- Old Guard Falls in Men’s Elimination Round
- No Competition Tomorrow, Next Call Wednesday AWST
- More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
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, eliminated the first competitors from the draw today in the clean-but-slow, two-to-three foot waves at Strickland Bay. The women’s and men’s Elimination Round 2 saw the first six competitors exit, and the competition is now set for the men’s Round of 32 and women’s Round of 16.
Due to the dropping swell and onshore winds forecast, event organizers have called the competition OFF for tomorrow, Tuesday, May 18, and will reconvene on Wednesday, May 19, to reassess the conditions and make the next call.
World No. 2 Weston-Webb Eliminated Early
Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) came into this event as the current World No. 2 after winning the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro. After a tough loss in yesterday’s opening round, Weston-Webb was relegated to the first Elimination round of the day against Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) and event wildcard Mia McCarthy (AUS). In the slow conditions, Weston-Webb was unable to find the scores to advance past Van Dijk and McCarthy, and was eliminated in equal 17th place.
“It is really slow out there this morning; I think the ocean needs a coffee,” Van Dijk said. “I’m really stoked to make it through that heat though. Yesterday I feel like I came a little bit unstuck and couldn’t finish my last turns, so I’m glad to have made it out of the Elimination Round, it’s sketchy that round. I love surfing my backhand and I feel like our opportunities to go left are few and far between, so I really want to capitalize at this event. It’s all good though, I’m back in the event and I’m looking forward to some more heats.”
Brisa Hennessy (CRI) was eliminated in the second heat of the Elimination Round, unable to overcome Australians Isabella Nichols and Bronte Macaulay. Hennessy has had a difficult run so far in the 2021 season with four consecutive 9th place finishes and a 17th place result today. Hennessy will look to improve her results on the CT’s final stretch, next heading to the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif.
Old Guard Falls in Men’s Elimination Round
Taj Burrow (AUS), who returned to this competition as an injury replacement, was dispatched by Griffin Colapinto (USA) and Jack Freestone (AUS). Burrow, the 18-year CT veteran, showed he hasn’t lost any of the flair that earned him the tag of the most exciting surfer of his generation, but unfortunately fell victim to the slow conditions on Day 2 at Strickland, only finding one set wave in the 35-minute encounter.
“That didn’t really feel like a normal heat,” Colapinto said. “There wasn’t that usual pressure. Taj and I were talking about what boards we’re on and what’s going on in his life, so it just felt like a normal free surf. I was a little nervous because Jack and Taj are such high-performance surfers in waves like this, so anything could have happened. I decided to go sit on the left and, sure enough, that set came, so I’m glad it paid off.”
15-year CT eteran Jeremy Flores (FRA) also fell short of advancing at Strickland Bay with a loss to rookie Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) and injury replacement Liam O’Brien (AUS) in Heat 2 of Elimination Round 2. In a heat where the wildcard held the lead for its entirety, the result was decided on the final siren with McGillivray and O’Brien splitting the peak on a set and the South African gaining the lead on the right while O’Brien went left to hold Flores from the opportunity to find a score.
“It was a nerve-wracking heat,” said McGillivray. “I got given a gift at the end there. It is tricky conditions and with it being so slow, you have to be patient. In previous heats, I haven’t been patient enough so I was focused on making better decisions in that heat. It wasn’t going my way until I got that right at the end and had an opportunity with Liam taking the left, so I’m grateful for that. I’ve had a few elimination round heats now and it doesn’t get any better. It’s a tricky round. I came into this event feeling a lot more relaxed with a bit of confidence from my result in Margaret River. I felt more sure of myself, but I still have more work to do.”
Other competitors through to the men’s Round of 32 included Caio Ibelli(BRA) and injury replacement Stu Kennedy (AUS), who got the better of Peterson Crisanto (BRA) at Strickland Bay. Rip Curl wildcard Jacob Willcox(AUS) was a standout in his heat win over Morgan Cibilic (AUS) and Jadson Andre (BRA), with Andre being eliminated in equal 33rd place.
The holding period for the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona is now open 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. Event organizers have called the competition OFF for tomorrow, Tuesday, May 18, and will reconvene on Wednesday, May 19, for the next call.
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 Women’s Elimination Round 2 Results:
HEAT 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.10 DEF. Mia McCarthy (AUS) 7.16, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 4.77
HEAT 2: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 13.33 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 13.10, Brisa Hennessy (CRI) 9.23
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Women’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Caroline Marks (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW)
HEAT 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS)
HEAT 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
HEAT 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
HEAT 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Mia McCarthy (AUS)
HEAT 6: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
HEAT 7: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
HEAT 8: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN)
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Men’s Elimination Round 2 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.50 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 11.16, Taj Burrow (AUS) 9.60
HEAT 2: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 12.23 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 10.90, Jeremy Flores (FRA) 9.10
HEAT 3: Caio Ibelli (BRA) 9.63 DEF. Stuart Kennedy (AUS) 9.16, Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 5.90
HEAT 4: Jacob Willcox (AUS) 13.50 DEF. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 8.90, Jadson Andre (BRA) 7.10
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Men’s Round of 32 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
HEAT 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
HEAT 3: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
HEAT 4: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
HEAT 5: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Liam O’Brien (AUS)
HEAT 6: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Jack Robinson (AUS)
HEAT 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs. Michel Bourez (FRA)
HEAT 8: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
HEAT 9: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Kael Walsh (AUS)
HEAT 10: Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
HEAT 11: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
HEAT 12: Griffin Colapinto (USA) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS)
HEAT 13: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Jacob Willcox (AUS)
HEAT 14: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Ethan Ewing (AUS)
HEAT 15: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Jack Freestone (AUS)
HEAT 16: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Connor O’Leary (AUS)
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.