USO Debrief: 2% Eat Everyone’s Lunch
Crosby Cola and Sally Fitz tentatively qualify for the CT, 8 Americans are in the men’s top 15.
“Teeewww peeeerrrceennntt!” *gang signs* — expect to see/hear more of it.
Eli Hanneman and Sawyer Lindblad just won the 2023 US Open of Surfing, beating Crosby Colapinto and Sally Fitzgibbons in the finals.
Waves were scarce as grass around a hog trough, soft as two minute egg.
Knee-height on Crosb, waist-height on Eli. Was all over in five minutes after Eli banked a flat 9 for a rotation.
The girls had a closer but equally uninspiring tussle in 1ft HB slop.
While HB is about as flaccid as surf amusement comes, the CT qualification race is throbbing with excitement.
There’s two events left, so we’re at the pointy end — only Brazil and Portugal remain.
Before we examine the leaderboards, remember: CS surfers will count their best four results from six events, dropping their two worst results. The top 10 men and top 5 women at the end of the season go straight to Pipe.
The magic number for qualifying is somewhere around the 16,000 points mark for the mens and 25,500 for the womens based on the point totals of last season’s lowest ranked qualifiers.
8 out of the top 15 surfers on the men’s leaderboard are American. Of those, four come from San Clemente: Cole Houshmand, Crosby Colapinto, Kade Matson and Jett Schilling. Thanks to a second place here, Crosby Colapinto has boosted up into third position and has tentatively already qualified. Kade and Jett still have work to do in the remaining two events, a fifth place finish (4745 points) in the remaining two events should be enough to get them over the line. Eli (honorary member of 2%) now in fourth needs a 25th place finish (1700 points) in the next two events to lock him in. It appears Kolohe’s efforts to galvanise the Americans is working, not for himself down in 51st obvs, but defs the others!
Nolan Rapoza has only surfed two events and is currently in 13th spot. This puts him in striking distance to qualify, but only if the WSL grants him wildcards into the next two events. Nolrap has my vote. The learning here is that big results matter more than consistent average results. Indeed, Cole Houshmand was able to qualify for the CT in just two events by virtue of winning them. He can play baseball for the rest of the year.
The (potential) requalifiers within the top 10 include: Morgan Cibilic, Jackson Baker, Samuel Pupo, Imaikalani DeVault and Freddie Morais. You can expect the vets to keep their cool under pressure in the remaining two events, I don’t see too much reshuffling going on TBH.
Sally Fitzgibbons has requalified. She is the only female at present to have eclipsed last season’s lowest ranked qualifier point total of 25,490 points. The 32-year-old Olympian who counts the most runner-up finishes to a World Title out of any surfer, ever, has made finals day in every event she’s surfed in so far. Go Sal.
⅘ surfers in the top 5 are Aussies. Interestingly, the order hasn’t changed since the Australian leg. Vahine Fierro is hot on Bronte’s heels however with less than 900 points splitting them.
Sawyer Lindblad is representing for the San Clemente (2%) girls. Her second at Snapper and her first place in HB puts her in third place overall, despite counting two marginal results in her scoreline. A fifth place or better result in the remaining two events will likely see her on the sand at Pipe.
- EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira Presented by Estrella Galicia (Ericeira, Portugal): October 1 – 8, 2023
- Corona Saquarema Pro (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil): October 14 – 21, 2023
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