The world’s best surfers are back in California for a three-day competition in the perfect waves at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore for the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro presented by Adobe, which got underway Friday and runs through the weekend.
The contest is the final World Surf League (WSL) event ahead of surfing’s Olympic debut in Tokyo and the sixth stop on the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT).
Reigning four-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and two-time World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) lead the rankings heading into this event and will look to continue their dominance with strong results.
“Competing at the Surf Ranch is completely different because it takes out all the variables,” said Moore. “There is a lot of pressure here since we know exactly how many waves we’re getting, and they are all perfect. It’s all about timing and who puts in the best performance.”
“Right now our focus is 100% on this event, which is the most unique of all CT stops,” said Medina. “Once it’s over, we’ll go back home for a couple of weeks where we can start practicing and training exclusively for the Olympic Games.”
The GOAT Is Back
11X WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) will return to the CT after sitting out the entirety of the four-stop Australian leg with an injury. Slater’s unmatched understanding of how the human-made wave works will make him one to watch this weekend.
Wildcards, Withdrawals and Replacements
Kirra Pinkerton (USA), the 2018 World Junior Champion and top-ranked surfer on the North America Qualifying Series (QS), will join the women’s competition as the event wildcard. Lakey Peterson (USA) continues to be out on injury. In addition, Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS), and Tyler Wright (AUS), have withdrawn from the event. Their spots will be filled by WSL Replacement Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN), current No. 4 on the North America Qualifying Series rankings Alyssa Spencer (USA), former CT surfer and Rumble at the Ranch winner Coco Ho (HAW), and the current No. 1 ranked North America Junior surfer Caitlin Simmers (USA).
Michael Dunphy (USA) and former CT surfer Nat Young (USA) are the wildcards for the men’s event, and are currently in first and second place, respectively, on the North America QS rankings. John John Florence (HAW) and Kolohe Andino (USA) both remain out of competition due to injury in addition to Jordy Smith (ZAF) and Michel Bourez (FRA). Julian Wilson (AUS) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) have also withdrawn from the event. These spots will be filled by WSL Replacement Mikey Wright (AUS), Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona Semifinalist Liam O’Brien (AUS), current No. 4 on the North America QS rankings and former CT surfer Patrick Gudauskas (USA), reigning World Junior Champion Lucas Vicente (BRA), current No. 1 ranked surfer on the Hawaii QS Eli Hanneman (HAW) and Jabe Swierkocki (USA), top ranked surfer on the North America Junior rankings.
“Events at Surf Ranch are very unique and high pressure, completely different from what the surfers deal with when in the ocean,” said WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “This year we’ll have a one-on-one Final for each division, which is very exciting and different from past events at the Ranch. Whoever rides the best left and best right, wins.”
Qualifying Leaderboard — Runs 1 and 2:
Normal event seeding will determine the surfer order for the opening runs for the 36 men and 18 women in the draw. The brackets are six-person heats combining two runs of two waves each. The best-scoring left and right form each surfer’s total score. The top two surfers from each heat plus the next highest-ranked 12 men and six women on the leaderboard will win a Bonus Run of an extra two waves. This is the only time top scores from previous runs may be carried over.
Qualifying Leaderboard – Bonus Run:
The leaderboard determines surfer order for the 24 men and 12 women who are awarded a Bonus Run. The top eight men and four women on the leaderboard after the bonus run will advance to the Semifinal.
The eight men and women will each ride four waves over two runs (a left and right back to back). The best scoring left and right from the Semifinal form each surfer’s total score. The top two men and women on the leaderboard advance to the Final.
Each of the four finalists (two men and two women) will ride four waves over two runs (a left and right back to back). The best scoring left and right from the Final form the surfer’s total score and the highest scoring man and woman win the event.
The Jeep Surf Ranch Pro will be broadcast live on WorldSurfLeague.com from June 18 – 20 2021. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.
The health and safety of athletes, staff and the local community are a top priority for the WSL and there are a robust set of procedures in place to keep everyone safe including testing for athletes and essential staff, and closing the event to general admission fans.