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Posts Tagged ‘WSL CT Men’

Jordy Smith Finishes Third at WSL Championship Tour Opener in Australia

April 8th, 2019 No comments

Jordy Smith (Durban) takes to the air on his way to third place in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, the opening event of the 2019 WSL Championship Tour, which ended at Duranbah Beach in Australia on Monday  Photo: WSL / Dunbar

– Italo Ferreira Flies to Victory in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast
– 17-Year-Old Caroline Marks Wins Boost Mobile Pro – First CT Event to Award Equal Prize Money

DOWNLOAD HI-RES IMAGES FROM FINALS DAY – https://wdrv.it/1e167ac03

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Monday, April 8, 2019) – Today, Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Caroline Marks (USA) won the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, the opening stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The final day’s action took place at Duranbah Beach, the event’s backup site, in 0.6 – 1.2 metre waves to determine the first winners of the season.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith (Durban) finished third overall to jumpstart his 2019 world title campaign and possible qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games. Smith, the biggest surfer on the CT, struggled to post high scoring rides in the early rounds but improved as the event progressed.

The Durbanite’s semi-final clash with eventual winner Ferreira was a see-saw duel in which the lead change hands several times as the two protagonists took to the air with futuristic manoeuvres in the small but clean beach-break waves. Despite recording the single highest score of the clash – an excellent 8.67 out of 10 for a high-flying 360 degree rotation, Smith was overtaken by the Brazilian who racked up a heat total of 15.33 out of 20 (8.0 + 7.33) to clinch his place in the final.

Having ended the 2018 season at No. 5 on the Jeep Rankings, Smith now heads for the second event on the schedule, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach near Melbourne next week, buoyed by an opening result that is a big improvement on the13th place he earned on the Gold Coast last year.

The 2019 CT is also the first opportunity for the world’s best surfers to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where surfing will make its Olympic debut. The Championship Tour rankings at the end of this season will determine 18 of the 40 available places (10 men and 8 women). After today’s results, the surfers are one step closer to both qualifying for the Olympics and winning the prestigious WSL World Title.

In 2018, Ferreira proved himself to be one of the most exciting surfers, winning three CT events and finishing the year in fourth place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Today, the 24-year-old got his World Title campaign off to a perfect start with a come-from-behind victory over Californian Kolohe Andino (USA). Ferreira will now sport the Jeep Leader Jersey and focus his attention to Stop No. 2 of 11 on the men’s CT.

“Winning this event at the start of the year is unbelievable, ” Ferreira said. “I knew it would be so hard to beat Kolohe (Andino). I feel really lucky to have beaten him and especially in waves like this. The support on the beach is so unreal. I love all of the Brazilians on the beach. They are incredible cheering us all on. I’m excited to be in the Jeep Leader Jersey again, but it is a long year and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.”

The innovative surfer posted some of the event’s highest scores in the earlier rounds, while also winning the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast at the start of the waiting period.

17-year-old Marks earned her career-first event win today when she defeated former three-time women’s world champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the final. Marks takes the early lead on the World Rankings and with only one year on the CT to her name, the young competitor is off to a phenomenal start in her career, already reaching the very top to set the tone for the year ahead.

“I’m really emotional right now,” Marks said. “I can’t believe it. I’m speechless. It’s incredible to be a part of this sport. I just want to thank everyone at WSL, I’m so grateful. It’s so amazing to be a part of women’s surfing. Carissa (Moore) has always been my hero and she still is. To have my first win over her is incredible. This has been the best event and best week of my life. There’s still a lot of work to do for the rest of the year, but I’m definitely going to enjoy this moment.”

In addition to the year’s first elite surfing event, today marked the first CT event to award equal prize money to the female and male competitors following WSL’s commitment in September last year. Each stop on the Championship Tour, in 2019 and beyond, will award equal prize money and continue to host the Rising Tides – WSL Girls Program, the beachside engagement program aimed to inspire the next generation of young girls to take to the surf.

Men’s World Champions Fall Short in Opening Event

After almost a decade of competing on the WSL Championship Tour, two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) has only made the semi-finals twice at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, once in 2017 and again today, when he was stopped by Andino this morning. Florence recently returned to full-time competition after a sidelining knee injury and now sits in third on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into the next event.

Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) was eliminated by Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the quarter-finals. Medina was a standout at D-Bah, posting the highest heat total of the entire event during the earlier rounds. However, Medina was unable to find two decent scores against Smith and finished the event in equal 5th place meaning he will head to Bells without the Jeep Leader Jersey.

Kelly Slater (USA), the 11-time world champion who has missed most of the events in the past 18 months while recovering from an ankle injury incurred in Jeffreys Bay in 2017, returned fit and focussed for another tilt at an unprecedented 12th world title. The 45-year-old continues to match the feats of surfers less than half his age at the world’s most challenging venues but was eliminated early in the 0.5 to 1 metre beach break waves, finishing equal 33rd at Duranbah.

2019 WSL Championship Tour will now head to Stop No. 2, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. The event window will open on April 17 and run through April 27, 2019. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL. Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For highlights from the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 13.83
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.67

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.67 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.50
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.90 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.87

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.57
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.43

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.23 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 8.96
SF 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.33 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarter-final Results:
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 11.00 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.56
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.33 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.47
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.17 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.23
QF 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.07 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.77

2019 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):
1 -Caroline Marks (USA) 10,000 points
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 7,800 points
3 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,085 points
3 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 6,085 points
5 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 4,745 points
5 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 4,745 points
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 4,745 points
5 – Sage Erickson (USA) 4,745 points

2019 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10,000 points
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 7,800 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,085 points
3 – John John Florence (HAW) 6,085 points
5 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4,745 points
5 – Conner Coffin (USA) 4,745 points
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 4,745
5 – Seth Moniz (HAW) 4,745 points

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
ENDS

About the 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 organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 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 Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Steven Sawyer, Soleil Errico, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.

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

 

Gabriel Medina Claims Second World Title, Wins Billabong Pipe Masters

December 18th, 2018 No comments

Gabriel Medina (BRA) deep inside the barrel at Backdoor Pipeline Credit: WSL / Cestari

• Brazilian Superstar Defeats Australian Julian Wilson to Clinch Second WSL Title
• South Africa’s Jordy Smith Finishes Third at Pipe :: Ends 2018 Ranked World No. 5
• Jesse Mendes Claims Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title
• Coco Ho Wins Women’s Pipe Invitational

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Monday, December 17, 2018) – Gabriel Medina (BRA) has won the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Title by claiming victory at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons at Pipeline in Hawaii in epic 2 to 3 metre (6-10 foot) barrels.

Medina, 23, made history in 2014 as the first Brazilian to win a WSL World Title and has now cemented himself into the annals of surfing history with a second crown and his first event win at Pipeline..

“All my heroes have won this contest,” Medina said. “I’m stoked to be a part of everything here. Winning this event is a little different. I really wanted this one, and I worked really hard for this one so I’m so happy. That was a good final. Julian (Wilson) is the toughest competitor to go up against so I’m lucky I got two good waves. He won in a final against me a few years ago and I got this one, so it feels good.

Medina’s road to the Title in 2018 was bumpy at first but then the Brazilian switched gears mid-season and claimed back-to-back wins in Tahiti and at the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro. He continued to impress as one of the most consistent surfers through the European leg with two equal-third places and arrived in Hawaii with a 4,740-point lead over his nearest rival Julian Wilson (AUS). The rest is history as Medina reached the final at Pipeline to claim his second WSL Title.

“It’s hard to believe, this year was a long and intense year,” Medina continued. “Everyone put in a lot of hard work and this is the day. I’m so happy and thankful. To have the opportunity to travel the world with family and friends and to do what I love…it’s the most fun job in the whole world. This is such a special day for me and I’m so happy to do it again.

“Julian and I always have great battles. He’s always pushing the limits, and Filipe (Toledo) too – he’s a great surfer who had a great year. I love to watch them surfing and I’m a big fan of both of them. I’m so happy to get this trophy again. I had to put in a lot of work to get here. I like to surf when there is pressure and I think that’s when I do my best. After Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) I just put a bit more of me into each surf and each training. At the beginning of the year it all felt so far away but after Europe, it felt much closer.”

In 2014, the then-20-year-old Medina wrote a new page in surfing’s history books as the first Brazilian to win a WSL World Title, in an exciting year-long race against Mick Fanning (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Kelly Slater (USA). It was also the year the phenomenal surfer from Maresias shut down all criticism about his bigger-surf prowess by winning two of the most prestigious events in Fiji and Tahiti, finishing off the season with a runner-up at Pipeline.

It took two more years for the phenomenon to find his competitive rhythm, winning his first World Title in 2014. His success inspired compatriot Adriano de Souza (BRA), who went on to win Brazil’s second World Title the following season. In 2018, Brazilians Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo, Willian Cardoso, and Medina were collectively responsible for nine out of 11 CT event wins, with Wilson claiming the other two.

The Pipeline Masters final was a clash of epic proportions between the two strongest surfers in the field Medina and Wilson. Both surfers threaded lefts and rights to put big scores on the board, but ultimately it was Medina who took out the final matchup of the year and claimed the prestigious Billabong Pipe Masters title for the first time in his career.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) with the spoils of victory Credit: WSL / Cestari

Australia’s Julian Wilson Earns Runner-Up Finish and Career-Best CT Finish

Wilson capped off an incredibly consistent season where he claimed two event victories in Australia and France, two additional final appearances and another four strong results to finish second overall for the first time in his career. On finals day at Pipeline, the Australian needed to make the final for a shot at bringing the World Title home, and he delivered with inspiring performances, most notably facing the 11x World Champion Slater in the semi-finals. Unfortunately, Medina reaching the final left no chance for Wilson to lift surfing’s most prestigious trophy.

“I’m so thankful for the incredible waves and the locals for allowing us to surf here,” Wilson said. “The hopes and dreams of the World Title were there today and it’s been an emotional one. It came down to the final heat of the year and I’m ready to do it again next year. I put my heart out there and gave it my all, but Medina deservedly took the title and I’m so happy for him.

“Beating Kelly out here in great conditions is no mean feat and I take a lot of confidence from that. I’m so happy to represent my country and do my very best. It wasn’t enough to get the title but it was enough to share a final with the 2018 Champion. I’ll take some time to rest and come back in 2019 fired up for sure.”

Jordy Smith Finishes Third at Pipe :: Ends 2018 Ranked World No. 5

South Africa’s Jordy Smith delivered his career-best Pipeline result, finishing third in the event after a narrow defeat by eventual winner Medina in their semi-final duel. The lead changed hands several times during the 30 minute encounter with both surfers posting their best scores on the rights at Backdoor.

Earlier in the day Smith had seen off the challenges of Conner Coffin (USA) and wildcard Ryan Callinan (AUS) in Round 4 and Sebastian Zietz (HAW) in their quarter-final clash to get into contention to become the first South African to win the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title (after Heather Clark in 2001) if he could reach the final.

The big Durbanite is a perennial world title contender and his third place result at Pipe saw him move up one spot in the rankings to end 2018 as the World No. 5.

Brazil’s Jesse Mendes Clinches Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title

Jesse Mendes (BRA) won the VANS Triple Crown of Surfing title following Jordy Smith’s (ZAF) semi-final loss to Medina. Mendes collected a fifth place at Haleiwa, a runner-up in Sunset and a 9th at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Mendes is only the second surfer from Brazil to claim the prestigious award after Medina in 2015.

“I’ve been coming here for 13 years already,” said Mendes. “It was a dream but a far dream. I’m so thankful, so blessed and thank God for making this happen. Going against Joel (Parkinson), one of the best surfers ever, was such an honour. I want to thank my family for always supporting me no matter what, my girlfriend, my coach, WSL, my fans, and the surfers – it couldn’t have been a better final. I also want to thank the local community for giving us the best waves over the past few weeks.”

Coco Ho Steals Show at Women’s Pipe Invitational

The break before the men’s final saw 3x WSL Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) take on compatriots Alessa Quizon (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) in a women’s invitational heat. World No. 11 Ho dominated with radical manoeuvres on rights at Backdoor and she took out the win ahead of Moore in second, Quizon and McDougall placing 3rd and 4th respectfully.

Joel Parkinson Says Farewell to Elite Surfing Stage

Earlier in the day, Joel Parkinson (AUS) surfed the last heat of his professional career on the Championship Tour, defeated by Yago Dora (BRA) and Wilson in Round 4. The 37-year-old Australian, who claimed the World Title in 2012, spent 18 seasons among the world’s best surfers and received many accolades, being regarded as the most stylish surfer on tour.

“I was having such an emotional reception with everyone there,” Parkinson said. “It’s been an honour, I’m proud of what I achieved. It’s given me an amazing lifestyle and so many good moments. The tour has so many hills and valleys, all these emotional rollercoasters. Like any professional sport, it’s just the way it rolls. It’s nice to get to the end of it and finally maybe just run on an even keel for a while. I guess Kelly is the really last one of our generation and I’m sure it will be pretty emotional once he goes. But surfing’s in good hands now with the next generation.”

For highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.34
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.70

Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.27 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 15.83
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.20 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 11.17

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.16 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 6.93
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.43 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 14.26
QF 3: Kelly Slater (USA) 15.53 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.17
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.50 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 10.07

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.50, Conner Coffin (USA) 9.43, Ryan Callinan (AUS) 7.93
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.90, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 11.93, Michel Bourez (PYF) 6.57
Heat 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 15.97, Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.44, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 7.77
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 10.80, Kelly Slater (USA) 9.20, Jesse Mendes (BRA) 7.00

Men’s 2018 Jeep Leaderboard (after Billabong Pipe Masters):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) – 62,490 points
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) – 57,585 points
3 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) – 51,450 points
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) – 43,070 points
5 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) – 36,440 points

32. Michael February (ZAF) – 13,085 points

Final VANS Triple Crown of Surfing Top 5:
1 – Jesse Mendes (BRA)
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS)
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF)
4 – Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
5 – Joan Duru (FRA)

Gabriel Medina’s 2018 WSL Championship Tour Results:
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast – 13th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach – 3rd
Oi Rio Pro – 5th
Corona Bali Protected – 9th
Uluwatu CT – 5th
Corona Open J-Bay – 5th
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o – 1st
Surf Ranch Pro – 1st
Quiksilver Pro France – 3rd
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal – 3rd
Billabong Pipe Masters – 1st

Gabriel Medina’s Championship Tour Career Rankings:
2018 – 1st
2017 – 2nd
2016 – 3rd
2015 – 3rd
2014 – 1st
2013 – 14th
2012 – 7th
2011 – 12th

ENDS

About the 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 organization, 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 more than 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 Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

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

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

 

Record Setting Eight South Africans in Top 100 on 2018 Yearend WSL Rankings

December 12th, 2018 No comments

Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) carves off the top of meaty Sunset Beach wave on his way to ninth place in the Vans World Cup of Surfing in Hawaii Photo: WSL / Keoki

– Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) Highest Ranked Saffa at No. 30
– McGillivray, David van Zyl, Adin Masencamp and Dylan Lightfoot Crack Top 100 for First Time

A record-setting eight South African surfers have ended the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) ranked in the Top 100, improving on the five in 2017, three in 2016 and just two in 2015.

The annual rankings are based on each surfer’s best five results after 64 events rated from QS1,000 to QS10,000 on all five continents and featured a total of 1384 surfers. The top 10 in the rankings automatically qualify for the following year’s elite Championship Tour (CT). Qualification for the limited fields in the biggest QS events for the first half of 2019 also will be based on the 2018 rankings.

Matt McGillivray is the country’s highest ranked QS campaigner, ending the season at No. 30. Thanks to his victory in the first event of the year, a QSS3,000 in Israel, the Jeffreys Bay surfer was well seeded in events through the first half of the year. He finished 17th in the QS6,000 Burton Automotive Pro in Australia and won the QS1,500 Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay.

McGillivray went on to take 17th place in QS10,000 EDP Pro Ericeira in Portugal and finished the season strongly with 9th place, and a season’s best haul of 3,800 points, in the QS10,000 Vans World Cup held in giant waves at Sunset Beach in Hawaii last week.

Jordy Smith (Durban) has been a fixture among the world’s Top 32 on the CT for the past 11 seasons and only competed in three QS events this year, finishing No 38 overall after grabbing fifth and 13th place results in the two QS10,000’s in Hawaii along with a low 73rd place for his token appearance at the Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong in June.

Currently CT No. 6 on the CT, Smith is out of contention for the world title heading into the season ending Billabong Pipe Masters, but still has a mathematical chance of becoming the first South African male to clinch the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS) title if he can better his career best fifth place result at Pipeline.

Smith was awarded the VTCS Rookie of the Year title in 2007, while back in 2001Heather Clark (Port Shepstone) won the VTCS women’s crown and she remains the only Saffa to claim the accolade which is second only to the World Champion title in status.

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) retained his position in the Top100 for the sixth consecutive year, finishing 49th this year after being the country’s top QS surfers from 2013 to 2016. The KwaDukuza based 25 year-old’s strong performances in Hawaii, where he famously scored a perfect 10-point ride for what has been described as the ‘best tube ride in a contest at Sunset Beach’, saw him maintain his seeding for the major events next year.

Indeed, the Hawaiian performances of all the Saffas was really encouraging as the QS season wraps up with back-to-back QS10,000’s where career-changing qualification hopes and preferential seeding can be realised or dashed on a single heat result.

McGillivray’s familiarity with the powerful island waves has developed exponentially thanks to the amount of time he spends with his Hawaiian girlfriend Zoe McDougall on the North Shore of Oahu and this will stand him in good stead for future campaigns. Hawaiian based Capetonian Benji Brand is a standout there and has already won several events and also earned a coveted wildcard into last season’s Billabong Pipe Masters.

Michael February (Cape Town) will complete his rookie CT season at Pipeline over the next week and the difficulty of competing on both tours showed in his QS results as he dropped from 15th to 50th this year, while David van Zyl (Glenashley) has become a force to be reckoned with at both the Hawaiian venues of Haleiwa and Sunset Beach.

QS rookie Adin Masencamp (Strand), who clinched the WSL Africa junior title in 2017 and franked his contest credentials by claiming the region’s open men’s title this year, showed great promise in his maiden visit to Hawaii and has ensured he will qualify for big events next year with 87th place ranking.

Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) secured his Top 100 status with his 49th place result in the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa while Slade Prestwich (Durban) showed the benefits of his busy international travelling schedule and earned his best points haul when he reached the final of QS3,000 HIC Pro at Sunset, finishing fourth behind third placed Beyrick de Vries.

The significant improvement in the ranking of South African surfers can be attributed to the expanded series of regional events organised by WSL Africa Operations Manager Colin Fitch whose tireless efforts to provide local surfers with the opportunities to make surfing their career have really paid off in the last two years.

After more than five years as WSL Africa’s marketing agents, Accelerate Sport have created an exciting package for local businesses which has seen six events added to the regional calendar, encompassing juniors (18-and-under), open and longboard events for both men and women.

The WSL Africa membership base has also increased dramatically to more than 150 and the prize-money on offer has kept pace with over R6 million up for grabs this year. Much of that comes from the QS10,000 rated Ballito Pro pres. by Billabong which crowned it’s 50th champion this year and has the distinction of being the world’s longest running professional surfing event.

With the likes of Steven Sawyer (Jeffreys Bay) clinching the 2018 WSL World Longboard Surfing title, Grant ‘Twig’ Baker (Durban) heading the WSL Big Wave Tour rankings with just one event to go, Jordy Smith a perennial threat for the WSL Men’s World Title and rapidly improving results being achieved by the QS warriors, professional surfing in the region heads into 2019 in robust good health.

See www.worldsurfleague.com for more information

2018 WSL Qualifying Series (QS) – Yearend Rankings
1 Kanoa Igarashi JPN 26800
2 Griffin Colapinto USA 24300
3 Seth Moniz HAW 22300
4 Ryan Callinan AUS 21660
5 Peterson Crisanto BRA 20750

South Africans (Top 150)
30 Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 11550
38 Jordy Smith (Durban) 9450
49 Beyrick De Vries (uMhlanga) 8080
50 Michael February (Cape Town) 8050
60 David Van Zyl (Glenashley) 6900
87 Adin Masencamp (Strand) 5350
93 Benji Brand (Kommetjie/Hawaii) 4910
98 Dylan Lightfoot (Jeffreys Bay) 4695
115 Slade Prestwich (Durban) 3860
129 Jordy Maree (Kalk Bay) 3435

ENDS

About the 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 organization, 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 more than 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 Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.

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

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
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Michael February Delivers Career Best Result with Fifth Place in Tahiti Pro

August 20th, 2018 No comments

Cape Town’s Michael February (ZAF) finished fifth in the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o on Sunday and moved up to No. 27 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) rankings Credit: © WSL / Poullenot

– Gabriel Medina Earns Second CT win at Teahupo’o
– Filipe Toledo Retains Jeep Rankings Leader Jersey

TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Sunday, August 19, 2018) – South African Michael February delivered his career best result on Sunday when he finished fifth in the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o, event No. 7 of 11 on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

February, who had not progressed beyond Round 3 in his previous seven events on the elite 34-man tour, was eventually ousted by Jeep Rankings Leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) in their quarter-final match-up.

The CT rookie from Cape Town had earlier defeated compatriot Jordy Smith (Durban) in Round 3 and then won his three-man Round 4 heat over Wade Carmichael (AUS) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW). The 4,745 points he earned saw February jump four places to No. 27 on the CT rankings and within 2,000 points of a qualifying spot for the 2019 elite tour with four events remaining in the 2018 season.

Gabriel Medina (BRA) claimed his second Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o title and his first event win of 2018 by defeating Owen Wright (AUS) in the final held in clean but inconsistent 1 – 1.5 metre waves at the famed South Pacific reef pass.

“I’m just so happy to win here again and, first, I just want to thank God,” Medina said. “I came here and trained a lot, and I was just waiting for the victory. I love Tahiti and I’ve had some great Finals here. I’ve won here before, two second-place finishes, and another win now.”

Since his first Tahiti Pro win in 2014, the Brazilian superstar has never dropped below third place at the event. His win over Wright came after he ousted Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the semi-finals and fellow Brazilian Italo Ferreira in the quarters.

“Now I can kind of start thinking about winning a World Title. I think anything is possible. There’re a couple of events to go and I just want to keep giving it my best.”

Medina’s victory moves him up from 3rd to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard, 6,300 points behind Toledo and well within striking distance of capturing a second WSL Title this year if he maintains strong results in the final four events, two of which he won last year.

Medina added. “I’m really happy right now, but I know Owen’s got the same feeling I had last year, which was horrible for me, but it’s competition and that’s why we love competing. I feel blessed to have been in the right spots at this event and now I’m going to enjoy this moment, then I’m focusing on the next event.”

Wright’s runner-up finish today marks his best result in Tahiti and his best result of the season. To make his first final in Tahiti the Australian took down Jeep frontrunner Toledo in the semis and Carmichael in the quarters. Before Tahiti, Wright sat at 11th on the Jeep Leaderboard, but his result now boosts him up to 6th.

“It’s a sting, but it’s just nice to be back in the final,” Wright said. “Right now, it’s a hard loss to take a second, but it’s been an incredible week. It all came down to those last two waves. I made the wrong decision and I’m already feeling that deep burn and drive. I’m stoked for Gabby, well-deserved win for him after it got taken off him by Julian (Wilson) just last year. Congratulations to Gabby.”

Toledo fell just short of his third final of the year, losing to eventual runner-up Wright in a hard-fought semi-final bout. The rankings leader’s form was impeccable throughout the event, including a brilliant quarter-final win over rookie Michael February (ZAF), and he will retain the Jeep Leader Jersey going into the next stop, the Surf Ranch Pro.

“I feel really happy and proud of myself with all the hard work I put out here, and a semi-final result in Tahiti is definitely a keeper,” Toledo said. “I’ve been on the Tour for six years now and this is one of those years where everything is clicking and everything’s happening. I’m just making sure to capitalise and get the job done. It’s important to just keep the focus on what I’ve been doing – my training, my surfing – and not worrying about the outside world.”

The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Hurley in Lemoore, California from September 6 – 9, 2018.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

Tahiti Pro Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50
2 – Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07

Tahiti Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.03
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.10

Tahiti Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.43 def. Michael February (ZAF) 8.60
QF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.00 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.57
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.57. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
QF 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.74

WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Tahiti Pro):
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 41,985 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,685 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 32,380 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,160 pts
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 25,550 pts

South Africans
7 – Jordy Smith (Durban) 23,575 pts
27 – Michael February (Cape Town) 11,000 pts
43 – Matthew McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) 420 pts

ENDS

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

 

 

 

 

JORDY SMITH LEADS WORLD TEAM TO VICTORY AT HISTORIC WSL FOUNDERS’ CUP OF SURFING

May 7th, 2018 No comments

World Team celebrates win at WSL Founders’ Cup of Surfing (from L to R): Kanoa Igarashi (Japan), Paige Hareb (New Zealand), Jordy Smith (South Africa), Bianca Buitendag (South Africa), and Michel Bourez (Tahiti)  Credit: © WSL / Rowland

– WORLD TEAM STUNS GLOBAL SURFING POWERS
– BRAZIL TEAM FINISHES 2ND WITH BRILLIANT FINAL PERFORMANCES
– USA UNABLE TO SOLIDIFY WIN DESPITE TERRIFIC START
– AUSTRALIA AND EUROPE FALL SHORT IN QUALIFYING ROUNDS
– MORE AVAILABLE AT WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM AND WSLFOUNDERSCUP.COM

LEMOORE, Calif./USA (Sunday, May 6, 2018) – The World Team captained by South Africa’s Jordy Smith made history by winning the inaugural World Surf League (WSL) Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold in California on Sunday.

The first-ever official event at the WSL Surf Ranch, in front of a sellout crowd, was a showcase of incredible surfing and competition as the world’s best female and male surfers battled in teams for their home countries.

Highlighting how globally strong the sport of surfing is, it was the combined World Team who took an incredibly tight win ahead of Brazil in 2nd, USA in 3rd, Australia in 4th and Europe in 5th.

World Team was spearheaded by South African pair Jordy Smith (Team Captain) and Bianca Buitendag and superbly backed up by Michel Bourez (Tahiti), Paige Hareb (New Zealand) and Kanoa Igarashi (Japan).

Heading into the last heat of the Final, Brazil held the lead and the World Team needed a big performance from Smith on his last wave as he came up against USA Team Captain Kelly Slater and Filipe Toledo of the Brazil Team. Under pressure, Smith delivered a phenomenal final ride to earn the required score for the team’s victory at the Founders’ Cup of Surfing.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win as a team,” said Smith. “That was a wild few days and this just leaves room for bigger and better things to come. We’ve been talking about it as a team all weekend, and you can’t leave anything on the table when it comes to Finals Day. You just let it all hang out and enjoy it, and if you can pull that off you’ll walk away with a win. I think all week long we’ve been the underdogs and determination got us through it. Collectively, we just held our confidence up the whole time and supported each other all the way.”

The stunning World Team’s victory saw all five surfers perform amazing feats in the Final against the star-studded USA and Brazil teams. In the Qualifying rounds, the World Team actually finished in Equal 3rd place with Australia, which then forced a surf-off in order to advance. The sudden-death matchup against Australia saw Hareb clinch the win to qualify her team for the Final that eventually opened the door for their first-place result.

“The last two days have been so surreal and it’s still sinking in,” Hareb said. “The win came from nowhere I feel like and it’s the perfect ending to such a fun week. I am so proud to represent this team alongside Jordy (Smith), Bianca (Buitendag), Michel (Bourez), and Kanoa (Igarashi).”

The Brazil Team finished second, fractionally ahead of USA and Australia. Captain Gabriel Medina opened their final with an amazing 9.67 ride, the highest score in the Final. Toledo, Silvana Lima, Adriano de Souza, and Taina Hinckel pushed progression to new heights with miraculous tube-rides and imaginative aerial maneuvers.

“The team vibe was great and everyone was just pushing each other to do better,” Medina said. “I’m really happy with how we performed, even though it’s disappointing to come up short. We surfed really good as a team and it was a really fun event to show what we could do. It’s good to share this moment and have everyone talking to each other, especially with Taina [Hinckel] being so young. We’re so used to all the pressure, but it’s all new for her and we showed her a lot of support so hopefully, when she gets here in the future, she’ll be ready for this amazing atmosphere.”

Despite coming in second, the Brazil Team acquired the event’s highest single-wave scores and broke new ground at the WSL Surf Ranch. Toledo earned a Perfect 10 for his team, which also earned him the Jeep Best Ride Award for having the top-scoring wave of the contest. Toledo will drive out of Lemoore in the award’s prize, the 2018 Jeep Wrangler.

“It’s such an honor to be a part of surfing’s future and represent Brazil,” Toledo said. “Gabriel Medina, John Florence and I talked about how amazing it was to surf as teams. We were really tight together and the team had your back the whole way through supporting you. It was just an incredible experience and it’s something we will always remember.”

USA Team looked unstoppable after an incredible opening day had them in 1st place by over five points, but their performance in the Finals lacked the flair of the other teams. Team Captain Slater went extremely close to forcing a surf-off against the World Team on his final wave as he required a 9.27 ride to draw level with World Team. Slater surfed incredibly on the final ride but missed the score by only 0.2 points.

“I think it was a huge success,” Slater said. “Everybody had a good time, from those who didn’t know what was going on, to the die-hard surf fans. I think it translated well to everyone and there were a lot of smiles to be had. The other teams came together a little bit better in the end maybe, we were pretty cohesive, but they had the better plan to the Finals approach. When the situation lined up on my part it was a cool thing just knowing my wave would push us into a tie with Brazil or the World Team would win — which them doing so was terrific and really represents what we were doing here as a whole.”

John John Florence’s desperate attempts to defeat Medina in the Final fell short, but the two-time WSL Champion still claimed the event’s Quiksilver Best Air Award with his brilliant 9.80 in his second run on Saturday. Lakey Peterson’s consistent surfing helped earn the USA’s only Final heat win after Carissa Moore fell short to Lima with an 8.77. But, Moore’s overall event experience was one of the team’s best weapons and was a clear standout all weekend.

“You really just wanted to do well for your team and we would’ve loved to win, but it was such a fun experience competing together,” Moore said. “Kelly (Slater) was so close, I think all he needed to do was a turn and I’m glad he pushed it. That’s how this sport is going to get better. I’m just going to really remember being part of a team and the whole experience. To be a part of the first WSL Surf Ranch event and witness the fans here was incredible, and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Australia Team earned the fourth-place finish after barely missing qualification in their sudden-death, surf-off against the World Team. Unfortunately the experienced team, consisting of Team Captain and six-time WSL Champion, Stephanie Gilmore, three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning, two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright, and Matt Wilkinson, fell short under the pressure and was eliminated ahead of the Finals.

Earlier this morning, Europe Team’s Run 3 did not help them improve the needed scores to receive a Finals spot and saw them finish in fifth on the Jeep Leaderboard. Team Captain Johanne Defay scored two 7-point rides alongside Portugal’s Frederico Morais. Jeremy Flores and Leonardo Fioravanti had standout barrel rides but did not have the opportunity to continue into the Final. Frankie Harrer struggled to keep pace but is excited to return to the WSL Surf Ranch to continue to gain more experience.

Jeep Leaderboard:

1 – World Team
2 – Brazil Team
3 – USA Team
4 – Australia Team
5 – Europe Team

Final Results HERE: https://www.wslfounderscup.com/results

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com and WSLFoundersCup.com.

ENDS

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

 

 

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

May 4th, 2018 No comments

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.

ENDS

Partners
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

 

 

Michael February Upsets Matt Wilkinson in First Championship Tour Event of 2018

March 13th, 2018 No comments

Michael February (ZAF) from Kommetjie blasts his way to an upset victory over former event champion Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in Round 2 of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia on Tuesday Photo: WSL / Sloane

– World Champ John John Florence Eliminated by Wildcard
– More Information Available At Worldsurfleague.Com

South Africa’s Michael February (ZAF) made full use of an injury-replacement spot in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast by causing a major upset when he defeated 2016 event winner Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in Round 2 at the first stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT)

February, the first alternate for the 2018 CT season after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the elite tour at the end of last year, was only officially notified that he was in the event when Kelly Slater (USA) withdrew on Monday. The 11-time World Champion cited his need to allow more for the foot he injured at Jeffreys Bay last July to recover fully.

“It’s been a weird last couple of days because I didn’t know what to expect from Kelly,” February said. “He messaged me yesterday and explained the situation, which I really appreciated, because I like to understand everything. It would have been nice to be in Round 1, but I can’t complain and to win my first heat feels incredible.”

The 24-year-old, who honed his skills in the frigid Atlantic Ocean waves around Kommetjie in Cape Town, grabbed his opportunity against Wilkinson in the clean but inconsistent one metre waves peeling down the storied Snapper Rocks point. Starting out slowly while Wilkinson caught plenty of waves, February used the priority system to select the bigger and longer set waves that enabled him to perform multiple manoeuvres.

With his confidence growing as the heat progressed, the rookie posted a 6.0 to take the lead with five minutes remaining and Wilkinson could not find the 6.03 he needed for the heat win and two-time finalist was eliminated in equal 25th place overall.

“Freestyle’ February, as the commentators have affectionately dubbed the lanky South African’s distinctive approach to riding waves, progresses to Round 3 where he will take on Julian Wilson (AUS) when men’s competition resumes. The World No. 3 won his Round 1 encounter on Sunday to advance directly to Round 3.

A massive upset kicked off the first men’s elimination round of the year with current World No. 1 John John Florence (HAW) eliminated by event wildcard Mikey Wright (AUS). The young competitor has made it clear that he will work hard to reach the elite CT and join his siblings, Tyler and Owen Wright, by continuing to prove himself in the Qualifying Series tour, the pathway where surfers earn their way to the top competition ranks.

“I’m so thankful to get this wildcard from Quiksilver and to have the opportunity to come up against the world’s best,” Wright said. “Obviously, coming up against the World Champion is going to be tough but anyone on the CT is going to be really tough, so I just wanted to go out and surf my own heat and just work on getting the best waves. The waves are really fun so I can’t wait to get back out there and do what I love to do.”

Florence’s shocking loss is the first time since 1991 that the reigning men’s World Champion has been knocked out of Round 2 in the opening event of the season (Tom Curren won the Title in 1990 and was a no-show in the first half of the 1991 season). Florence will leave with his first 25th place finish in 25 events.

“Mikey [Wright] is such a great surfer and he really surfed well in that heat,” Florence said. “His wave choice was so good. Every time I would pull off a wave, he’d be right behind me on a bigger, better wall. I’m feeling really good this year. I just need to get back into that competitive mindset and focus on my wave choice and hopefully not get another last-place finish at Bells Beach.”

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 2014 WSL Champion and 2014 event winner, did not let himself fall into the upset conversation with his win over Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) in Round 2. The Brazilian unleashed his signature backhand surfing to secure his win with a 13.00 combined score (out of a possible 20).

2012 WSL World Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) found redemption in his Round 2 heat, posting the highest two-wave total of the event so far, an excellent 17.03. Parkinson’s local knowledge was evident as he emerged from the biggest barrel of the day to dispatch of California’s Pat Gudauskas (USA) on his return to the CT. Parko, a two-time Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast event winner, also squashed any question of a looming retirement.

Jordy Smith (ZAF) will be up against rookie Michael Rodrigues (BRA) in Round 3 after the World No. 4 skipped Round 2 by winning his opening clash of the year on Sunday.

Event organizers will reconvene at 6:30 a.m. local time (10.30pm Tuesday, South African time) to make the next call.

Surfline, WSL forecast partner, is calling for:

Mid period, mid-size E swell from former Cyclone Hola will fill in today. There is good confidence we will see NE to E swell Wed-Thu, easing slowly into and over the weekend as the swell direction shifts more ESE/SE. Long range guidance points to more mid-size ESE/SE swell around the last couple to few days of the event window.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Mikey Wright (AUS) 15.10 def. John John Florence (HAW) 10.76
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.00 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 7.90
Heat 3: Michael February (ZAF) 11.03 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.97
Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.40 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 10.07
Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 17.03 def. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 9.67
Heat 6: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 14.67 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.80
Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.16 def. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.90
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.60 def. Keanu Asing (HAW) 8.86
Heat 9: Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.90 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 10.83
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.20 def. Yago Dora (BRA) 10.60
Heat 11: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.93 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 12.17
Heat 12: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.74 def. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 11.13

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Heat 2: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Heat 5: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 7: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 8: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 10: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Heat 11: Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Michel Bourez (PYF)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)

Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Matchups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)

ENDS

About the World Surf League
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
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

WSL Announces Founders’ Cup of Surfing Event for May 2018

February 26th, 2018 No comments

South Africa’s Jordy Smith will lead the World Team at the inaugural Founders’ Cup of Surfing event at the Kelly Slater Wave Co Surf Ranch Credit: © WSL / Rowland

– Michelob Ultra Pure Gold Sponsors First Public Event at Surf Ranch Facility
– Co-Ed Region Versus Region Teams Event with World’s Best Surfers
– Register for Pre-Sale Tickets at Wslfounderscup.Com

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD HI-RES IMAGES FROM THE SURF RANCH: https://wdrv.it/2b00dbd91
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LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Monday, February 26, 2018) – The World Surf League (WSL) today announced the Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, a historic region-versus-region teams event featuring a cross-section of the world’s best surfers to be held at Surf Ranch in Lemoore, CA from May 5 – 6, 2018.

Five teams – USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and World – made up of men’s and women’s surfers from the elite WSL Championship Tour, will compete over the two-day event at the world-class, man-made wave venue of Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. The competition will be hosted against a festival backdrop honoring the culture of surfing – food, music, beverage, art and special guests will all be on site for enjoyment.

“This technology has captured the imagination of the global surfing community and created a number of new opportunities for the WSL,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. “The Founders’ Cup of Surfing will be the organization’s first public event at the facility and we’re very excited to showcase the wave and the world’s best surfers through this unique team format in May.”

The 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 May Founders’ Cup of Surfing to be the first time the public will be allowed onto the grounds.

The Founders’ Cup of Surfing will see the men and women competing alongside one another in the team format, a first for WSL events that will add a new dimension to surf competition. The teams will be made up of three men and two women from each region, and the five-person teams will compete against one another throughout the course of the two-day event.

Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time WSL Men’s Champion, will lead the US men’s and women’s team at the Founders’ Cup. Although still recovering from a foot injury suffered last year in South Africa, Slater is eager to rehabilitate in time to compete in the Founders’ Cup.

“Surf Ranch and the wave system are obviously special to me and it’s really exciting to see it come online for the public in 2018, first with the Founders’ Cup and then with Surf Ranch Open,” Slater said. “As someone who has competed in probably every competition format there is, the Founders’ Cup region-versus-region, co-ed format is really intriguing to me. I think May is going to be a great showcase for the world’s best surfers at the facility.”

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), six-time WSL Women’s Champion, has been one of the standouts at the testing facility throughout the past year and the 30-year-old natural-footer will lead the Australian team at the Founders’ Cup this year.

“The facility and the wave at Surf Ranch is amazing,” Gilmore said. “It’s such a fun wave to surf and really high-performance. Having it come online to complement our ocean-based events in 2018 is really exciting and I’m looking forward to leading the Australia team at the Founders’ Cup in May.”

Gabriel Medina (BRA), 2014 WSL Men’s Champion and last season’s world runner-up, was victorious at last year’s test event at the Surf Ranch facility and the 24-year-old Brazilian will lead his South American colleagues at the venue in May.

“Leading the Brazil team at the Founders’ Cup in May is a real honor,” Medina said. “We have so much talent in Brazil on both the men’s and women’s side that I think we will be in a strong position to do well in the inaugural teams event.”

Johanne Defay (FRA), perennial threat on the WSL Women’s Championship Tour, has been one of the standouts throughout the 2017 training sessions at the facility. Defay will Captain the European squad at the Founders’ Cup.

“The Surf Ranch wave is so fun!” Defay said. “I was pumped when we heard that there would be a CT at the wave this year and now the Founders’ Cup. Team Europe will have some rippers on there for sure.”

Jordy Smith (ZAF), universally-regarded as one of the most progressive and powerful surfers on the planet, will captain the five-person World Team this May.

“Being able to captain the World Team is a real honor,” Smith said. “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.”

Tickets will be available for sale starting March 12. Registration for pre-sale tickets can be found at WSLFoundersCup.com.

The Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold in May will be the first public event held at the facility. The Surf Cup Open, a men’s and women’s Championship Tour event, is scheduled for September 2018.

Presenting sponsor, Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold, is made with sustainably sourced organic grains and features ingredients free from artificial colors and flavoring. Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold was born from a commitment to innovate using ingredients and inspiration from nature.

Led by reigning two-time WSL Champions John John Florence (HAW) and Tyler Wright (AUS), the first event of the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Australia from March 11 – 22, 2018.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

ENDS

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________________________________________
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
Dave Prodan
SVP of Global Brand Identity
dprodan@worldsurfleague.com
+1 (805) 758-5586

Chloe Kojima
Communications Manager
ckojima@worldsurfleague.com
+1 (310) 386-9181

 

Issued on behalf of:

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

Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

 

 

HAWAII’S JOHN JOHN FLORENCE CLAIMS BACK-TO-BACK WSL TITLES AT BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS

December 19th, 2017 No comments

John John Florence (HAW) deep inside the barrel at Backdoor on his way to clinching the 2017 world surfing title at the season ending Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons in Hawaii on Monday Photo: WSL / Poullenot

25-YEAR-OLD BECOMES FIRST MALE SURFER SINCE ANDY IRONS TO DEFEND A MAIDEN TITLE
– JEREMY FLORES TAKES SECOND BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS EVENT WIN
– GRIFFIN COLAPINTO CLAIMS VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING
– MORE AVAILABLE AT WORLDSURFLEAGUE.COM

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 18, 2017) – John John Florence (HAW) clinched the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Title on Monday at the Billabong Pipe Masters, making him the first male surfer since the late Andy Irons (HAW) to successfully defend a maiden world title (Irons was ’02, ’03). Mark Richards (AUS, ’79 & ’80), Tom Carroll (AUS, ’83 & ’84) and Tom Curren (USA, ’85 & ‘86) are the only other male surfers to have achieved this feat.

“It’s been my dream to win here at home,” Florence said. “There’s been a nervous build up to this event and I just don’t know what to say, I’m shaking. So many people have been here for me this year and it’s been awesome. It’s been an awesome year and I’m just so stoked.”

Florence’s season started out with strong results during the Australian leg, including his first event win of the year in Margaret River. After two 13th place finishes in Rio and Fiji, Florence steadily improved his results through the remainder of the season. With a 5th place in both Jeffreys Bay and Tahiti, followed by Semifinal berths at Trestles and in France, Florence reclaimed the Jeep Leader Jersey from closest rival Jordy Smith (ZAF).

Smith went into the last event of the season ranked No. 3 and with a mathematical chance of clinching his first world title. The two-time WSL runner-up was defeated by 11-time world champion Kelly Slater (USA) in Round 3, finishing equal 13th in the event and dropping to No.4 on the yearend leaderboard.

Going into the Billabong Pipe Masters, only four surfers remained in contention to clinch the title, but contenders Gabriel Medina (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS), and Smith weren’t able to deliver the results needed to block Florence at his home break in Hawaii. Florence’s victory was sealed after Medina was eliminated today in the Quarterfinals at the hands of eventual event winner Jeremy Flores (FRA).

“I think I learned a lot about myself this year competing with all the pressure, especially coming from last year’s win,” Florence continued. “It’s been a hard year and I’ve had some ups and some downs, but mostly I had a lot of fun. I think that’s what came out of last year and I really, really wanted to enjoy every moment of it.”

Universally regarded as one of the best allround surfers, Florence has diligently worked at improving since qualifying for the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) in 2011. A seven-year competitor on the CT, the surfer form Hawaii claimed his maiden title in 2016 with an early-season clinch in Portugal, having previously finished in the Top 5 twice before (4th in 2012 and 3rd in 2014). With this second title, the surfing world is eyeing the beginning of a new dynasty in high-performance surfing.

“It’s been scary being that close in points to someone like Gabriel (Medina) who’s such a great surfer out here and a fierce competitor,” said Florence. “His comeback in Europe was amazing, he won two events in a row and then was right there in the title race. Surfing with him out here has been nerve racking but it would have been cool if we had a final for the title.

“I couldn’t have done it without my guys traveling with me and I have to thank my mom for all this because she took me and my brothers traveling when we were young and really just got us to love the ocean and I think that’s what we’re all in this for – the love of surfing – so thank you, mom, I wouldn’t be here without you.”

In addition to cementing his status as the best surfer on the planet, Florence spends his free time and celebrity working toward ocean health initiatives and environmental causes.

FLORENCE 2017 WSL CT RESULTS –
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: 3rd
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: WINNER
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 3rd
Oi Rio Pro: 13th
OK Fiji Pro: 13th
Corona Open J-Bay: 5th
Billabong Pro Tahiti: 5th
Hurley Pro at Trestles: 3rd
Quiksilver Pro France: 3rd
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal: 5th
Billabong Pipe Masters: 2nd

FLORENCE CAREER WSL CT RANKINGS:
2011: 34th
2012: 4th
2013: 10th
2014: 3rd
2015: 14th
2016: WSL CHAMPION
2017: WSL CHAMPION

Jeremy Flores (FRA) claimed his second Billabong Pipe Masters victory today after defeating Florence in an exciting Final. Flores, the 2010 Pipe Master, took out Kanoa Igarashi (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) en route to the Final against the new WSL Champion. Flores rounds out the year at 15th place on the Jeep Leaderboard to solidify his place on the 2018 CT thanks to today’s victory, his best result of the season and his first CT win since Tahiti in 2015.

“Winning the Pipe Masters against John John Florence like that in perfect Backdoor in the last seconds, that’s the best way to win,” Flores said. “I couldn’t think of any better way to win this Pipe Master. I’m so, so stoked and there’s a lot of emotions. Congrats to everyone. Congrats to John John (Florence) and Gabriel (Medina), these guys are next level. My goal was to win this event but this is crazy, I’m so happy.

After a slow start to the Final, it was Florence that found the first score of significance with just over twenty minutes remaining with a long barrel that was rewarded with an 8.93. Flores answered with a 7.90 but a relaxed looking world champ was right behind him with a clean tube ride of his own for 7.23 and a solid heat lead. Flores was left searching for an 8.27 in order to claim his second Pipe Masters, but with limited opportunities the clock ran down. In the final seconds the Frenchman found an opportunity and the crowd waited anxiously for the result. The score came in and Flores stole the win from Florence, turning the heat with a thrilling buzzer-beater barrel.

“I almost got a Pipe Masters but I’m super stoked for Jeremy Flores,” Florence said. “That last wave was insane and this whole event has been amazing.”

Florence previously dispatched world title contender Julian Wilson (AUS) (who finished out the year in third place) in the Quarterfinals and then, following news of his title clinching, the new WSL Champion went on to face Ian Gouveia (BRA) in the Semifinals before taking on Flores in the Final.

Kanoa Igarashi (USA) faced eventual winner Flores in the second Semifinal. Igarashi kept busy through the opening half of his heat to hold the top spot but the Frenchman stayed patient and found the wave of the heat for an excellent 9.37. Flores backed it up with a smaller inside wave to move into first position, eliminating Igarashi who takes home a second consecutive Semifinal berth and moves to 17th place on the Jeep Leaderboard.

World title contender Gabriel Medina (BRA) finishes the year in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard with a 5th place finish at the Billabong Pipe Masters after being defeated by Flores in the Quarterfinals.

Medina’s season started out well with a third place finish at the season opener in Australia but a series of less than stellar results saw him slide down the rankings. A third place in South Africa, followed by a runner-up result in Tahiti and then back-to-back wins in Europe saw the young Brazilian rocket up the Jeep Leaderboard and into the world title race. The 23- year-old from Maresias, Sao Paulo became Brazil’s first WSL Champion when he clinched the title in 2014. Medina has been in the World Title race every year since his maiden World Title victory in 2014 (No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard in 2015 and 2016).

“2017 was a great year,” said Medina. “I had an injury at the beginning of the year which wasn’t great but I tried to do my best. I had some bad results but I also had some great results. I’m so tired right now because I put everything in the water. I just tried to never give up because there’s always a chance no matter what’s going on. That was a long year and it’s hard to deal with all the ups and downs so it was stressful. That’s all part of the game, you just have to do your best. My goal here was the final but I’m stoked everyone got to watch and I’m coming back for next year.”

Freshly qualified for the 2018 CT, Griffin Colapinto (USA), 19, added to his thriving season by taking the 35th Annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing honor today and became the first Californian to ever win the coveted surfing series.

“I’m feeling incredible right now and it’s the best feeling ever,” said Colapinto. “I was just looking at the names that have won the Triple Crown, just all the names on there are insane and to win after John John (Florence) won last year is amazing. It’s been a really fun day watching the contest and to see all the action. John, congratulations on winning the World Title, I’m so stoked for you. And Jeremy winning the Pipe Masters, two times now, that’s insane. Just really excited for next year and for Snapper and I think there will be a lot of energy there and to have my name on a jersey will be special. Thanks so much!”

Colapinto captured a runner up finish at the first Vans Triple Crown jewel, the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park, then went on to final at the second event, the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, for a commanding lead on the series. After Italo Ferreira (BRA) went down to Igarashi in the Quarterfinals the young American secured his victory.

WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after Billabong Pipe Masters):
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 59,600 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 53,700 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 48,650 pts
4 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 47,600 pts
5 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 40,700 pts

Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Jeremy Flores (FRA) 16.23
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 16.16

Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal Results:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 12.56 def. Ian Gouveia (BRA) 12.33
SF 2: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.20 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.33

Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 9.70 vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 8.40
QF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 17.60 vs. Julian Wilson (AUS) 2.64
QF 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 12.76 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.04
QF 4: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 9.57 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.67

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.23 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.43
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.50 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 7.90
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.97 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 9.16
Heat 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 6.34 def. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 0.90

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Ian Gouveia (BRA) 11.73, Conner Coffin (USA) 1.23, Julian Wilson (AUS) 0.43
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 13.17, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.87, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 4.53
Heat 3: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 15.37, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.10, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
Heat 4: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.44, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 4.60, Kelly Slater (USA) 4.44

The world’s best surfers will return in 2018 with the kick-off event on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia in March.

For highlights from the Billabong Pipe Masters check out WorldSurfLeague.com.

ENDS

About the World Surf League

The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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.

 

Issued on behalf of:

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

Distributed by:

Life’s a Beach Communications
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

#labcomm

Jordy Smith Top Scores on Day 1 of Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii

December 12th, 2017 No comments

Jordy Smith deep inside the barrel at Backdoor during his Round 1 heat victory at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons on Monday Photo: WSL / Cestari

– World Title Contenders Smith and John John Florence Advance to Round 3
– Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson Relegated to Elimination Round 2
– Hawaii Based South African Benji Brand Earns Wildcard Spot

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 11, 2017) – World No. 3 ranked Jordy Smith posted the highest heat total yesterday on the opening day of action in the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and the third gem of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS)

Competing in incredible two to three metre Pipeline barrels, Smith found two unbelievably hollow tubes on the right-breaking Backdoor section of the reef to earn excellent scores of 8.67 and 7.90 that left his Australian opponents Bede Durbidge and Ethan Ewing in a combo situation where they were unable to overtake him with one ride.

The performance was an ideal confidence booster for Smith who needs to reach the final of the season-ending event and for rankings leader John John Florence (HAW) and current No. 2 Gabriel Medina (BRA) to bow out early in order for the South African to clinch his maiden world title.

“I think the noise is pretty quiet,” said Smith. “I don’t really get too deep into the pressure and quite frankly it really boils down to those two guys (Florence and Medina) losing out early, but you never know. If they wobble then I’ll put my head down and give it a go.”

Florence, who was loudly cheered by the partisan home crowd as he entered the water, started his world title campaign with a solid 13.50 (out of a possible 20) scoreline to take top position over Pipe Invitational winner Dusty Payne (HAW) and Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas (BRA). Wearing the Jeep Leader yellow jersey, Florence looked confident and in rhythm at his home break and kept busy throughout the 30-minute match-up to secure his place in Round 3 and move one step closer to defending his World Title.

“I feel like a little kid again doing this event, just getting to surf Pipe with no one out,” said Florence. “The support here makes me even more psyched. Just coming down the beach earlier and everyone screaming — it just makes me more excited. Coming into Pipe this year is a lot different than last year because last year I felt more relaxed having the title already. So this year is a little different preparation.”

South African born Benji Brand has had a phenomenal season in his adopted home base of Hawaii, clinching the WSL Hawaii / Tahiti Nui Regional title and then earning a wildcard into the Pipe Masters when he finished runner-up in the Pipe Invitational.

The 21-year-old, who grew up surfing in Kommetjie and represented SA in several junior international events, took an early lead over Medina and fellow Brazilian Miguel Pupo. Pupo moved up into second place with a near-perfect 9.93, the highest single-wave score of the event so far, for a late takeoff into a cavernous Pipeline barrel and narrow exit.

Medina also put on the pressure with an excellent 8.50 but Brand continued to hold the lead. In the end it was Pupo, who is ranked No. 23 and battling for requalification, who stole the win to advance to Round 3 with a 4.90 during an exchange in the final minute, sending Medina and Brand to elimination Round 2.

11X WSL Champion and 7X Billabong Pipe Master Kelly Slater (USA) made a triumphant return to competition today, wearing a contest jersey for the first time since July when he injured his foot in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

“I give the foot about 65 percent,” commented Slater. “I’ve missed competition but after so many years of nonstop day in, day out, week in and week out, it’s been kind of nice to have a few months off. It’s nice to get back, but it’s nice to get away from something that you love and get back and appreciate it.”

The event was put on standby after Heat 9 when the winds shifted onshore and a call was made at 2:00 p.m. HST to call the competition off for the day. Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. HST (7.30 p.m. South African time) on Tuesday to reassess the conditions and make the next call.

Surfline, official forecaster for the Billabong Pipe Masters, are calling for:

A new NW swell will build Tuesday afternoon and peak on Wednesday with XXL size surf washing Pipe out (along with onshore N wind). Thursday and Friday will see a decreasing trend in swell with strong NE trades. A mid-size NW swell looks possible for the 17th-18th (Sun-Mon) with at least a chance for light wind.

For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL App.

Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.17, Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.33, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 4.67
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 12.17, Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 6.10, Owen Wright (AUS) 3.37
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 10.56, Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.57, Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 1.50
Heat 4: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 16.57, Bede Durbidge (AUS) 11.43, Ethan Ewing (AUS) 3.00
Heat 5: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 14.83, Benji Brand (HAW) 12.64, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.43
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW) 13.50, Dusty Payne (HAW) 6.83, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 5.63
Heat 7: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.83, Adriano de Souza (BRA) 11.27, Jack Freestone (AUS) 7.04
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.47, Joan Duru (FRA) 11.90, Kolohe Andino (USA) 7.60
Heat 9: Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 10.50, Filipe Toledo (BRA) 2.00, Michel Bourez (PYF) 2.00

Billabong Pipe Masters Remaining Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 10: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 11: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 12: Mick Fanning (AUS), Frederico Morais (PRT), Italo Ferreira (BRA)

ENDS

About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 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 truly 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, 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, Grant Baker, Phil Rajzman, Tory Gilkerson, 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
PO Box 48272, Kommetjie 7976, South Africa
Tel: +27 (0) 21 783 4965
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 423 1964
Email: lifesabeach@mweb.co.za

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