• Shaky Start for Women’s Top Four 
  • Fanning Set For Elimination Round Showdown at Narrabeen
  • Amuro Tsuzuki Gets Start on Championship Tour 
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
Pictured: Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) competed in the first CT heat of her career after receiving the last-minute entry as injury replacement into the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona and. Credit: © WSL / Miers

The Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona, the third stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2021 Championship Tour (CT), commenced in tricky conditions for the women’s and men’s opening rounds. The top four women on the Leaderboard had shaky starts to their Narrabeen campaigns, while the men’s heats saw domination from the high seeds. The stage is now set for the Elimination Rounds. 

Three-time World Champion Fanning Returns to Competition 

Fans eagerly awaited Rip Curl wildcard Mick Fanning’s (AUS) competitive return at North Narrabeen in Heat 6 of Round 1, his first time back in a CT jersey since retiring from full-time competition in 2018. Coincidentally, Fanning came up against reigning World Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA), who he competed against in his last heat back in 2018, along with Aussie rookie Morgan Cibilic. Three-time World Champion Fanning had his work cut out for him as Ferreira posted the highest two-wave combination of the day with his trademark display of aerial and sharp surfing. Fanning was unable to find his winning rhythm and will take his chances again in the Elimination Round when competition resumes. 

“It’s amazing to see all of these fans down here,” said Fanning. “I was actually quite emotional as I ran down the beach before paddling out hearing all of the cheers and seeing all the smiling faces. I’m really disappointed I didn’t put on more of a show though. It was always going to be such a tough task against Italo (Ferreira) and Morgan (Cibilic), they got first and third at the last event so are in epic form. I’m just hoping in my next heat I can get a bit more opportunity and put on more of a show.”

“I have great memories with Mick (Fanning) and it is always a pleasure to surf with him,” said Ferreira. “I was excited for that heat and to put everything on game. I hope I can keep going and pushing the limit. It is hard out there, the swell is the other direction so it makes the waves kind of close out, but sometimes it is good. My board is fast so I can make the closeouts. I am so excited for the next challenge.”

Shaky Start for Women’s Top Four

It was a tough morning for all three World Champions with Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW), and Tyler Wright (AUS) falling behind in their opening round heats. For seven-time Champion Gilmore and four-time Champion Moore, the two were able to avoid the dreaded Elimination Round with second-place placings. 

Wright was not so fortunate, falling to 2019 World Runner-up Caroline Marks(USA) and CT sophomore Macy Callaghan (AUS). Wright will now face Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) and event wildcard Laura Enever (AUS) in the first heat of Elimination Round 2 when competition resumes. 

Amuro Tsuzuki Gets Start on Championship Tour 

Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) finally got her start on the Championship Tour with her career-first CT heat today. Tsuzuki received the call up to compete on the main stage only hours before her heat after Lakey Peterson (USA) withdrew due to a lower back injury. Today was not only the first CT heat of Tsuzuki’s career but also marked two decades since a Japanese woman has competed on the CT. Tsuzuki now advances to the Round of 16. 

“I was excited to compete today but I was also very nervous and now that I have advanced it is a great relief,” said Tsuzuki. “I am really enjoying being in Australia and having the opportunity to compete against the world’s best is very special to me.”

Battle of the Sunshine Coasters in Opening Round

Australians Keely AndrewSally Fitzgibbons, and Nikki Van Dijk showcased their strengths in the tricky conditions and topped their Round 1 heats this morning. With the momentum from her third-place finish at Newcastle, Andrew was able to get a win back from CT rookie Isabella Nichols (AUS), sending her into the Elimination Round.  After making it to the Finals in her career-best finish last week, Nichols will need to take down either Johanne Defay (FRA) or Brisa Hennessy (CRI) in Elimination Round 2, Heat 2. 

“In the past, I’ve gone from the highest of highs down to the lowest of lows, so I think for me this year I just want to hit that consistency,” said Andrew. “I’m in a really good place at the moment and it feels nice to get some wins under my belt. In the heats, it can be difficult when you are fighting for small scores and keeping composure, but I’ve only recently worked that out where I’ve started getting into some mediation. I am probably the worst person to sit still so for me, it is a nice challenge to stay present and focus on the little tasks. I’ve found that has been helpful for this Australian leg and I’ll keep using it and hopefully, it keeps working.” 

Watch LIVE
The Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona opens April 16 and holds a competition window through April 26. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 6:45 a.m. AEST to reassess the conditions and make the next call. 

For fans wishing to attend the event in person, event entry will be first-come, first-serve starting at 7:00 a.m. AEST on each ‘on’ day of competition. The venue capacity will be limited to a maximum of 5,000 people at one time, adhering closely to NSW state government guidelines. This capacity limit is subject to change each day due to beach size changing with tides and swell size. To learn more, please check out the WSL’s event guide for more information and FAQs

The Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic pres. by Corona is proudly supported by our partners Rip Curl, Corona, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Northern Beaches Council, Red Bull, Oakley, Hydro Flask, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Boost Mobile, Dometic Outdoor, Bond University, BF Goodrich, and Oakberry. 

Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic Women’s Seeding Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.40 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.03, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 5.40
HEAT 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 9.14 DEF. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 8.43, Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.20
HEAT 3: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.57 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 8.50, Laura Enever (AUS) 4.60
HEAT 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.67 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 7.40, Johanne Defay (FRA) 6.60
HEAT 5: Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.07 DEF. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) 8.60, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.46
HEAT 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.10 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 8.87, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 7.90

Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic Women’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)  
HEAT 2: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Brisa Hennessy (CRI)

Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic Men’s Seeding Round 1 Results:
HEAT 1: Yago Dora (BRA) 10.73 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 9.97, Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.60
HEAT 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 10.93 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 9.37, Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 7.30
HEAT 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.34 DEF. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 7.47, Mikey Wright (AUS) 5.80
HEAT 4: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) 8.94 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8.43, Adrian Buchan (AUS) 8.10
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.67 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 9.96, Dylan Moffat (AUS) 9.73
HEAT 6: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.16 DEF. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 10.33, Mick Fanning (AUS) 5.60
HEAT 7: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 9.80 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 6.17, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.14
HEAT 8: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.67 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 9.37, Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 8.23
HEAT 9: Owen Wright (AUS) 10.17 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 9.00, Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 7.87
HEAT 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 10.84 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.20, Conner Coffin (USA) 6.96
HEAT 11: Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.03 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.60, Jack Freestone (AUS) 8.30
HEAT 12: Jack Robinson (AUS) 12.56 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.44, Caio Ibelli (BRA) 5.44

Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)  
HEAT 2: Jack Freestone (AUS) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Dylan Moffat (AUS)  
HEAT 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)  
HEAT 4: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

COVID-19 Updates
The WSL will implement a robust and thorough COVID-19 health and safety plan for each event during the Australian leg of the CT in accordance with federal and state guidance. The WSL’s health and safety plan includes enhanced high-touch cleaning at the event site, contact tracing procedures, sanitizer stations throughout the event site, and minimal personnel on-site. All traveling athletes and support staff completed the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine and received medical clearance from public health officials before entering the general community. 

Due to COVID-19, the Australian CT events will run based on state border closures, strictly adhering to federal and state government guidelines and restrictions. All tour stops and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.

About the WSL 
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. 
A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  
Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com
WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.  
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.