Epic Lower Trestles to host World Surfing Championships

From Tokyo to Lower Trestles, surfing is always on its biggest wave.

Less than two months after their sport’s Olympic debut, the top five women and men gathered at Lower Trestles, one of Southern California’s epic breaks, for the new World League One-Day Championship. surf.

For the first time, the world titles will be played on the waves rather than the points classification of the season. There will also be an equal prize, with each champion winning $ 200,000 of the $ 470,000 of identical purses.

The competition window for the Rip Curl WSL Finals opened on Thursday and ends on September 17th. The organizers will research the optimal predictions to decide on which day the competition will take place. It could be as early as Sunday.

Olympic gold medalist and reigning world champion Carissa Moore of Honolulu is the No. 1 seed in the women’s competition which means she is guaranteed a spot in the final match. Men’s gold medalist and reigning world champion Italo Ferreira of Brazil is number 2 on the men’s side behind compatriot Gabriel Medina, who has a huge points lead but must win the title match to clinch his third championship of the world.

Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore will be aiming for a record-breaking eighth women’s world title and seeded No. 4, so she’ll need to win three games to win a showdown with Moore.

“There’s a lot at stake because sometimes the world titles have been determined on the beach, but I’ll actually be in the water this time surfing for that,” said four-time world champion Moore. “It will be very exciting.

For this competition, the place will be as star as the surfers themselves.

Surfers revere Lower Trestles for its consistent waves as well as its setting.

Lower Trestles is one of the many surf spots between San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego County and San Clemente Beach in southern Orange County. Surfers named it decades ago after the Trestles Bridge that spanned San Mateo Creek.

Although the wooden railroad trestle has largely been replaced with reinforced steel and concrete, the unique railroad is still in play – although visitors are expected to pass under the bridge to get to the beach, and not on a path that crosses the track.

“It’s unique. It’s like a military zone, so you have to love to go down and cross the train tracks and get to the beach, ”Gilmore said. “It’s quite an adventure to be able to walk down to the beach, but once you’re there you’re greeted with a perfect A-frame, a left and a right, and it’s close to shore, so it’s great for fans to come see all the top surfers up close.

Gilmore won a touring event and got a perfect 10 at Lower Trestles. She is tied with fellow Australian Layne Beachley, who won seven world titles between 1998-2006.

“It’s one of the most perfect waves in California, and basically the world,” Gilmore said. “It’s so tearful. It is an excellent arena for competitive surfing. If we have a good forecast, I can’t think of a better way to end the year.

Moore also likes Lower Trestles.

“This place holds a special place in my heart for sure,” she said. “It’s just a really fun wave. It’s consistent. It is a very powerful wave, that is to say it allows the surfer to be very playful and to take risks. It has a good pace so that the surfer who rides it can really open up and show off their kind of surfing.

“It’s been a part of surfing history for so long. It seems like a very fitting venue for this historic event, ”said Moore.

Gilmore wasn’t a big fan of the new format at first. “Now that I’m in fourth place and have a shot at winning the title, which I wouldn’t be in another year, I really like it,” she said.

“I can imagine winning this event, beating all the girls in the top five, and feeling like it was a huge achievement,” she said. “Obviously the toughest event of the year to win and be able to win the world title, that would be an achievement you will never forget, for sure. “

The full women’s field is made up of Moore, Tatiana Weston-Webb from Brazil, Sally Fitzgibbons from Australia, Gilmore and Johanne Defay from France.

For the men, they are Medina, Ferreira, Filipe Toledo from Brazil, Conner Coffin from Santa Barbara and Morgan Cibilic from Australia.


Follow Bernie Wilson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/berniewilson

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