When Gabby And Kolohe Pull Out, The Hog Pulls In
Tahiti wildcards named.
Today, on Instagram, the WSL officially announced the wildcards and injury replacements for the upcoming Tahiti Outerknown Pro.
Their decisions left us feeling both excited about the new generation of talented chargers, and nostalgic about the all-but-forgotten tourlords of the noughties.
To start with, 22-year old cone-packing princess Vahine Fierro will be given the Women’s wildcard. As a local standout with nothing to lose, we’d say she could be playing spoiler for anyone not already locked into Final’s Day.
“Goofy-footed local wildcard takes trophy at barreling CT lefthander…”
The women’s tour must be shaking in their reef booties.
On the men’s side, we have two withdrawals, leaving room for replacements at the WSL’s discretion.
The first withdrawal is an expected one, with Gabriel Medina currently suffering from an MCL injury sustained in Rio. While it will be a shame to not see the Brazilian embarrass almost everyone at Chopes, we can’t say we’re anything but excited about his replacement.
43-year-old Outerknown team rider Nathan “The Hog” Hedge will be filling in for Gabe. While we’re uncertain as to what prompted this decision — aside from the perfect 10-point monster he wrangled a few years ago and his connection to the title sponsor — we’re thrilled about it.
Yes, as the comment section on the WSL’s post suggested, the wildcard could have been given to a talented local youngster (potentially named Matahi Drollet), but considering Outerknown is sponsoring the event, this decision makes sense.
Guess there’s a few perks when you’re friends with a particular 11x World Champ, eh?
Hedge has a stacked first heat, going head to head with two potential event favorites, Jack Robbo and Barron Mamiya. We’ll see how he fares.
The second withdrawal is an unexpected one. Kolohe Andino has pulled out of the event, reportedly to get his head drilled for surfer’s ear. He also hasn’t had the best competitive year in 2022, so this event has no bearing on Brother’s title aspirations.
Yago Dora will be replacing Brother, in an obvious and very fair play by the WSL.
The Florianopolitan will no doubt be a forehand threat at the Polynesian reef pass. After an equal third at J-Bay, we’re excited to see what Yago can do with a full year on the newly designed CT.
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