Pipe Masters suspended after CEO, other staff test positive | News, Sports, Jobs

Italo Ferreira of Brazil competes in the Billabong Pipe Masters on Wednesday. — World Surf League via Getty Images TONY HEFF photo

The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons has been suspended as a result of positive COVID-19 tests among staff, the World Surf League announced Friday afternoon.

The WSL stated on its website that staff to test positive included CEO Erik Logan, but that it does not believe any athletes had been exposed.

“The WSL is committed to prioritizing the safety of the athletes, staff and surrounding community above all else, and is working closely and transparently with the Hawaii State Department of Health to determine the path forward,” the WSL’s statement said.

The Pipe Masters — the season-opening event of the WSL men’s Championship Tour held at the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore — got underway Tuesday with qualifying and ran its first, seeding round Wednesday. A lay day was called for Thursday.

It has been a rocky road for the WSL as it attempts to bring back its men’s and women’s Championship Tours after the 2020 season was wiped out by the pandemic.

The women’s CT began Monday with the first day of competition at the Maui Pro, but that event was put on hold after a recreational surfer was attacked by a shark early Tuesday morning at Honolua Bay. The surfer, identified as 56-year-old Robin Warren of Napili, died Wednesday of his injuries.

The WSL said it plans to move the remaining heats of the Maui Pro to another location in Hawaii.

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