassy and good 3 ft waves are running down the Cobbles point, some offering 150m rides- this is what greeted us early Saturday morning for the 2nd EPLSA trial. What a banger of a contest we had!!
Unfortunately, due to the amazing turnout, I am unable to mention all the performing surfers, here is a brief summary of the top contenders, the full results can be found on the EPLSA facebook page.
In the open ladies, Hannah Bing cemented her position as top seed with some of the best surfing we’ve seen from the ladies division. Mia Baard was close behind her with old school surfing of the highest degree. I have to mention Britney Linder from the junior ladies who is surfing like a freak at the moment! Hopefully her form carries through to the SA champs in May.
The junior division (u18), was dominated by Peter Coffey who impressed the judges with a critical mix of new school and old school surfing. Peter is definitely a contender for the SA junior title. The SA champs u16 boys title, is also definitely up for grabs if Alex van Rijswick can surf like he surfed on Saturday. He posted the highest heat score of the day and won in convincing fashion.
The ballies divisions saw incredible displays of power and style from the likes of Alan Byram, Craig Cuff (junior ballies), Drew Macdonald (out of retirement) and John Macleod who won their respective divisions.
The opens mens division to date, has been dominated by logger Dean Simpson who has somehow managed to give all the high performance longboarders carrots in this seasons trials! Someone please drive over his board…..Just when all the EP open surfers thought they could relax a little with Dylan Macleod in Australia, his younger brother comes in out of no where, to steal 2nd place!! Mathew Macleod surfed like a freak- and got a very close 2nd to Dean. Matt also won the senior mens division, this oke is gonna course upsets at his first SA champs, that’s for sure! It’s a good thing I’ve also ordered 2 new Greg Smith longboards…..Greg, its fair to say Matt’s board goes!!! I got a 3rd and Galad Smith is cementing his place in the open division with a 4th place.
See ya at the next trial!
Results below - is under column Trail #2 just to confuse you!