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We promise this won't (really) hurt.

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Will Medina's Priority Blunder Cost Him The World Title?

Every heat is history.

That's the latest in the WSL's stream of hyperbolic taglines, a claim so outrageously superlative that it borders on delusional.

I can assure you that no one, other than maybe the surfers, can remember what happened in the most recently surfed heat of the Rip Curl Pro Portugal—Jack Freestone vs. Soli Bailey—today, let alone in ten years. 

Therefore, "history" it is not. 

What they should have said was, "Every heat's a mystery."

Take, for instance, the Round of 16 match between Gabriel Medina and Caio Ibelli at the very same Rip Curl Pro. By way of an unnecessary priority interference, Medina turned what should have been a walk-through into a devastating loss, putting his 2019 World Title campaign in serious jeopardy.

I know that sounds crazy, but it's not. Let's consult the numbers.

After removing his two 17th place finishes (which is precisely what will happen come year's end, assuming Medina doesn't get a 33rd at Pipe) and adding a ninth (Gabby's Portugal result) to his scoreline, Medina will leave Europe with 48,675 points.

So, where does that leave the other five Title contenders—Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Jordy Smith, Kolohe Andino, and Kanoa Igarashi—all of whom remain in the event?

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Filipe Toledo

If Filipe loses in the quarterfinals, he will leave Europe with 47,815 points, falling less than 1,000 points short of Medina. Filipe would need to beat Medina by one place in Pipe to win the Title. 

If Filipe loses in the semifinals, he will leave Europe with 49,155 points, overtaking Medina by a few hundred points. Filipe would need to tie Medina at Pipe to win the Title.

If Filipe finishes second, he will leave Europe with 50,870 points, overtaking Medina by more than 2,000 points. Medina will need to beat Filipe by one or more spots at Pipe to win the Title.

If Filipe wins the event, he will leave Europe with 53,070 points, overtaking Medina by nearly 5,000 points. If Filipe makes the semis at Pipe, Medina cannot win the Title.

 smith j2490PRT19poullenot

Jordy Smith

If Jordy loses in the quarterfinals, he will leave Europe with 43,610 points, falling more than 5,000 points short of Medina. Jordy would need at least a semifinal finish at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Jordy loses in the semifinals, he will leave Europe with 44,950 points, falling less than 4,000 points short of Medina. Jordy would need to make at least the quarters at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Jordy finishes second, he will leave Europe with 46,665 points, falling less than 2,000 points short of Medina. Jordy would need to beat Medina by at least one place at Pipe to win the Title.

If Jordy wins the event, he will leave Europe with 48,865 points, overtaking Medina by a couple hundred points. Jordy would need to tie Medina at Pipe to win the Title. 

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Italo Ferreira

If Italo loses in the quarterfinals, he will leave Europe with 44,485 points, falling more than 4,000 points short of Medina. Italo would need to make at least the quarters at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Italo loses in the semifinals, he will leave Europe with 45,825 points, falling less than 3,000 points short of Medina. Italo would need at least a ninth at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Italo finishes second, he will leave Europe with 47,450 points, falling more than 1,000 points short of Medina. Italo would need to finish at least one place ahead of Medina at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Italo wins the event, he will leave Europe with 49,740 points, overtaking Medina by over 1,000 points. Medina would need to beat Italo by one place at Pipe to win the Title.

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Kolohe Andino

If Kolohe loses in the quarterfinals, he will leave Europe with 43,335 points, falling more than 5,000 points short of Medina. Kolohe would need to make at least the semis at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Kolohe loses in the semifinals, he will leave Europe with 44,675 points, falling 4,000 points short of Medina. Kolohe would need to make at least the quarters at Pipe to win the Title. 

If Kolohe finishes second, he will leave Europe with 46,390 points, falling more than 2,000 points short of Medina. Kolohe would need to finish at least one place ahead of Medina at Pipe to win the Title.

If Kolohe wins the event, he will leave Europe with 48,590 points falling just less than 100 points shy of Medina. Kolohe would need to finish at least one place ahead of Medina at Pipe to win the Title.  

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Kanoa Igarashi

If Kanoa loses in the quarterfinals, he will leave Europe with 37,515 points, falling more than 10,000 short of Medina. Kanoa would not be able to win the Title. 

If Kanoa loses in the semifinals, he will leave Europe with 38,855 points, falling just under 10,000 points short of Medina. Kanoa would need to win Pipe to have a chance at winning the Title.

If Kanoa finishes second, he will leave Europe with 40,570 points, falling more than 8,000 points short of Medina. Kanoa would need to win Pipe to have a chance at winning the Title.

If Kanoa wins the event, he will leave Europe with 42,770 points, falling less than 6,000 points short of Medina. Kanoa would need at least a semifinal finish at Pipe to win the Title.

 Screen Shot 2019 10 22 at 2.55.42 PM

While we're talking numbers, we should note that since the Men's CT schedule started including 11 events (this began in 2014, the year of Medina's first Title), no surfer has won a World Championship with less than 57,000 total points. That's not to say the trend must continue in 2019, but it's still a data point worth noting. 

To maintain that statistic, Medina would have to win Pipe for the second year in a row. But, if Toledo manages to win Portugal and get at least a semi in Hawaii, even a Pipe Masters trophy wouldn't be enough to earn Medina the 2019 Title. 

However, historically speaking, he doesn't have much to worry about with Filipe and Pipe. 

This year has been strange in many ways, with John dominating the first half then falling out, Filipe's chronic back issues, and Gabe's seemingly-fated ascension being thwarted by Priority-Gate. For these reasons, it would be fair to say that whoever wins the Title in 2019 will have a miniature asterisk next to their name in the history books.

And CJ Hobgood will welcome them with open arms. 

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