Fight for the WSL Final 5 Starts at the 2023 Surf Ranch Pro Pres. by 805 Beer
Tyler Wright and Joao Chianca Lead Rankings at First Stop Following Mid-season Cut
Filipe Toledo and Johanne Defay Return to Reclaim Surf Ranch Pro Titles
Surf Ranch Pro Format Explained
LEMOORE, Calif., USA (Wednesday, May 17, 2023) – The Mid-season Cut has sharpened the field, and the fight for the Final 5 is on as the world’s best surfers head to Lemoore, California, for the Surf Ranch Pro Presented by 805 Beer. The Surf Ranch Pro, Stop No. 6 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour (CT), will run on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, 2023. This unique event will test the limits of surfing’s elite as they perform on perfect waves in front of a live audience.
Starting in Lemoore and for the subsequent five events, surfers will do everything possible to get into the Final 5. If those stakes weren’t enough, the Surf Ranch Pro is also crucial for Olympic Qualification. The WSL CT is the Tier 1 pathway to qualification, having already provisionally qualified four women for the 2024 Olympics. There are 10 Men’s and 4 Women’s Surfing spots still up for grabs, and the points from the Surf Ranch Pro will be critical in deciding who will represent their country in Tahiti next year.
Tyler Wright and Joao Chianca Lead Rankings Going Into Surf Ranch Pro
After back-to-back Finals appearances during the Australian leg and a win at Bells Beach, two-time World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) is back in the yellow Leader jersey going into the Surf Ranch Pro. This will be the first time Wright has competed in a CT event at this venue, as she has been injured. She must overcome past event winner and current World No. 2 Carissa Moore (HAW), who recently beat her in the Western Australia Margaret River Pro Final.
Championship Tour sophomore Joao Chianca (BRA) is having his breakthrough year in professional surfing and holds onto the rankings lead going into the back half of the season. This will be his first time competing at Surf Ranch. His competition will include the two surfers who have dominated the event in the past, defending event winner Filipe Toledo (BRA) and two-time event winner Gabriel Medina (BRA). Toledo sits just below Chianca on the rankings and will be eager to defend his Surf Ranch Pro title and take back the rankings lead. Medina is fresh off his first big win of the season at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro and will have plenty of momentum going into the Surf Ranch Pro.
The 2023/2024 Season Wildcards could also cause upsets at the Surf Ranch Pro. 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) is seeking Olympic qualification with this wildcard opportunity. Still, he must perform to the best of his abilities at this event and through the second half of the season. Slater poses one of the biggest threats here as the visionary behind the wave and the most familiar surfer with this venue. Johanne Defay (FRA) is also a strong competitor here. She is the defending event winner and finished runner-up in 2019.
About the Surf Ranch Pro Format
This year’s Surf Ranch Pro, Presented by 805 Beer, features an exciting new format where the pressure is on from the first wave. The Qualifying Round features four-surfer heats where each surfer gets two right and two left waves. Then, the top right and top left scores will be combined to create their total score.
First place from these heats will advance straight to Finals Day. Fourth Place will be eliminated from the event. Second and third place will face off in the all-or-nothing Night Session. In the Night Session, the 12 men and 6 women get just one left and one right to lock in their best single-wave score. The top two men and one woman move on to Finals Day.
Finals Day features all head-to-head matchups. In the Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and Finals, each surfer gets two rights and two lefts to lock in their best right and best left for the heat win.