Welcome The WCT Class Of 2019

Story by: Ben Mondy – Surfline Magazine
Read Original Story Here: https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/welcome-wct-class-2019/41579

Welcome The WCT Class Of 2019

2018 was so last year. The WSL just announced its wildcards and replacements for the 2019 CT, which will also double as a qualification path for the 2020 Olympics. We take a look at the unknown wildcards, the rookie list, the returnees and the replacements:

The Wildcards

As far as Injury Wildcards go, we’ve seen worse. Kelly Slater, John John Florence and Tyler Wright have been officially announced as the CT Wildcards for 2019. That’s a lazy 15 World Titles between the trio. The criteria for the slots, according to the WSL, is based on a medical assessment — followed by technical criteria that takes in World Titles, career results, prior year ranking and ranking at time of injury.

Caio Ibelli, the other surfer in contention, ranked highly on the medical side (he missed eight events through injury), but probably would have needed to have his neck broken, by a shark, in the judges’ tower, to rise above Florence and Slater on the other criteria.

Needless to say, Ibelli was less-than-stoked, posting the following on Instagram. “Sincerely, I disagree with the decision, Kelly used and abused. He went to 20-foot Fiji during the Keramas event, got 3rd in the pool and did not go to France the following week. This is the second consecutive year he uses the same wave. Is it fair?” (Note: this was translated using Google translate.)

“Caio Ibelli will be the first replacement for the tour,” said Commissioner Perrow. “That is not something we guarantee to a third applicant most seasons, but is deserving in this case.”

Wright’s inclusion was more clear cut, having suffered from a post viral syndrome contracted at J-Bay and especially after Courtney Conlogue still qualified despite missing four events through injury.

The Rookies

In the Men’s, Seth Moniz, Peterson Crisanto, Deivid Silva, Mikey Wright and Soli Bailey will be vying for the 2019 Rookie of the Year Award, which was won by Wade Carmichael in 2018. “Two finals and Rookie of the Year has blown all my expectations,” Carmichael said. “There’s a wild list of names on that trophy and I’m psyched I’m going to be on it.” Wade will be hoping to do better than the 2017 Rookie of the Year, Connor O’Leary, who failed to make the cut this year.

In the Women’s the rookie race is a two-surfer affair with Macy Callahan and Brisa Hennessy battling it out. Callaghan did surf seven CT events last year as an alternate, and made the final in France — however 2019, will be considered her first full-time CT rookie year. Either way the winner will be older than this year’s Rookie Of The Year, 16-year-old Caroline Marks. “To be the youngest woman to qualify on the WSL CT is super cool, and now to be the youngest-ever Rookie of the Year is so rad,” Marks said, comforting those dads that thought the term rad was a thing of the past.

The Returnees

Ryan Callinan, Leo Fioravanti, Jadson Andre, Ricardo Christie and Jack Freestone round out the QS qualifiers. That group add considerable talent and experience to the roster. Callinan especially has been impressive with an explosive finish to the year, while Freestone and Fioravanti have top ten talent. And Jadson? He will be Jadson.

In the Women’s, the QS qualifiers Coco Ho, Paige Hareb, Bronte Macaulay and Silvana Lima all surfed on the CT last year. If we include Callaghan, who as we mentioned surfed more than half of the events, 15 out of the 16 CT surfers from 2018 will surf again next year. As a means of burning the deadwood, it’s obvious the promotion and relegation system isn’t working. On the flipside, these are clearly the best 16 women surfers in the world. (Your thoughts on a postage stamp, or in the comments below, please.)

The Replacements

The ‘CT Men’s replacements — don’t call them alternates — are, in order, Caio Ibelli, Frederico Morais and Ethan Ewing. Morais has probably the hardest luck story. Going into Pipe in 20th on the Jeep Leaderboard all he needed was either to win a heat or have the two surfers below him, Yago Dora and Joan Duru, bomb early. He lost, they both made the Quarters at Pipe and the Portuguese is now on the waiting list. On the plus side last year’s replacements Mikey February and Miguel Pupo both surfed 10 of the 11 CT events, even if that was the result of long term injuries to Slater, Florence and Ibelli. In the Women’s Keely Andrews and Sage Erickson are the ones standing by the WSL bat phone, with pins and CT replica Voodoo Dolls at the ready.

The Olympics

Yep, this is really starting to happen. The 2019 CT ratings will also serve as the primary route for qualification for 18 of the 40 spots available for men and women at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The top 10 Men and 8 women on the CT ratings will get a start in Tokyo.

But — and this is a big but — only two surfers from each country are allowed. If we use this year as example the ten men that would have qualified would be Medina, Toledo, Wilson, Wright, Smith, Coffin, Andino, Bourez, Flores and Morais. Kanoa Igarashi would get the host nation slot. The remaining 22 places will be determined at the 2019 and 2020 ISA World Surfing Games and the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima.

2018 Top 22 CT:
Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Julian Wilson (AUS)
Filipe Toledo (BRA)
Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Jordy Smith (ZAF)
Owen Wright (AUS)
Conner Coffin (USA)
Michel Bourez (PYF)
Wade Carmichael (AUS)
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
Mikey Wright (AUS)
Willian Cardoso (BRA)
Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Adrian Buchan (AUS)
Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Yago Dora (BRA)
Joan Duru (FRA)

2018 Top 10 QS (minus double qualifiers from CT):
Seth Moniz (HAW)
Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Deivid Silva (BRA)
Ricardo Christie (NZL)
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Jadson Andre (BRA)
Soli Bailey (AUS)
Jack Freestone (AUS)

WSL Wildcards:
Kelly Slater (USA)
John John Florence (HAW)

CT Men’s Replacement Surfers:
Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Frederico Morais (PRT)
Ethan Ewing (AUS)

Women’s 2018 Top 10 CT:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Lakey Peterson (USA)
Carissa Moore (HAW)
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA)
Johanne Defay (FRA)
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Caroline Marks (USA)
Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Malia Manuel (HAW)
Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)

2018 Top 6 QS (minus double qualifiers from CT):
Coco Ho (HAW)
Paige Hareb (NZL)
Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Silvana Lima (BRA)

WSL Wildcard:
Tyler Wright (AUS)

CT Women’s Replacement Surfers:
Keely Andrew (AUS)
Sage Erickson (USA)

2019 Men’s Championship Tour schedule*
Gold Coast Men’s Pro: April 3 – 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 – 27, 2019
Bali Men’s Pro: May 13 – 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 – June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 – 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 – 22, 2019
Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o: August 21 – September 1, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 – 22, 2019
Quiksilver Pro France: October 3 – 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 – 28, 2019
Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8 – 20, 2019

2019 Women’s Championship Tour Schedule*
Gold Coast Women’s Pro: April 3 – 13, 2019
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: April 17 – 27, 2019
Bali Women’s Pro: May 13 – 24, 2019
Margaret River Pro: May 27 – June 7, 2019
Oi Rio Pro: June 20 – 28, 2019
J-Bay Open: July 9 – 22, 2019
Surf Ranch Pro: September 19 – 22, 2019
Roxy Pro France: October 3 – 13, 2019
Meo Pro Peniche: October 16 – 28, 2019
Hawaii Women’s Pro: November 25 – December 7, 2019

*All events subject to change.

Read Original Story Here: https://www.surfline.com/surf-news/welcome-wct-class-2019/41579

Follow Wade Carmichael’s latest news at: https://wadecarmichael.com/blog/

Wade Carmichael has been flying under the radar for years now, and it’s easy to see why. The stocky Australian with his thick beard and barrel chest looks like he belongs on a barstool in an outback pub watching rugby, not in the water. He also grew up in Avoca Beach, a small New South Wales town that’s perfectly isolated from the M1 highway and largely immune to media fuss as a result. But it’s most likely due to the fact that Carmichael is just a humble, soft-spoken guy who’s usually head down and hard working. He’s the polar opposite of glossy surf celebrity. He’s a blue-collar guy who grinds hard to represent home. And for its small size his home zone sure has been spitting out its share surfing talents. Wade grew up admiring local heroes Matt Wilkinson and Ace Buchan, who grew up watching guys like Shane Powell, Drew Courtney, Bryce Ellis and the late Mark Sainsbury, all of whom made impacts on the global stage. 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