Upsets at Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic

Upsets at Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic

World Champions Tyler Wright (AUS), Italo Ferreira (BRA, above), and John John Florence (HAW) were three of the top names eliminated from the event today as North Narrabeen provided clean, two-to-four foot waves all day.

Johanne Defay (FRA) continues to impress on the Australian leg of the 2021 CT, and today it came at the expense of two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS). Following her impressive 16.66 combined score (out of a possible 20) yesterday, Defay out-surfed Wright with an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10) and a 5.83 to Wright’s 6.67 and 6.30. A former winner at Fiji’s Cloud Break, today Defay reminded the surfing world that she is one of the best backside surfers on the CT.

“This feels so good and I had a little cry out the back,” Defay said. “It’s insane how much pressure I was feeling in that heat. A few times she went on the first wave and the second one was better, which was so good and the fact I was able to perform well on them just felt so good for me. I’m so, so stoked.”

Wright now exits in equal 9th place, matching her results at Newcastle last week. After starting the season with a win, the eliminations are not ideal for Wright’s World Title campaign on the road to the Rip Curl WSL Finals.

Current World No. 1 Italo Ferreira Eliminated by Conner Coffin (above)

In one of the closing heats of the day, the high drama hit a crescendo with the elimination of reigning WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) by Californian Conner Coffin (USA) in a matchup of two of the most contrasting approaches on the CT. As expected, Ferreira kept busy, finding lefts and rights, taking to the air in both directions, but Coffin’s patience paid off as he clinched victory on the last ride of the heat to book himself a second Quarterfinal spot this season.

“I had no idea what score I needed at the end of that heat but I knew I needed something,” Coffin said. “Coming up against Italo I knew I’d have to be on the best waves so I tried to stay patient and take the sets. I saw him flying around in the air and could hear the crowd going crazy and had to just compose myself and stick to my guns and luckily I did.”

World Champions Carissa Moore (above) and Stephanie Gilmore Looking Sharp for Quarterfinals

With Wright now out of the event, Carissa Moore (HAW) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) are the only two World Champions left in the women’s draw. Moore, the current World No. 1 and reigning World Champion, eliminated Brisa Hennessy (CRI) with a 12.66 two-wave total in Heat 1 of the Round of 16. In Heat 7, Gilmore took down Sage Erickson (USA) with an epic display of fins-free surfing and will now face Courtney Conlogue (USA) in the Quarterfinals.

Keely Andrew (AUS) will come up against Moore in the Quarterfinals after taking out Malia Manuel (HAW) in R16, Heat 2. Andrew continues to prove she is a threat on this Australian leg and will look to improve upon her 3rd place result here in Narrabeen.

“I’m feeling good and am really proud of how I’m putting my heats together,” Andrew said. “It feels so good to be getting some results and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year. My coach Andy (King) noted before the heat that it was slow out there so not to bother waiting and to take what you can get. I’ve always found I have to prove myself on my backhand, so moving forward I really want to post an excellent score going left.”

History Repeats Itself: Morgan Cibilic (above) Upsets CT, Knocks Out John John Florence

Australia’s CT future on the men’s side looks to be in safe hands as Australian youngsters Morgan Cibilic and Ethan Ewing booked spots in the Quarterfinals at the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic.

CT rookie Cibilic continued to upset the CT, taking down two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) for the second time in as many events. After overcoming Florence in the Round of 32 at Newcastle, Cibilic proved his performance wasn’t a flash in the pan, dominating the heat with a phenomenal display of backside, fins-free surfing. Cibilic will move into the Quarterfinals where he will meet another two-time Champion Gabriel Medina(BRA), while Florence will head to his happy hunting ground of West Aus, still searching for a decent result in this Australian leg.

“It was nice to get some waves that stood up for me as my last few heats weren’t that great,” said Cibilic. “It feels good to know I could back up my result at Newcastle. I know I have it in me, but it definitely feels good to have two wins over someone like him. I know he’s so good in big waves so I’d love to match up with him in West Aus and see if I can go again.”

Ewing took down veteran Jadson Andre (BRA) to guarantee his best ever CT result with a spot in the Quarterfinals where he will do battle with Frederico Morais (PRT).

Watch LIVE
The Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona opens April 16 and holds a competition window through April 26. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Photos: WSL/Dunbar

Rip Curl WSL Partnership

Rip Curl WSL Partnership

The World Surf League (WSL) and Rip Curl together announced the three-year partnership of the Rip Curl WSL Finals, the new one-day competition that will decide the men’s and women’s World Surfing Champions.

The inaugural Rip Curl WSL Finals will take place in San Clemente, Calif. at Lower Trestles. At the conclusion of the regular season, the top five men and top five women on the Championship Tour (CT) rankings will head to Orange County for this one-day, winner-take-all shot at the World Title.

Often referred to as the most high-performance wave on the World Tour, there is nowhere to hide at Lowers. To win there requires a unique combination of technical mastery and explosive innovation. The Rip Curl WSL Finals waiting period will run from September 8 – 17, 2021, a choice time of year for solid Southern Hemisphere swells to light up the cobblestone point.
“I am a huge fan of the decision for the new CT format, it’s like multiple games throughout the year,” said Tyler Wright, two-time WSL Champion. “I love the idea of competing head-to-head against the best in the world. It’s at a whole other level of competitiveness and really means you can throw down everything on one day. Trestles is an equalizer, with the potential for the highest of performances and the greatest of heat strategy.”

“We are thrilled to announce the Rip Curl WSL Finals” said Cherie Cohen, WSL Chief Revenue Officer. “Throughout a long tenure as core promoter of professional surfing, Rip Curl has consistently delivered innovation and kept its edge. It makes sense that we would partner to make history and launch the new format to crown a men’s and women’s World Champion. We look forward to building a successful franchise together over the next three years.”

“Torquay, Trestles, Hossegor – these are our home beaches, so it makes perfect sense to come on board with the WSL Finals and its new format at Lowers in 2021,” said Neil Ridgway Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at Rip Curl. “Rip Curl have been supporting pro surfers in the race for world surfing titles for decades and we have won either a women’s or men’s crown with our pro team 11 of the last 13 years so when the new format came out we wanted to get behind WSL in its first three years of the new system. Hopefully, it shows to anyone with a pro surfing dream that from the juniors to the upper-echelon it’s a great part of surfing and that it provides all of the drama the last event of the tour race is known for. We wish all the women and men the very best in the race. Who knows it could be in the Mentawai next year and if nothing else the sponsorship means we get to go!”

Rip Curl Take Naming Rights for Three New Events of Australian leg:

Rip Curl’s new three-year partnership with the WSL further exemplifies their commitment to surfing. Rip Curl has also come onboard as the title partner of the upcoming CT events for the Australian leg in Newcastle, North Narrabeen, and Rottnest Island continuing their long and generous support of professional surfing.

Australian Leg of 2021 WSL Championship Tour*:

*All tour stops and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.

Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona: April 1 – 11

Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona: April 16 – 26
Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro pres. by Corona: May 2-12
Rip Curl Rottnest Search pres. by Corona: May 16 – 26

For more information, please visit Worldsurfleague.Com

Say hello, wave goodbye. All Change at WSL.

Say hello, wave goodbye. All Change at WSL.

WSL’s President of Content, Media and Studios Erik Logan Named as WSL CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt Steps Down from Post.

LOS ANGELES, California (Tuesday, January 14, 2020) – The World Surf League (WSL) today announced that Chief Executive Officer Sophie Goldschmidt will be stepping down from her post and that WSL’s President of Content, Media and Studios Erik Logan has been named as CEO, effective this week.

“Sophie has had a huge impact on the WSL. She is responsible for transforming both our business capabilities and culture in her tenure as CEO,” Dirk Ziff, WSL Owner and Board Member, said. “With the converging trends in sports, media and entertainment, we mutually agreed it was time to make a change. Erik Logan is a proven leader and a world-class media executive with a profound personal connection to the sport of surfing. We are excited about what he will accomplish as CEO. We will always be grateful to Sophie for her contributions to surfing and we look forward to the WSL’s next chapter.”

Goldschmidt, who took on the CEO role in 2017, led the transformation of the WSL’s organisational structure, refocusing the business with an emphasis on the opportunity around the sport and lifestyle of surfing. During her tenure, she led the institution of equal prize money across men’s and women’s surfing, negotiated a historic 10-year surfer agreement, secured the first-of-its-kind Facebook partnership and unprecedented levels of linear and digital distribution. She also delivered the first-ever competitive events at Surf Ranch (the WSL’s wave technology facility), relaunched the organisation’s ocean health advocacy program WSL PURE, significantly raised the WSL’s profile globally and built a dynamic new leadership team.

“It’s been a privilege to collaborate with the caliber of colleagues, athletes, partners and communities around the world that I have during my time at the WSL,” Goldschmidt said. “Surfing is unique, captivating and inspiring and leading the WSL has been a professional highlight for me.”
“With the WSL now ready to become a more focused content and media company, the Board and I have mutually agreed it is the right time to make a change,” Goldschmidt said. “Having worked closely with Erik, he is the right person to lead the WSL into its next era. I am excited about what lies ahead for the organisation.”

Following the transition, Goldschmidt will continue to help the company and join its Advisory Board.
Logan, who previously served as President of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and Executive Vice President at Harpo Studios, has operated as the WSL’s President of Content, Media and Studios since February 2019, revamping the organisation’s live broadcasts, leading the development of off-platform content including its first non-scripted TV series, in partnership with ABC, Ultimate Surfer (airing Summer 2020), as well as 24/7: Kelly Slater on HBO. In his role as WSL CEO, Logan will utilise his decades of international business and media experience to continue to transform the WSL into a world-class live events, experiences and media company.

“The World Surf League is the most exciting, inspiring and promising opportunity I have ever encountered,” Logan said. “The power of the organisation’s platform, the history of championing the world’s best surfers, the global fan base and the opportunity to accelerate the WSL as an international sport and media powerhouse is absolutely incredible.”
“Surfing is powerful. As someone who came to it later in life, I personally understand the impact surfing can have on individuals, communities and the world at large,” Logan continued. “To be able to lead world-class people at the WSL and combine my professional and personal passions is a dream come true.”

Logan will oversee all three business units of the World Surf League – Tours, Studios and WaveCo – with an experienced and innovative leadership team at the organisation’s headquarters in Santa Monica as well as the WSL regional offices around the world.

The first stop on the 2020 WSL Championship Tour will be the Corona Open Gold Coast from March 26 – April 5, 2020.

‘Ultimate Surfer’ Announced

‘Ultimate Surfer’ Announced

Is this a really good idea, or a really bad idea, decide for yourselves after reading the following below. Reality TV surfing competition, hmmmmmm, how much soul is involved in that, apart from maybe selling it.

ABC announced the network pickup of new competition series “Ultimate Surfer.” The eight-episode series will gather some of the world’s greatest up-and-coming surfers to train and live together as they battle it out at the World Surf League’s (WSL) state-of-the-art Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, powered by Kelly Slater’s man-made wave technology, in the hope of competing amongst the best athletes in the world’s fastest-growing sport. Production will begin in 2020 and an airdate will be announced later this season. Slater will serve as on-air talent and special correspondent for the show.

Alliances and rivalries will be front and centre in “Ultimate Surfer” as men and women compete in individual and team challenges focused on specific surfing disciplines. Weekly eliminations will leave two men and two women as finalists who will vie for the male and female titles of the Ultimate Surfer and the opportunity to compete on the WSL World Tour, the pinnacle of professional surfing. Slater’s remarkable, one-of-a-kind, man-made wave – the most even playing field for measuring surf mastery – is at the heart of the series.

“In addition to being a globally recognised sport, surfing is also a lifestyle; and ‘Ultimate Surfer’ will give viewers a uniquely personal look at what goes into becoming a world-class champion. We’re ecstatic about the opportunity to utilise Kelly’s world-class surf facility and his expertise in showcasing these incredibly talented on-the-rise athletes,” said Rob Mills, senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials and Late Night, ABC Entertainment.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for two surfers (one man, one woman) to win an opportunity to compete against the best surfers in the world on the WSL Tour,”said Slater, who will be the lead consultant for the series. “This will put some of the best up-and-comers against each other in a more direct way to see who stands above the rest, and Surf Ranch is obviously a great venue to use for ‘Ultimate Surfer.’ I’m excited to watch how they step up to the challenge.”

The series comes out of the multi-platform co-development partnership between Pilgrim Media Group and WSL Studios, announced earlier this year.

“Ultimate Surfer” is produced by Lionsgate’s Pilgrim Media Group and WSL Studios. Pilgrim CEO and President Craig Piligian, WSL Studios President of Content and Media Erik Logan, and UFC President Dana White serve as executive producers. Surfers interested in being a contestant on the show must be 21 or older and can apply at UltimateSurferCasting.com, where more details are available..

Filipe Toledo’s Perfect 10

Filipe Toledo’s Perfect 10

Toledo lands massive air for the first 10-point ride in Round 4 of the Oi Rio Pro. So the commentators are saying it’s the biggest air of the comp so far, quite frankly he’s in orbit and travelling such a distance that it’s the biggest air we’ve seen for a long time, landing smoother than a crooner.  Go Toledo, yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew.

for more on the comp go to worldsurfleague.com