Margaret River Pro - WSL Championship Tour 2019
Margaret River Pro - WSL Championship Tour 2019

Coronavirus wipes out Coast surfing event

THE Gold Coast's iconic season-opening contest of the World Surf League season has been postponed over the Coronavirus crisis.

The March 26-April 5 event - ironically sponsored by beer company Corona, will instead be held later in the year.

A statement posted on the WSL website on Friday morning revealed that all contests for March, including the famous Gold Coast men's and women's event, would be postponed.

The move also affects a contest slated for Tahiti.

"Due to the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our athletes, fans, and staff, the World Surf League (WSL) has made the decision to cancel all events yet to commence at all tour levels, worldwide for the remainder of March, including the opening event of the 2020 Championship Tour on the Gold Coast," the statement says.

WSL CEO Erik Logan said the spread of the virus was having a huge impact on sports around the globe.

"Coronavirus is having massive consequences for sporting events and gatherings of all kinds around the world, and we are no different," he said.

"We did not take this decision lightly as we are aware that it has a significant impact on the surfing community. However, the health and safety of our athletes, fans, and staff are paramount."