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Posts Tagged ‘WSL CT Men’

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
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD VIDEO NEWSFEEDS FROM THE SURF RANCH: https://wdrv.it/123e9a221
The rights to any audio/visual content attached or accessed by link within this email are provided strictly on the terms and conditions described under the “License Terms” below.

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

#labcomm

Surf Ranch Announced as 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour Venue

November 19th, 2017 No comments

Gabriel Medina (BRA) won the Future Classic event at the WSL Surf Ranch in October. Photo: WSL / Morris

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD HI-RES IMAGES FROM THE SURF RANCH TEST EVENT: https://wdrv.it/a360cc7aa

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD VIDEOS NEWS FEEDS FROM THE SURF RANCH TEST EVENT: https://wdrv.it/5dc866d6f

The rights to any audio/visual content attached or accessed by link within this email are provided strictly on the terms and conditions described under the “License Terms” below.

The World Surf League (WSL) is excited to announce that the WSL Surf Ranch Facility in Lemoore, Central California will host the world’s best surfers as part of the 2018 Championship Tour (CT) calendar.

“Based on the results of our test event this year and the feedback from surfers training at the facility throughout the season, next September’s event has the potential to be something special for both surfers and fans,” Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. “We’re only scratching the surface of how this technology can be applied and it is completely game-changing for the sport.”

“It’s incredible what the WSL and KSWC teams have developed at Surf Ranch over the past year and California’s Central Valley now boasts a world-class wave,” Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner, said. “This technology, and its ability to deliver high-quality waves at any location in the world, opens so many possibilities for how we can complement and evolve the competitive experience.”

Since coming online in December 2015, the WSL Surf Ranch Facility in Lemoore, California has undergone constant refinement and evolution of its technology. A test event this year in September delivered very positive results in terms of competitive experience and the overwhelmingly supportive feedback from surfers training there throughout the season has encouraged the WSL to pursue an event at the facility in 2018.

“The experience of competing at Surf Ranch is pretty extraordinary,” Adrian Buchan, CT competitor and athlete representative, said. “What the team have created is hard to fathom at first – a perfect, 300-metre-long, bi-directional wave in the middle of rural California. I have no doubt that both the quality of the wave and the experience is befitting of hosting a world-class CT event. The Ocean will always be our home, but as we grow, having the opportunity to showcase and share the stoke of surfing to new audiences and schedule with pinpoint accuracy the huge match-ups and drama of the WSL is really exciting.”

“The surfers and the WSL have had a long-running discussion about the whole new set of opportunities that an event at the Surf Ranch facility can offer for the sport,” Sage Erickson, CT competitor and athlete representative, said. “We now have the opportunity to schedule events in advance, guaranteed high-quality waves, fair opportunity for all surfers and a totally new and unique environment for spectators. One of the takeaways from this season’s test event is surfers really have to bring their whole approach – barrels, turns, airs, carves and timing – to make an impact. It’s going to be incredible.”

A full 2018 WSL schedule is planned to be released next week.

The 2017 WSL Men’s and Women’s Title Races are coming down to the final events of the season – the Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons in Hawaii, USA from December 8 – 20, 2017 and the Maui Women’s Pro at Honolua Bay from November 25 – December 6, 2017.

For more information, log onto worldsurfleague.com

ENDS

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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

 

Gabriel Medina Wins Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal :: Climbs to No. 2 on Jeep Leaderboard

October 25th, 2017 No comments
Gabriel Medina (BRA) takes to the air on his way to victory in the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal at Supertubos in Peniche on Wednesday Photo: WSL / Poullenot

Gabriel Medina (BRA) takes to the air on his way to victory in the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal at Supertubos in Peniche on Wednesday Photo: WSL / Poullenot

– WSL Title Showdown Goes To Hawaii After Quarterfinal Elimination for John John Florence
– Jordy Smith and Julian Wilson Keep World Title Hopes Alive

SUPERTUBOS, Peniche/Portugal (Wednesday, October 25, 2017) – Gabriel Medina (BRA) won the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Stop No. 10 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), in tricky 1 – 1.5 metre waves to clinch the eighth event title of his career, just ten days he secured his seventh title in France.

Medina turned the tables on Julian Wilson (AUS) in a rematch of their 2012 final at Supertubos which was narrowly won by the Australian.

“I’m really happy right now, I had a goal to just win an event in Europe so to win those two is incredible,” Medina stated. “Now I feel tired, that was a lot of work! Julian (Wilson) got me so many times so it feels good to get one back over him. When he got the score at five minutes I thought ‘Oh My God, not again’, but I kept going and I’m so stoked I won in the end.”

Coming into Europe ranked eighth on the Jeep Leaderboard, Medina, the 2014 WSL Champion, rocketed up to second with his back-to-back wins in Hossegor and Peniche and will be the chief threat to John John Florence’s ambitions for back-to-back WSL titles when the tour concludes at Pipeline in Hawaii in December.

“Before I wasn’t, but now I’m definitely thinking about the title,” Medina added. “He (Florence) has an advantage with more points but you know anything can happen. I want to surf Pipe so bad, I love that wave and I got some good results there in the past, and nothing’s impossible!”

Wilson won every heat on his way to the final and this result keeps his title hopes alive by closing the gap on Jeep front-runner Florence. Previously in sixth place on the Jeep Leaderboard, today’s result sees Wilson move up to fourth.

“It was an awesome few days here, we had great challenging conditions before and cute smaller conditions today,” Wilson stated. “We always get a good test coming here to Peniche, it can be intimidating, or super exciting going for big airs. I’m glad we got a couple of exchanges in that heat and congratulations to Gabriel! Thanks Peniche for having us again and supporting us, we all love the wave, the challenge, we really embrace your positivity ”

The semi-finals saw Wilson overcome the challenge of Kolohe Andino (USA) in a high-scoring clash before Medina put paid to the hopes of Kanoa Igarashi (USA) in a tighter affair.

Current World No. 1 John John Florence (HAW) was unusually out of rhythm in his quarter-final match-up with Andino and was eliminated in equal fifth position.

“It was just really hard to find waves out there,” Florence said. “He found two really fun ones but even still it wasn’t those ones we were seeing in the morning. I was excited to get out there and get barreled but couldn’t find them. I get to go home now and I’m really excited to go surf Pipe and hopefully we get some good waves. If I win at home it will be even more meaningful I feel like.”

Florence’s 5th place finish means the WSL Title race will head to the final stop on the 2017 Championship Tour at the Billabong Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in December. Four surfers remain in contention heading into the final event: Florence who leads the rankings, Medina, Wilson and South Africa’s Jordy Smith, who was eliminated in Round 3 and dropped from second to third on the Jeep Leaderboard.

Florence is the only one of the quartet who has his fate entirely in his own hands and he will win his second consecutive WSL Title if he makes the final at Pipeline and finishes 1st or 2nd.

– If Florence is eliminated in the semis (3rd) or quarters (5th), Medina will need a 1st at Pipe to win the World Title;
– If Florence is eliminated in Round 5 (9th), Medina will need a 2nd or Smith will need a 1st;
– If Florence is eliminated in Round 3 (13th) or Round 2 (25th), Medina will need a 5th, Smith a 2nd or Wilson a 1st .

Event highlights are available via WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL app.

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.26
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 10.94

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semi-final Results:
SF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.83 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.56
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.10 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 6.24

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarter-final Results:
QF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.50 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 7.40
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 3.80
QF 3: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 12.50 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 8.44
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.33 def. Mick Fanning (AUS) 3.17

WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 53,350 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 50,250 pts
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 47,600 pts
4 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 45,200 pts
5 – Owen Wright (AUS) 39,850 pts

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

#labcomm

Jordy Smith Increases Rankings Lead after Runner-up Finish at Hurley Pro Trestles

September 16th, 2017 No comments
Jordy Smith (Durban) on his way to 2nd place in the Hurley Pro Trestles in California Photo: WSL / Morris

Jordy Smith (Durban) on his way to 2nd place in the Hurley Pro Trestles in California Photo: WSL / Morris

Filipe Toledo Clinches First Trestles Title and Second CT Victory of 2017

South Africa’s Jordy Smith increased his lead at the top of the Jeep Rankings Leaderboard when he finished runner-up to Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the final of the Hurley Pro Trestles, Stop No. 8 of 11 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), on Friday.

In a wave-starved final, Smith’s strategy of waiting for the bigger waves saw him record the highest score of the 35 minute encounter, a 9.0 out of 10,. But Toledo stayed busy and racked up scores of 8.0 and 7.67 to secure his first title at Trestles and in the process became the first male CT surfer to win two events this year.

“I would’ve liked to get a couple more waves in that heat, but today wasn’t my day, unfortunately, and Filipe [Toledo] just surfed really well,” Smith said. “I went out there with a strategy and executed it pretty much as perfectly as I could. But in surfing there are some things you can’t control and that’s Mother Nature. In that 35-minutes I just didn’t get a second chance.

“Now I’ll just try to focus on the next event and live every moment for what it is and what’s to come. It’s time to get ready for Europe where it’s very happy-go-lucky and I like roaming those lineups and just being there.”

Smith, who came into the event ranked No. 1, 950 points ahead of 2016 World Champion John John Florence (HAW), earned US $50,000 (approx R650,000) and 8,000 points at Trestles. The Durbanite is now 2,450 points ahead of Florence, who remains rankings runner-up following his defeat by Toledo in the semi-finals, and 8,650 points above No. 3 Julian Wilson (AUS).

Toledo put on spectacular performances for the San Clemente crowd with his powerful turns and big airs throughout the event. Today’s Final Series witnessed Toledo continue to turn up the heat en route to the 5th CT victory of his career.

“Finally! This is a very special moment right now,” said Toledo. “I always get stopped in the semis and beating Jordy [Smith], the one who beat me last time, is an incredible feeling. I’m so thankful for all my friends to be here and thank God for all the waves he sent to me. This event is always so entertaining to watch. I am so excited to win with my friends and family all here.”

The Swatch Pro Trestles, Stop No. 7 of 10 on the 2017 Women’s CT, saw a dominant performance from Silvana Lima (BRA), who claimed a massive win over Keely Andrew (AUS) by putting her in a combination situation with nearly half the heat remaining. Lima showcased her formidable forehand attack throughout the week and earned two more excellent scores in the final, an 8.67 and 8.93.

Andrew did her best to fight back, but despite having posted a string of eight and nine point rides earlier in the event, she couldn’t find a score greater than a 6.00 in the final.

“I still can’t believe I won over here,” Lima said. “All I could think about after the last event was coming here to Lowers. It’s my favorite wave on tour because I can surf how I like, do turns how I like and I just had to keep going. Heading into that final it took me back to my last final at Bells (in 2010) and I just wanted to smash it. When it came down to the last five minutes having Keely [Andrew] in a combination, I realized I won and couldn’t believe it.”

The next event on the 2017 WSL Women’s CT will be the Cascais Women’s Pro, which will see the world’s best female surfers head to Portugal from September 27 to October 5, 2017.

The next CT event for Men is the Quiksilver Pro France on the Bay of Biscay coast from October 7 to 18.

Highlights from the Hurley Pro and Swatch Pro events at Trestles can be found at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Hurley Pro Final Results:
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.67
2 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 9.80

Hurley Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.33 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.17
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 14.90 def. John John Florence (HAW) 12.66

Hurley Pro Remaining Quarterfinal Results:
QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 14.84 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.80
QF 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.26 def. Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 11.10

Swatch Pro Final Results:
1 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.60
2 – Keely Andrew (AUS) 10.93

Swatch Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.90 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.60
SF 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 13.43 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.17

2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Hurley Pro at Trestles):
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 45,850 pts
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 43,400 pts
3 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 37,200 pts
4 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 36,450 pts
5 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,850 pts

2017 WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Swatch Pro at Trestles):
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 45,100 pts
2 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 44,800 pts
3 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 44,700 pts
4 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 39,950 pts
5 – Sage Erickson (USA) 37,150 pts

ENDS

NOTE: High resolution images available on request for media outlets

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

#labcomm

 

Jordy Smith Heads World Rankings after Third Place Finish at Billabong Pro Tahiti

August 14th, 2017 No comments

 

Jordy Smith (Durban) on his way to 3rd place in the Billabong Pro Tahiti and the No. 1 spot on the Jeep Leaderboard Photo: WSL / Cestari

Jordy Smith (Durban) on his way to 3rd place in the Billabong Pro Tahiti and the No. 1 spot on the Jeep Leaderboard Photo: WSL / Cestari

Julian Wilson Takes Tahiti Title

South Africa’s Jordy Smith moved to the top of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) rankings after posting a career-best third place finish in the Billabong Pro Tahiti on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Durbanite, who started the event ranked No. 3, recorded hard-fought victories over Conner Coffin (USA) and reigning WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) on the final day before losing out to eventual winner, Julian Wilson (AUS) in their semifinal encounter.

“I am still learning a lot and I wish I had figured it out earlier in the event,” Smith said. “I am stoked to be in the top spot. Obviously, it is a long way to go, but it is sick to be in the front there. This is a new year and I just want to bring something new, something fresh, and keep trying my hardest.”

Smith will be eager to keep his lead over the world’s best surfers and improve his World Title campaign at the next event, the Hurley Pro at Trestles, which is close to his adopted home town of San Clemente in California and where he is also the defending event winner,

The Billabong Pro Tahiti was won by Julian Wilson (AUS) who defeated Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the final held in 1.5 to 2 metre waves at the fabled break of Teahupo’o to clinch his third CT victory and best result in Tahiti. The victory moves Wilson up from 8th to 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into Trestles.

“It has been a few years,” said Wilson. “It is so special to win. I am ecstatic and I have nothing left in me. I am just so happy and relieved to finally win an event again. It took so many good waves to win this event and I was lucky enough to get those. I was already enjoying myself on tour and even more so now. I cannot wait for the rest of the year.”

The exciting final saw an all-out battle between Medina and Wilson. The Brazilian took the lead with an incredible 17.87 combined score including a near-perfect 9.20 and an excellent 8.67. Wilson was stuck in a combination situation and needed two new scores with time running out but he fought back with a critical 8.10 and an outstanding 9.23. Still trailing by 1.09 points, Wilson found his way out of a deep tube to earn a near-perfect 9.73 for the win in the dying minutes of the clash.

The runner-up finish for Medina is his best result this season. The 2014 WSL Champion and event winner has struggled to excel past the Semifinals in 2017, but his final appearance today proves that Medina is back in the game heading into the second-half of the season. The Brazilian superstar improved two places to 7th on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“I am stoked to make another final against Julian (Wilson),” said Medina. “He has been surfing really well the whole event and I think it is a little harder on your backhand, so good job to him. I am stoked. It feels good to be back in the game and now I am thinking about Trestles.”

The next stop on the 2017 World Surf League Championship Tour will be the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro which run from September 6 through 17, 2017, at Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California.

Highlights from the Billabong Pro Tahiti can be found at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Billabong Pro Tahiti Final Results:
1 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 18.96
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.87

Billabong Pro Tahiti Semifinal Results:
SF 1:Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.16 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.90
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.26 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 7.33

Billabong Pro Tahiti Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.23 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.94
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 14.33 def. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 7.67
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.50 def. John John Florence (HAW) 13.10
QF 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.16 def. Joan Duru (FRA) 9.00

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.37 def. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 11.66
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 15.50 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.00
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.93 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 11.40
Heat 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.24 def Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.60

Billabong Pro Tahiti Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 14.50, Connor O’Leary (AUS 13.40), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.40
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.37, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 12.50, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 6.00
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW) 15.76, Conner Coffin (USA) 7.90, Julian Wilson (AUS) 4.00
Heat 4: Joan Duru (FRA) 12.33, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.43, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.40

2017 WSL Men’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Billabong Pro Tahiti):
1 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 37,850 pts
2 – John John Florence (HAW) 36,900 pts
3 – Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 35,950 pts
4 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,350 pts
5 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 33,200 pts

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

#labcomm