With the golden trio – Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and Filipe Toledo – and Tatiana Weston-Webb as Brazil’s only female representative, the WSL Finals dispute window begins this Thursday, in Lower Trestles, California (USA) . For the first time in history, the best and best surfer of the World Surfing League season will be defined in just one day of competition and one knockout. A call for the start of the competition will be made this Thursday at 11:30 am (Brasilia time).
Finalists: Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Filipe Toledo, Gabriel Medina, Italo Ferreira and Conner Coffin (USA) — Photo: WSL / Diz
After nearly 4 decades of disputes over consecutive points, WSL decided to innovate in this year’s format, marked by the cancellation of some stages due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 7 of the 10 events scheduled for the season were disputed to define the 5 finalists of each genre that will fight for the title.
For having led the ranking at the end of these 7 stages, Gabriel Medina and the Hawaiian Carissa Moore will wait for the confrontations between the other 4 surfers, who were in the top-5 of the general classification, to define their opponents in the grand final. All these duels will take place in just 1 day of competition. By forecasting the waves, this day is likely to be between Monday and Wednesday of next week (13, 14 or 15/9).
– Winning the third world title is my biggest goal. The thrill of winning the title is incredible. All the surfers I admire the most have won three titles, so I really want to be a part of that group. I know it will be difficult, but I have been training a lot, surfing every day and preparing myself very hard for it to happen here – said Gabriel Medina, world champion in the 2014 and 2018 seasons, at the press conference held at the San Clemente pier.
Finalists: Tati, Johanne (FRA), Carissa (HAV), Sally (AUS) and Stephanie (AUS) — Photo: WSL / Diz
The first Brazilian to compete on that final day will be Filipe Toledo. The surfer from Ubatuba-SP, who can be considered a place in Trestles for living in the region since 2015, is currently number 3 in the ranking. Therefore, he will wait for the winner of the duel between the American Conner Coffin (4th) and the Australian Morgan Cibilic (5th) to know who will be his opponent.
If Filipe advances in this confrontation, he will face Italo, current number 2 in the ranking. The winner of this possible duel between Filipinho and Italo will face the leader Gabriel Medina, in a best-of-three series, to define the 2020 world champion.
In females, Tatiana Weston-Webb is in the same situation as Italo. As the number 2 in the world, she will wait for the French Johane Defay (5th) and the Australians Stephanie Gilmore (4th) and Sally Fitzgibbons (3rd) to face each other to define their opponent. If it goes through its first confrontation, Tati will measure forces with leader Carissa Moore. Tati could be the first Brazilian to become world champion. Silvana Lima, from Ceará, has already been vice-president on two occasions.
– It would be an honor for me to be on the podium with anyone, but it will be much better if it is with a Brazilian too. For our country, it would be remarkable to have two world champions, male and female. Gabriel, Italo and Filipe give me a lot of inspiration and it would be an honor to be beside them on the podium – said Tati.
Trestles men’s brace — Photo: WSL
Women’s Key at WSL Finals — Photo: WSL
In addition to the format change, the World League chose one of California’s most famous waves, the Lower Trestles, to stage this decision. The wave, located in an environmental reserve in San Onofre, is quite different from the one at Pipeline, where the last world champions in Hawaii’s heavy tubes were defined.
Trestles is considered a wave without many dangers and high performance, as it provides athletes with long walls to perform maneuvers, both to the right and to the left. She never received a Tour final, but was present on the world circuit until 2017, when Filipe Toledo was crowned champion of the stage, until being replaced in the calendar by the artificial waves of Surf Ranch, in 2018.
Trestles is considered one of the highest performing waves on the Tour — Photo: WSL
Although the window opens on Thursday, the forecast for the biggest and best waves in the dispute window, which runs until the 17th, is scheduled to take place between the 13th and 15th. Monday waves over 2m hit the Lower Trestles bench.
But from this Saturday (11) onwards, a good swell is approaching, making it possible for the final day to be held on the weekend.