Matt Banting, #1 Ranked Challenger Series Leader Forced To Withdraw From US Open - Stab Mag

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Post-surgical osteonecrosis in a fractured ankle has forced Matt to withdraw and rehabilitate. Photo by WSL/Thomas Bennett

Matt Banting, #1 Ranked Challenger Series Leader Forced To Withdraw From US Open

Moon boots are no good for a CT re-qualification campaign.

news // Sep 20, 2021
Words by Ethan Davis
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Matt Banting currently leads the Challenger Series where the top 12 ranked men from the 2021 Challenger Series will automatically qualify for the 2022 Championship Tour.

Given the truncation of the 2020 QS, points from the best event rollover to the 2021 season. This put Matt in #1 spot on the Challenger Series, as he placed 1st in the QS3000 Vissla Central Coast Pro, an event he won twice in a row, and 5th at The Surfest Newcastle pro. His position made him the top seed coming into the US Open event at Huntington Beach that starts today and will run until the 26th of September.

However, post-surgical complications from an ankle/foot injury have forced him to withdraw from the first Challenger Series 10,000 event, and potentially the rest of the year.

The caption reads:

I’ve had to withdraw from the @wsl Challenger Series starting soon at the US Open. 
I saw a foot/ankle surgeon and he’s put me back in a non-weight-bearing boot for 4 weeks pending surgery. 

After 8-10 weeks in a boot/crutches, I started conservative rehab with the physio / sports med / podiatrist. The fracture started to feel shitty again, got rescanned and it showed that it’s still fractured but partially healed (80ish%). There’s some osteonecrosis in the fracture and a few complications so just waiting to see what the surgeon says in 10 days. 

Obviously pretty frustrated with the way it’s panned out, missing these comps with my current QS ranking. Just gotta focus on the recovery and get back in the water asap!

Following the US Open, CS surfers will head to Europe for the MEO Pro Ericeira, scheduled for October 2 – 10 in Portugal, followed by the Quiksilver and ROXY Pro France, from October 16 – 24 in South West France. The season will wrap in Hawaii, at the Haleiwa Challenger, from November 25 to December 7. 

The Challenger Series field will include 96 men and 64 women, made up of 34 men and 17 women from the CT, 58 men and 44 women that are allocated by the WSL regions, two men’s and women’s World Junior wildcards, and two men’s and one women’s wildcards. Any unused CT spots will become wildcards.

The 2021 Challenger Series rankings will be comprised of a surfer’s best three results out of five events, the four 2021 events, and one 2020 event.

Wishing you a speedy recovery, Matt.


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