Who’s Making The Mid-Year Cut, As Of Now?
With World Champs on the chopping block, Margs is gonna be interesting.
Bells just finished.
After a relatively firing contest window, finals day was two foot, fat, and galing offshore. Not how you’d want to end an event of this magnitude, but the right people won in the end.
Conditions aside, the culmination of this event means we’ve got new rankings leaders and tightened cutline heading into the fifth (and final, for some) stop of the year.
As far as we know, the surfers’ pleas to dissolve the mid-year cut have fallen on unreceptive ifwell-Q-tipped ears, and the genocide will commence at Margaret’s as scheduled — a fitting place for a cull if ever there was one.
Keep in mind that the mid-year cut will not only determine which surfers get to compete on the back half of this season, but also those who are guaranteed a spot on the first half of the 2023 CT.
Men: Who’s safe, for now?
Keeping in mind that only the top four events will count toward a surfer’s pre-cut scoreline, I’d wager that everyone above Jake Marshall is safe for 2023. I just don’t see more than five surfers who are currently below the cutline earning 3,000+ points in a single event and making that quantum leap.
That means we have four rookies and one Ultimate Surfer on the edge of life and…slightly less pampered life. As Margs is the next stop, I see Zeke and Jacko brick-stomping their way to safety. Jake Marshall will probably hold on due to arithmetic alone, and Samuel Pupo will likely need a ninth to stay alive.
I fear this may be Lucca’s last hurrah.
Men: Whose head is on the chopping block?
Pretty wild seeing the 4th and 5th best surfers in the world from 2021 on this side of the cutline, along with a decade-plus tour vet in Owen Wright. I guess Jaddy’s a 10-year vet too, but he’s more accustomed to living south of the dotted line.
We’ve also got quite a few rookies on this list, most noably Joao Chianca, who despite his ranking has provided two of the best heats of the season. Anyone with an early season injury — R-Cal, Carlos Muñoz, Yago Dora, and Liam O’Brien also find themselves in a world of trouble. They’ll all be vying for the two WSL season wildcards for 2023, along with (presumably) Gabby Medina.
Not that it will help them requalify, but there are also two event wildcards for all the comps on the back half of this season. At least they’ll get to surf G-Land?
Men: Who’s doing well?
With all the excitement of the mid-year cut, I’d nearly forgotten that there’s still a World Title race going on. Bells saw a pretty significant shake-up on the men’s side, with Filipe rocketing way out in front and JJF sneaking his way into the top-5 just in time for his best event of the season.
The way things are going, you’d have to think those two will end up in a best-of-three surf-off against one another at Lowers this September. The only other contender I see at this stage is Kanoa.
Also shout out to Callum Robson and Ethan Ewing, both of whom shot up the rankings this comp, making a Guy Ferreira sandwich in the process. Meanwhile, Kelly hangs onto hope at number four and Barron at number five — the last remnants of their former Hawaiian glory.
Women: Who’s safe, for now?
Bells saw Carissa Moore reclaim her favorite mustard tunic, with Tyler Wright and Brisa Hennessy still nipping at her heels. Riss will need an event win sooner rather than later if she wants to create some real separation from the field.
Sliding down the top-10, we see a ton of tour vets and just one rookie — Australia’s India Robinson — at number eight. Also straddling the cutline are Courtney Conlogue and Steph Gilmore, both of whom made a sizable jump after going semis and quarters at Bells, respectively. Given the numbers, these three women are in serious danger of being overtaken at Margaret River if they don’t post another result.
Can you imagine for a moment, Steph Gilmore falling off tour? Sure, she’d almost certainly receive one of the WSL’s two season wildcards heading into 2023, but a 7x World Champ failing to make the mid-year cut would only bolster the arguments for the new tour structure’s dissolution.
Women: Whose head is on the chopping block?
Rookies, wildcards, and one notable veteran are currently in line to get the snip in WA. Their only hope of survival is to deliver a quarterfinal or better at Margs — but even that might not be enough.
It’s hard to look past Sally’s experience, but at a wave that requires significant brute strength, we could see a Gabby Bryan or BLSJ making a late push to safety.
This image also serves as a reminder that we haven’t seen Caroline Marks since Pipeline. Assuming she’s ready to come back next year, and with no other women holding injuries this season, we can safely expect Caroline to receive a season wildcard for 2023.
What if two people tie at the cutline?
Allow me copy/paste from the WSL rule book.
In the case of a tie relating to Surfers ranked twenty-two (22) in the year-end CT Rankings at the Mid-Season Cut, the following applies:
Should there be an available WSL Wildcard position, a tied Surfer can be provided that position and will be seeded as per their CT Ranking, not as a WSL Wildcard would be.
If there is no available WSL Wildcard position, the following applies in the order below:
(x) the results from their best counting Regular Season CT Events in that Surfing Season will be considered, counting back to their best counting Regular Season CT Event to attempt to break the tie. If one Surfer betters the other as this is applied, the tie is broken, and that Surfer will take the twenty-two (22) spot. If the tie is not broken, clause (y) will apply;
(y) the Surfer with the higher total number of heat wins (excluding Elimination Rounds) at the Regular Season CT Events in that Surfing Season will fill the twenty-two (22) spot and the lower ranked Surfer will not re- qualify; provided, however, that if there is still a tie, the Surfer with the higher average heat score from that Surfing Season will fill the twenty-two (22) spot and the lower ranked Surfer will not re-qualify.
The Margs waiting period opens on April 24th. Stay tuned for our Betonline.ag picks, coming soon.
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