Veteran elite tour surfer Bede Durbidge has formally withdrawn from the opening event of the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour season, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, as a result of his ongoing recovery following a broken pelvis suffered during December’s Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii.
A 12-year veteran of the elite WSL Championship Tour, Durbidge’s tenure has been characterized by top-of-class power surfing and steely competitive savvy, netting him elite wins in Brazil, Trestles and at Pipeline. The Queensland-based surfer was experiencing another successful season in 2015, with Runner-Up finishes in Rio de Janeiro and Hossegor, before suffering a horrific injury at the final event of the season in Hawaii. The reef impact left Durbidge with a shattered pelvis and a considerable rehabilitation ahead of him.
“Heading into my 12th season on the World Tour, I’m unfortunately pulling out of the Quiksilver Pro due to the injury I suffered at Pipeline,” Durbidge said. “I’ve always prided myself with looking after my physical health, and in the 11 years on tour, I’ve been fortunate enough to never miss an event due to injury until now.”
While Durbidge won’t be competing at the opening event of the season, he will be on-site to lend his insights to the world as part of the WSL commentary team.
“Even though I won’t be competing at the Quiksilver Pro, I’ll be down at the event commentating and supporting my mates,” Durbidge continued. “I’m 10 weeks into my injury and the last three weeks have been filled with a lot of pool therapy, which I’m making great progress at in my rehabilitation. I’ve been overwhelmed with all the support. I can’t thank everyone enough for their well wishes and look forward to putting a jersey back on in the near future.”
“Bede (Durbidge) is one of the most rock solid surfers of the last decade and it was horrific watching what he went through at Pipeline last winter,” Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner, said. “We’re thankful that he is okay and his rehabilitation is moving forward. While we look forward to him returning to the water very soon, we’re very excited to have him join the WSL commentary team as an analyst at the opening event of the season.”
Durbidge’s announcement comes on the heels of this morning’s announcement from compatriot Owen Wright (AUS). Durbidge’s position at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast will be filled by Stuart Kennedy (AUS).
The 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will commence with the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast from March 10 – 21, 2016.
For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com