Silvana Lima in the Carlton Dry Expression Session. Photo: WSL/Kelly Cestari

Silvana Lima in the Carlton Dry Expression Session at the Quik Pro Gold Coast

It hasn't been the smoothest of starts for the World Surf League. Cyclone Marcia rather screwed WSL Commissioner Kieran Perrow and co. over, both by putting the east swell weather system out of joint and by underling the subsequent dearth of swell in the contest window. Obviously what happens hundreds of miles out to sea in the Pacific Ocean is out of the WSL's hands, but over the end date of the waiting period it seems they do have a little a control. With better waves due to start arriving around Wednesday, it was looking likely that the more or less flat waiting period would be sandwiched in between swells; but after facing criticism from some quarters for electing not to run heats at Duranbah, where there have been small but contestable conditions in recent days, the WSL has decided to extend the original window to Friday 13th. The change in arrangements is rumoured to have cost around $100, 000; Surfing Life Magazine's Nick Carroll estimates there's a 50/50 chance of the gamble paying off.

Kieren Perrow had the following to say: “After a lot of discussion with the athletes, our on-site staff, our executive team in Los Angeles, our event partners and the local government, we have extended the competition window two days to take advantage of a swell system moving in. The WSL is the world’s best surfers in the world’s best waves and the extension is an illustration of our commitment to that philosophy. It’s a significant financial, personnel and energy expenditure for the league, but we’re passionate about the world’s best surfing and we’re excited to see what this swell brings."