MUNDAKA OFFICIALLY OFF 07.08.05
After much speculation the Billabong Pro Mundaka in Spain has been officially called off. There has been no word yet whether anything will replace it but it’s most likely that the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) will simply be down one event for 2005. Locals from the Basque region have been left high and dry since the winter of 2004/5 provided an eerie lack of swell. However, as spring arrived, the banks which run along Mundaka’s river mouth completely vanished, along with the area’s beach, leaving a deep hole in the ocean… and in the hearts of the local surfing community. Mundaka’s mysterious disappearance threatens to cause all sorts of problems. If there’s no Mundaka there may be no event in Spain and, aside from logistic and contractual stuff-ups for pro surfers and sponsors, the surrounding areas completely rely on surf tourism. An estimated 10,000 surfers pass through Mundaka each summer. ASP officials are already looking into the issue and are relying on reports from both the Mundaka Surf Club and Billabong to figure out whether to change locations for the WCT event. ASP president Rabbit Bartholomew is hopeful that this disturbing anomaly is only temporary. “Obviously if the dredging upriver has caused this then it is a different problem, but if the bank has disintegrated due to total inactivity, then the bank has atrophied and may just return with seasonal swell patterns,” he said.