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Jordy Smith Captains World Team in Founders Cup at WSL Surf Ranch

May 4th, 2018

Jordy Smith (Durban) will captain the World Team at the inaugural Founders Cup of Surfing in the man-made waves at the WSL Surf Ranch in California this weekend  Photo: © WSL / Morris

• World’s Best Surfers Compete in WSL’s First Co-Ed Continental Team Event on the Best Man-Made Wave in History
• WSL Surf Ranch, powered by Kelly Slater Technology, Opens its Doors to the Public for First Time

South Africa’s Jordy Smith (Durban) will captain the World Team in the World Surf League’s (WSL) groundbreaking inaugural Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold this weekend.

Taking place at the WSL Surf Ranch in Lemoore, 200 kms from the California coastline, the 5,000-strong capacity crowds are expected to watch USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and World Teams compete on the best man-made wave in history over the two-day competition and festival, May 5-6.

In a series of WSL firsts – the first time the WSL Surf Ranch opens its doors to the public, the first live national broadcast in the USA, and the first co-ed, continental team-based competition format – the WSL Founders’ Cup of Surfing pres. by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold will introduce an exciting new dimension to competition this weekend in Central California.

Smith, a two-time runner-up for the world title (210, 2016), leads a powerful squad comprising fellow South African Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay), Tahitian powerhouse Michel Bourez, third-year CT competitor and representing his Japanese heritage Kanoa Igarashi, and veteran New Zealand talent Paige Hareb.

“Being able to captain the World Team is a real honour,” said Smith whose repertoire of tube-riding, rail turns and above-the-lip manoeuvres is well suited to the picture-perfect waves at the Surf Ranch. “Our respective countries may not have the same numbers at the elite level as USA, Brazil and Australia, but we are able to draw from a huge talent pool. I’m frothing on the team aspect, it should be really exciting.”

The other five-person teams include Australia, USA, Brazil and Europe. The squad from ‘down-under’ is one of the strongest on paper with 11 World Titles between captain Stephanie Gilmore, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, and back-to-back WSL Champion Tyler Wright, along with Matt Wilkinson.

Brazil Team boasts two of the world’s most exciting surfers in captain Gabriel Medina, the 2014 WSL Champion, and Filipe Toledo, the winner and runner-up respectively of the Future Classic at the wavepool in September last year. Joining those two are 2015 WSL Champion Adriano de Souza, seasoned veteran Silvana Lima and one of the country’s best up-and-comers, Tiana Hinckel.

Europe Team has a combination of talent that spans across the continent, including one of the world’s best tuberiders, Jeremy Flores (FRA); 2017 CT rookies Frederico Morais (PRT) and Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA); a Californian charger representing her German heritage in Frankie Harrer (DEU); and is led by Johanne Defay (FRA), one of the most consistent and progressive women on the CT.

USA Team looks to keep the inaugural Founders’ Cup on home soil with the wave system visionary himself, 11x WSL Champion Kelly Slater. In his first event back after sustaining a foot injury last year, Slater leads a strong team including back-to-back WSL Champion John John Florence, 3 x WSL Champion Carissa Moore, and two Californians Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara), and CT veteran Kolohe Andino (San Clemente).

All the action at the Founders’ Cup can be watched live via the internet from approximately 5pm (South African Time) on each day, streamed across new WSL partner, Turner Sports’ Bleacher Report Live, and on WSL platforms, WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL app.

Globally, the WSL’s Facebook page will live stream the event, and the event will be broadcast on television in more than 100 countries.


Thanks to presenting partner Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, fans can enjoy great views of the competition from the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Impact Zone at the North End of the pool. Share your stoke with the perfect selfie, free giveaways, and an ice cold Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold. Or, if you’re looking for a place to cool off in between waves, head over to the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Breaker Bar at the South end of Perkins Lake near Partner Village to catch some shade, more free giveaways, games and more.

Take an adventure with Jeep® Ambassadors Jordy Smith and Malia Manuel in the new “Jeep Sessions: A Surfing Journey in 360°,” which will be featured in Jeep® brand’s Virtual Reality activation located in the Partner Village. Jeep Ambassadors Jordy Smith and Tyler Wright will be stopping by the activation for a meet & greet / signing session.

T-Mobile is setting up the Un-carrier Lounge in the heart of the WSL Surf Ranch, with great views of the competition, a phone charging bar, and custom giveaways. The carrier is also the presenting partner of the in-broadcast Barrel timer and “Dialed Moments” series, featuring Founders’ Cup athletes’ previous best rides on Kelly Slater’s wave.

Stop by the Quiksilver tent in Partner Village to check out the latest in boardshorts and gear, get a free hat, and enter for a chance to win a $500 gift card.

LifeProof will be bringing out their full suite of products including their FRĒ Cases, AQ9 Speakers, Battery Packs, Charging Cables, and New Backpacks.

WSL PURE, the WSL’s non-profit ocean conservation program, will promote its NGO partner Surfrider Foundation onsite in Lemoore with the Founders and through the event broadcast.

About WSL Surf Ranch
The WSL Surf Ranch facility, which was revealed online to the public in December 2015, boasts the best man-made wave in history – a 700-yard, high-performance, bi-directional wave featuring barrel sections and maneuver sections. Primarily existing as a testing facility, the Lemoore site has spent the past two years dialing in the technology under the guidance of 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and feedback from visiting WSL surfers. A private test event last September proved very successful, paving the way for the Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold to be the first time the public will be allowed onto the grounds.

For more information, please visit www.WSLFoundersCup.com .
About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com


Issued on behalf of:

WSL Africa
Contact: Colin Fitch – Operations Manager
Tel: 021 534 5738
Email: cfitch@worldsurfleague.com

Compiled & Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za



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