CASCAIS, Portugal (Mareeg) – The world’s best female surfers have arrived in Portugal ahead of the start of the Cascais Women’s Pro tomorrow. Stop No. 8 of 10 on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) could see this year’s exciting Title Race come to a conclusion with Jeep Leaderboard frontrunner Tyler Wright (AUS) well on her way to claiming her maiden world title.
With four Championship Tour wins under her belt this season and 53,450 points, Wright is the only surfer with the chance to clinch the WSL Women’s Title in Portugal. Wright can only win in the following scenario:
– Wright would have to win the event
– Courtney Conlogue (USA) could finish no higher than 5th
Courtney Conlogue (USA), Carissa Moore (HAW), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Malia Manuel (HAW) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) all still have a mathematical chance of taking the title.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen here but I know who I am and what I’m capable of,” Wright said. “I’ve thought about it, having the possibility to win the title here, and it doesn’t really change what I’m going to do. I still have the same goal, which is to win every heat and every final.”
No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard Courtney Conlogue (USA) comes into the event as defending winner and will look to repeat that success this year and keep her title hopes alive.
“Tyler’s had an amazing season this far,” said Conlogue. “Portugal is such an incredible place and I love coming here each year. I had a great result here last year and I’m really excited to see what unfolds this event.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), six-time WSL Women’s Champion, has withdrawn from the Cascais Women’s Pro due to illness. The Australian is suffering from an ear infection and has not been cleared to travel by her physicians.
“Really disappointed to have to withdraw from Portugal,” Gilmore said. “I felt like I was finally in a rhythm at Trestles and looking forward to carrying that momentum to Europe. Hoping to heal up in time for France. Good luck to all the girls in Cascais.”
Pauline Ado (FRA), 2016 WSL European Women’s Champion, will take Gilmore’s spot and match up against Conlogue and Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) in Round 1.
Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), 2016 WSL European Junior Champion, will join the world’s best surfers in her fourth appearance as the wildcard at the Cascais Women’s Pro. Bonvalot will face Wright and Keely Andrew (AUS) in the opening round of competition.
“I am stoked to be able to surf against my idols again this year,” said Bonvalot. “It will also be fun to surf alongside the men because it makes things more competitive. I’ve never surfed against Tyler so that will be interesting – I’ll just have to do my best.”
The WSL Top 17 will be joined by a field of Men’s CT surfers and QS standouts for the fourth edition of the Billabong Pro Cascais pres. by Allianz. With 10,000 QS points on offer, the race to qualify for next season’s CT will heat up in Cascais.
Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), current No. 1 on the WSL Qualifying Series, is looking for another good result in Portugal to increase his lead and his chance of qualifying for the elite tour in 2017.
“I love Portugal and I love Cascais,” said Fioravanti. “This is one of the biggest events of the year and a lot of the CT surfers are here. It will be a very tough event but the forecast is looking good so I’m looking forward to it.”
Surfline, official forecaster for the WSL, are calling for:
The active pattern over the Atlantic through the end of September will set up overlapping NW swells for the first several days of the waiting period. These swells shows strongest for Praia do Guincho with small to minimal surf wrapping into Carcavelos during the weekend and into early next week (24th-27th). Beyond that we will need to monitor Tropical Storm Karl for any swell towards mid/late next week (28th-30th).
The Cascais Women’s Pro runs in conjunction with the Cascais Billabong Pro, the WSL Men’s QS 10,000 event, and both will be webcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeauge.com and via the WSL mobile app.
Cascais Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Sage Erickson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS), Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 6: Malia Manuel (HAW), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA)
2016 WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (After Swatch Women’s Pro):
1. Tyler Wright (AUS) 53,450
2. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 46,200
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 42,500
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb 38,450
5. Stephanie Gilmore 37,300