• Men’s Seeding Round 1 Called ON at 7:35 AM AWST
  • Women’s Seeding Round 1 to Follow
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
Pictured: Ash Penfold of the Ngalak Nidja Dance Group in the Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony at the surfers’ arrival to Wadjemup (the Whadjuk Nyungar name for Rottnest Island) for the Rip Curl Rottnest Search pres. by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Dunbar

Opening day of the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona, the fifth stop on the 2021 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and the final event of the Australian leg, will see the opening rounds of the competition run at Strickland Bay in clean three-to-four foot surf. Men’s Seeding Round 1 will start at 7:35 a.m. AWST with 30-minute heats, followed by women’s Seeding Round 1. 

“Today is a really exciting one for us as it marks our first day of competition on Rottnest Island,” said WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “Strickland Bay has turned on for our competitors this morning with clean waves in the three-to-four foot range. We are going to aim for a big day of competition today, opening with men’s Seeding Round 1 and moving straight into women’s Round 1. It’s going to be a really exciting day of competition at a new location.” 

Up first this morning will be brothers Owen Wright (AUS) and Mikey Wright (AUS) against Griffin Colapinto (USA) in Seeding Round 1. The top two surfers in the heat will advance straight to the Round of 32 and avoid Elimination Round 2. 

Taj Burrow (AUS) will make his return to a CT jersey in Heat 5. He will be up against current World No. 2 Italo Ferreira (BRA) and 2015 WSL Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA). 

Welcome to Country by Professor Lenny Collard and the Ngalak Nidja Dance Group

Rottnest has an important pre-colonial history for the Whadjuk Nyungar, a home for their spiritual ancestors. Despite this connection and its beauty, Rottnest Island has a dark past. During colonial settlement and the frontier wars of the 19th Century, Wadjemup  — the Whadjuk Nyungar name for Rottnest Island — was established as a colonial prison for almost 4,000 Aboriginal men and boys from all over Western Australia between 1838 and 1904. 

Upon arrival to Rottnest Island, the surfers and staff were greeted to a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony by Winthrop Professor Lenny Collard, a Whadjuk Nyungar Elder and Professor at the University of Western Australia, alongside Ingrid Cumming, and Ash Penfold and Jayden Boundry of the Ngalak Nidja Dance Group. 

Yesterday’s press conference also saw the Ngalak Nidja Dance Group perform a Welcome to Country Ceremony with Ingrid Cumming, Jayden Boundry, Ash Penfold, Dylan Stack, Alana McGaw, and Marianne Mackay. Stay tuned for today’s live broadcast where the WSL Commentators will be joined by special guest Professor Lenny Collard.

Pictured: [From Left to Right] Alana McGaw, Ingrid Cumming, and Marianne Mackay of the Ngalak Nidja Dance Group in the Welcome to Country Ceremony at the Rip Curl Rottnest Search pres. by Corona Press Conference. Credit: © WSL / Miers

Select Your Rottnest Picks Now for WSL CT Fantasy

WSL CT Fantasy is open for the Rip Curl Rottnest Search pres. by Corona. With this year’s new features, players still have time to not just get in the action, but to win the title. Sign up, create your team, and start playing now. 

Players can register now at ctfantasy.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL app.  

Watch LIVE
The holding period for the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona opens on May 16 and runs through May 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. 

Although Rottnest Island will remain open for visitors while hosting the event, spectators will not be permitted at Strickland Bay as this will be a broadcast-only event to limit environmental impacts. 

The Rip Curl Rottnest Search pres. by Corona is proudly supported by our partners Rip Curl, Tourism Western Australia, Corona, Red Bull, Oakley, Hydro Flask, Boost Mobile, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Dometic Outdoor, Bond University, Oakberry, Rottnest Island Authority and Rottnest Express. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Rip Curl Rottnest Search Men’s Seeding Round 1 Matchups: 
Heat 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Owen Wright (AUS), Mikey Wright (AUS)
Heat 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Jack Robinson (AUS), Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Wade Carmichael (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Ethan Ewing (AUS), Liam O’Brien (AUS)
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Taj Burrow (AUS)
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Kael Walsh (AUS)
Heat 7: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF), Connor O’Leary (AUS)
Heat 8: Conner Coffin (USA), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 9: Frederico Morais (PRT), Jadson Andre (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 10: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Seth Moniz (HAW), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Caio Ibelli (BRA), Yago Dora (BRA), Michel Bourez (FRA)
Heat 12: Morgan Cibilic (AUS), Julian Wilson (AUS), Deivid Silva (BRA)

Rip Curl Rottnest Search Women’s Seeding Round 1 Matchups: 
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW), Mia McCarthy (AUS)
Heat 4: Caroline Marks (USA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Brisa Hennessy (CRI)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Tyler Wright (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)

COVID-19 Updates
The WSL continues to work closely with the West Australian Government and WA Police Department to monitor the COVID-19 situation both in WA, where competitors and staff are currently located, and in New South Wales, where they have traveled from. The Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro is prepared to operate in a ‘bubble’ should it be required. As a result of the COVID-19 contingency plans, there is no option to run the event at a mobile location outside of the main event site of Main Break and The Box, such as North Point in Gracetown.

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.

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