And across the Hawaiian Islands, lounging or loitering on the beach is prohibited but people have not been barred from going into the ocean.
Kai Lenny, a top-ranked competitor in the World Surf League, had arrived in Tahiti in early March to compete in the Papara Open, a highly anticipated event, but it was canceled, leaving him and other surfers scrambling to get home. He can keep surfing.
“We’ve been very fortunate here,” Lenny said from his home in Maui. “We’re allowed to go surfing, windsurfing and do all these multiple sports, so long as we’re keeping social distance.”
But many of Brazil’s beaches are closed, which means that Gabriel Medina, a two-time world champion and last year’s runner-up, is moored on dry land in Maresias, a beach town in São Paulo state. He was preparing to leave for the airport to catch his flight to Australia when he learned the tour had been suspended.
Even as beach access remains uneven, there is peer pressure to stay local and abide by government restrictions, the three-time world champion Mick Fanning of Australia said. “There’s a big push to surf your postal code,” he said. “I haven’t really ventured south. I just don’t feel like it’s right.”
World Surf League officials said they remained hopeful they could salvage a 2020 Championship Tour. So far, two events — the Corona Open, which was supposed to open the season on Australia’s Gold Coast, and the Quiksilver Pro G-Land in Indonesia, which was scheduled for June — have been canceled. Three other events have been postponed, including the Oi Rio Pro, the league’s chief executive, Erik Logan, announced on Tuesday. Rio is the best attended event on the league calendar.
Logan also announced on Tuesday that the league would build a one-day championship event onto the end of the tour calendar starting in 2021, with the final heat of the year determining the world title. Logan was less clear on what would happen this year.