WSL Says: No Seignosse For You! - Stab Mag

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There will be no beautiful backlit evenings followed by Bordeaux and Gruyere on the CS this year. Photo: Masurel/WSL

WSL Says: No Seignosse For You!

Who is helped and who is hurt by France’s abandoned CS event?

news // Jul 30, 2022
Words by Holden Trnka
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Just this morning, the WSL sent out an email announcing that the 2022 Quiksilver / ROXY Pro France Challenger Series Event would be officially cancelled.  

The bulk of the email was as follows:

“We are disappointed to announce the cancellation of the Challenger Series event in Hossegor,” said Erik Logan, WSL CEO. “We were unable to secure the appropriate support to make the event financially sustainable.” 

“Quiksilver and ROXY have had a long history of supporting the surfing industry in France, including on the Championship Tour level, so this is of course a very disappointing outcome”, said Arne Arens, CEO of Boardriders Inc.

A bit of diplomacy here, a smidge of vagueness there… straight from the WSL playbook.

Truthfully, the only pertinent information we’ve been given here is the fact that the event is canceled, there will be no replacement event, and the counted CS results for the year drop from five events to four.

The WSLSVPOTAC Jessi Miley-Dyer explains:

“We understand and acknowledge the inconvenience of this timing, and we know it adds difficult and frustrating repercussions on competitors. Because of this, we have reduced the counting results to four from five for the end-of-year rankings. The 2022 Challenger Series will host seven competitions total, including the upcoming Vans US Open of Surfing, EDP Vissla Pro Ericeira, Corona Saquarema Pro, and Haleiwa Challenger.”

Leo won’t be too bummed.

Who is this cancellation good for?

Well, anyone who hasn’t already booked their flights and accommodation in Hossegor is likely pleased with their procrastination. Rio Waida, Leo Fioravanti, Caity Simmers, and Molly Picklum probably won’t mind either, considering the cancellation only shortens their purposeful march towards the Dream Tour.

As for those who will be disappointed with the change, there are quite a few.

French surfers, and ardent French surfing fans, sit atop the list of those who can’t be too pleased. Seeing as France doesn’t currently have a CT event, this competition would have been the locals’ only chance to watch — or compete against — the world’s best in the near future. The cancellation is also an obvious blow to the tourism projections for the town of Hossegor.  We’d guess there’s at least one photo of E-Lo being sworn at in French within the city walls.

Jorgann Couzinet, presumably displeased. Photo: WSL

Anyone who booked non-refundable plane tickets or accommodation will be nursing their wounds in the coming days. 

We also suspect some of the competitors sitting in no-mans-land on the rankings may be lamenting the now smaller chance at garnering late-season momentum. 

However, Jesse Miley-Dyer’s consolation for the cancellation states that only 4 results would count, as opposed to 5, which lowers the number of points needed to qualify.

In order to determine exactly how much this lowers the point totals competitors will need to qualify for the CT, we’ll use the hypothetical cutoffs we’d calculated in a previous article and do some voodoo magic (fractions).

Men:

Our previous estimate was that the lowest qualifier for the Men’s tour would need around 3,483 points per event, or roughly a 9th place finish per comp. With the previously counted 5 events, the lowest qualifier would have needed a hypothetical 17,415 points. With the newly refined 4 events, that’s only around 13,932 points. While there is a noticeable difference between the two, Rio and Leo are still the only two who have already sumitted this mathematical mountain.  

The rest of the Top 10 are a finals appearance, or a few half-decent results, away from this cutline, with Dylan Moffat hovering nearest.

Truly, an event win for literally any of the competitors nearly guarantees qualification now, as long as they can surf the other events with any degree of poise. Any frustrated competitors sitting far back on the rankings might take solace in this.

Women:

For the women, our prior ventures on the abacus led us to the lowest ranked female qualifier needing about 5,573 points per event. With the 5 event system before this cancellation, that meant a theoretical cutline of around 27,865 points.  Now, with 4 events, the cutline sits at about 22,292 points.

Not too much has changed as a result of this on the women’s side. Caity and Molly still sit proudly atop the totem pole, looking down their noses at the common folk below.  

Sorta.

The Top 5 are all one event win away from this coveted imaginary point total, while 6th – 10th might need a win and some change.  Anyone lost in the doldrums of 96th place finishes will need a really strong finish — a coupla wins or a handful of semis — for any substantial hope at qualification.

Change is always difficult, and any administrative changes on a large scale will always be met with staunch opposition and blind criticism. Until we understand further, we’ll be operating under the impression that this decision was made truly for the profitability of the WSL. While these sorts of decisions do benefit competitive surfing culture at large, they nearly never benefit individuals. This dichotomy is an ever-present tradeoff of running large organizations, and we’re just glad we’re the armchair critics and not the decision makers.

Hopefully all of the athletes manage to come out of this financially unscathed, and hopefully the US Open is firing.  

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