Thu, 19 September 2019

A lay day has been called for the Freshwater Pro due to small waves and a strike by Dunkin' Donuts. Kidding! It starts 5pm today ZA time. Here's the lowdown. Go Jordy!


OUR LAND YOUR LAND: A member of the Tachi Yokut clan opens the event. Photo WSL / Cestari

Current World #1 Filipe Toledo (BRA) returns to the WSL Surf Ranch arena where he was atop the Jeep Leaderboard in 2018, but has the likes of current #2 Jordy Smith (ZAF) hunting his first World Title and an in-form defending event winner Gabriel Medina (BRA) right behind him once more with back-to-back Final appearances. The two-time WSL World Champion Medina continues his trend of picking up the pace in the back-half of the season and looks for a second-straight Freshwater Pro victory to catapult himself even further up the rankings while dealing with the pressure-cooker of the WSL Surf Ranch arena environment.

“It feels good to be in the World Title race again after I started off the year a little quiet,” Medina said. “Getting the win in Jeffrey’s Bay and then making another Final in Tahiti felt really good. I love this event and the Surf Ranch, I’ve won a few of the events here in the past so I think it’s going to be fun and hopefully everything works out for me.”

The Freshwater Pro presented by Outerknown is the seventh stop on the women's Championship Tour (CT) and eighth on the men's. The wave is nearly 100 miles inland at Lemoore, California, to bring out their very best when it matters most with the World Title race, CT qualification and Olympic Games 2020 Tokyo implications on the line.


EQUAL PAY DEBATE: Some of the women joined CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. Photo WSL / Miers

The Freshwater Pro also marks the WSL’s one-year anniversary of announcing equal prize money across all WSL owned and controlled events. To celebrate the occasion, the six female CT athletes who have earned wins so far this season -- the beneficiaries of equal prize money -- gathered for a roundtable discussion on the impact of the change and what the future holds for women's surfing and the sports industry as a whole.

The first roundtable participant was 17-year-old Caroline Marks (USA), who made history as the youngest World No. 1 with her first-ever CT victory on the Gold Coast; Marks was also the first woman to receive equal prize money. She was joined by Courtney Conlogue (USA), seven-time WSL World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), and three-time WSL World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), all who have cemented their place in the record books as well. Each of these six event winners contributed to the discussion in a meaningful way leading up to the Freshwater Pro.


ROUND TABLE: Goldschmidt gives her vision for the future of pro surfing. Photo WSL / Miers

"It's amazing and I think the equal pay has just helped raise the level of women's surfing even more," Peterson said. "I feel like just this year alone I've seen even more young women in the water a lot more and surfing is just such a legitimate career path for females which is really awesome. For me personally, there's a lot more to fight for and it's just incredible WSL is able to give us equal pay - it's something I never thought I'd experience in my career. It pushes us to do our best every single day and I'm just humbled to be a part of it."

A full edit of the women's roundtable discussion will be posted Saturday, September 21 on www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

Also as part of the WSL women’s initiative, the Rising Tides Program hosted the women’s Freshwater Pro Trials to decide the wildcard for the main event. Gabriela Bryan (HAW) took the win and will compete alongside the world’s best tomorrow when competition gets underway.

Kade Matson (USA) got the event wildcard by the Tours and Competition team based on his #1 ranking in the North America Junior Division and his win at the Vans US Open of Surfing Pro Junior event. Crosby Colapinto (USA), brother of CT competitor Griffin Colapinto (USA), will also make his CT debut. He was selected by the Tours and Competition team for his 2nd ranking in the North America Junior division and being the 2019 North America Junior Champion (under-18 division).

CrosbyColapinto _1_FWP19CoreyWilson

REAL WAVE: Griffin Colapinto's boet Crosby won a berth in the event. Photo WSL / Wilson

Caio Ibelli (BRA) will continue to replace the injured John John Florence (HAW). Barron Mamiya (HAW), ranked ninth on the WSL QS, will replace Mikey Wright (AUS). Reigning World Junior Champion Mateus Herdy (BRA) will replace Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA). Keely Andrew (AUS) will replace two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS).

Ticket Packages
General admission tickets are available for Saturday, September 21, for $55 each for adults. VIP passes will grant exclusive access to attend on Friday, September 20, as well as Saturday, September 21. VIP passes are available from $299 (single-day) to $499 (two-day). Grom tickets are free to kids under 10 years old. Please note, fans must either purchase a VIP pass or a general admission Saturday pass to access The Raconteurs concert. There are no concert-only tickets available. For current ticket holders (VIP or GA), there is no additional charge to attend the concert.

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