It was part of a series of events at the Breitling summit this past week. Considered one of the greatest surfers of all time, Kelly Slater along with fellow Surfers Squad members Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons, welcomed Breitling and its guests to the Surf Ranch, which features an incredible artificial wave pool where surfers can catch the world’s longest man-made, open-barrel wave.
“I was thrilled when I heard that Breitling and Outerknown wanted to host a brand day here at the Surf Ranch alongside the entire Surfers Squad. We had a fantastic day here in Lemoore.”
At the Surf Ranch, Breitling celebrated the launch of its Superocean Outerknown diver’s watch, created in partnership with Outerknown, the sustainable apparel brand cofounded by Slater. The event also marked the launch of the innovative and sustainable Outerknown ECONYL® NATO strap collection. The vibrant, colorful straps have been produced from ECONYL® yarn, a wholly recycled and infinitely recyclable material created from waste – including discarded fishing nets – that has been recovered from the oceans.
Not only did the Breitling Surfers Squad demonstrate their world-champion styles, but some of the guests also had a chance to ride the impressive waves at the Surf Ranch themselves.
Other activities, including dedicated media events, were arranged throughout the day, and in the evening, the Breitling Summit wrapped up with a sunset cocktail hour followed by a farewell dinner party. CEO Georges Kern said: “Our Summits allow us to communicate the state of our brand directly, unfiltered, and in real time – and this edition has been another perfect example. We had a chance to present our new products in incredible surroundings with extremely talented personalities whose lifestyle we admire and with whom we are proud to share common values. It was great to be able to share this special experience with Outerknown, our Surfers Squad, and our audience.”
The Challenger Series
In 2020, the World Surf League (WSL) will launch the Challenger Series, a new level of competition that will provide athletes more opportunities at the highest level to qualify for the elite Championship Tour (CT). The premium Challenger Series events, that will exist as part of the overall Qualifying Series, will be the ultimate battleground for surfers to showcase their talents and qualify for the elite-level of competition.
The 2020 Qualifying Series – the development and qualification tier for the CT – will feature two primary segments: the Challenger Series (events that award 10,000-points towards a surfer’s QS ranking) and the QS 5,000, 3,000, 1,500 and 1,000 events that will all contribute to a surfer’s year-end QS ranking as they work towards qualifying for the CT.
The Challenger Series will increase the number of 10,000-point events from six to seven for men and from two to four for women, offering equal prize money for men and women.
The Challenger Series will feature eight premium venues in Piha (NZL), Ballito (ZAF), Huntington Beach (USA), Pantin (ESP), Ericeira (PRT), Phillip Island (AUS), Haleiwa (HAW) and Sunset Beach (HAW).
As professional surfing continues to grow in popularity and the levels of performance go from strength to strength, the premium Challenger Series will look to build to a maximum of 10 events in the future and exist as the QS standard-bearer in terms of developing and identifying the next level of CT talent. There will be additional marketing and live event content to further elevate these important events and athletes.
“We’re excited to announce the Challenger Series for 2020,” said Travis Logie, Senior Manager Tours and Competition. “This new level of event and competition will provide greater opportunity for elite qualification, visibility for the next generation of surfers, and a marketing platform for our regional partners. The changes are also intended to allow a greater number of regional surfers to develop through the WSL Qualifying Tour system – with the update to this level, we will be able to answer the demand for increasing competitive opportunities.”
“This is another important step in our evolution. We are delighted at the initial level of interest from partners and key stakeholders for the Challenger Series. We expect the series to further enhance the career path for future CT athletes and to also become commercially positive,” stated CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.
The full WSL 2020 schedule will be released later this year.
The Challenger Series will be broadcast on WorldSurfLeague.com and on the free WSL app.
2020 WSL Challenger Series Schedule:
Piha, New Zealand (March), Men’s and Women’s
Ballito, South Africa (July), Men’s
Huntington Beach, USA (August), Men’s and Women’s
Pantin, Spain (September), Men’s and Women’s
Ericeira, Portugal (September), Men’s
Phillip Island, Australia (November), Women’s
Haleiwa, Hawaii (November), Men’s
Sunset, Hawaii (December), Men’s