THE World Surf League (WSL) Founders’ Cup of Surfing made history on Saturday, with the USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe, and World Teams showcasing incredible performances in the first-ever event at the WSL Surf Ranch.
The day witnessed the completion of the first two runs from the five teams – including Culburra Beach’s Tyler Wright who is headlining the Australian team.
All five members of each team had the opportunity to earn the highest scores with four waves (two rights and two lefts).
After the runs, USA Team holds first place position, followed by Australia, World, Brazil, and Europe.
On day two, each competitor will have two more opportunities (one right and one left) to help their team qualify for the highly-anticipated Final.
Each athlete's top-scoring left and top-scoring right will contribute to the team total.
Ten waves (each of the five team members' contributing top-scoring left and right) will be added up to a maximum team total of 100.
The top three scoring teams out of the five will qualify for the fFinal.
USA is currently in first place after outstanding rides from the entire team and near-perfect scores from three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore and two-time WSL Champion John John Florence.
Additionally, the team’s consistency, particularly by captain Kelly Slater and Kolohe Andino, and progression by Lakey Peterson gives the team a five-point advantage over Australia.
The Australians entered this weekend as one of the favourites to win it all but struggled to complete all their individual rides.
Team captain Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright decimated the WSL Surf Ranch lineup with excellent performances in their first runs.
Gilmore’s waves and Wright’s 9.33 right-hander were among the best of the day.
Mick Fanning helped his team dramatically with a 9.07 on his second left and an 8.43 on the right.
Matt Wilkinson’s 8.43 left is his only real contribution so far, as he has struggled to complete his waves.
And, with Joel Parkinson’s last right hander earning a 7.40, helped push the team into a contending position, but an all-important Run 3 awaits the accomplished team.
"I’m not planning too much and just whatever the left gives me, I’ll just adapt to that,” said Wright.
“I felt like I did that, and then the right was kind of a free ride to get more creative.
“But, on the right you start getting those routines and certain maneuvers, and the more we get into this event, the better it’s going to get.”
A dark horse amongst the surfing giants, but not lacking in talent, world team came out and shook up the competition.
Big performances by all surfers in run one gave the team an early lead to the day.
After the completion of run two, the team struggled to find the excellent range scores, but captain Jordy Smith’s 9.07 and 8.87, and Paige Hareb’s consistency with big numbers across all four of her scores has the team in the third position.
The explosive Brazilian squad played it safe in the first run but really wowed the crowd in their second set.
Filipe Toledo lit up the day with the WSL Surf Ranch’s first-ever perfect 10.
2014 WSL champion and captain Gabriel Medina earned his team’s second highest score with an incredible air-rotation for a near-perfect 9.17.
Despite Toledo’s and Medina’s stunning rides, the team still needs to push the envelope to make it into the Finals and move into a higher position.
Europe Team turned some heads with strong performances but still found themselves in fifth place by day’s end.
Italy's Leonardo Fioravanti helped fuel his team’s point total with a 9.57 and 8.17 as the anchor, following Jeremy Flores’ 8.00 and 8.47.
Captain Johanne Defay, Frederico Morais, and Flores also earned solid scores, and the team trails by only 0.18.
Founders' Cup of Surfing qualifying runs:
L1 = first lefthand wave
R1 = first righthand wave
Lakey Peterson - L1: 6.6, R1: 7.83, L2: 2.77, R2: 7.93
Kolohe Andino - L1: 8.5, R1: 6.00, L2: 8.8, R2: 7.43
Carissa Moore - L1: 7.43, R1: 9.27, L2: 8.37, R2: 9.43
John John Florence - L1: 3.43, R1: 6.63, L2: 5.3, R2: 9.8
Kelly Slater - L1: 8.80, R1: 8.47, L2: 8.6, R2: 7.87
USA Team Total: 80.83
Tyler Wright - L1: 4.83, R1: 9.1, L2: 6.4, R2: 9.33
Joel Parkinson - L1: 3.5, R1: 6, L2: 3.53, R2: 7.4
Mick Fanning - L1: 7.43, R1: 8, L2: 9.07, R2: 8.43
Stephanie Gilmore - L1: 8.63, R1: 8.23, L2: 5.53, R2: 2.17
Matt Wilkinson - L1: 8.37, R1: 3.83, L2: 4.5, R2:6.43
Australia Team Total: 75.82
Bianca Buitendag - L1: 7.6, R1: 2.5, L2: 6.77, R2: 4.93
Kanoa Igarashi - L1: 2.17, R1: 8.83, L2: 3.87, R2: 4.5
Michel Bourez - L1: 8.8, R1: 7.5, L2: 5.5, R2: 4.5
Jordy Smith - L1: 7.27, R1: 9.07, L2: 8.87, R2: 4.53
Paige Hareb - L1: 7.53, R1: 7.93, L2: 7.43, R2: 8.33
World Team Total: 75.33
Taina Hinckel - L1: 2.17, R1: 4.17, L2: 5.5, R2: 4.1
Filipe Toledo - L1: 7.83, R1: 6.93, L2: 4.2, R2: 10
Gabriel Medina - L1: 6.67, R1: 7.83, L2: 6.87, R2: 9.17
Adriano de Souza - L1: 6.83, R1: 7.93, L2: 3.93 R2: 4.93
Silvana Lima - L1: 5.5, R1: 7.73, L2: 5.67, R2: 8.33
Brazil Team Total: 72.3
Frankie Harrer - L1: 5.73, R1: 1.93, L2:5.87, R2: 3.83
Leonardo Fioravanti - L1: 8, R1: 8.17, L2: 3.73, R2: 9.57
Johanne Defay - L1: 6.67, R1: 0.77, L2: 5.33 R2: 7
Frederico Morais - L1: 7.17, R1: 3.07, L2: 7.17, R2: 6.77
Jeremy Flores - L1: 8, R1: 8.47, L2: 8.77, R2: 7.77
Europe Team Total: 72.12