All eyes will be on Australian surfer Tyler Wright on Tuesday as she takes another stab at claiming the women’s World Surfing Title in France.
The Lennox Head local comes into the Roxy Pro as Jeep Rankings Leader and defending event champion and if she can win this event she will claim her maiden WSL Title.
Wrighthad the chance to take out the title at the last event in Portugal but was denied the glory by her nearest rival, American Courtney Conlogue, who beat Wright in the final of the event last week.
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“France is like a dream if you like beachbreaks,” said Conlogue.
“There are so many variables here, but once you find an amazing bank it can be perfection and you’ll have one of your dream surfs. I love finding barrels and if I can see an exit I’ll try and get inside. I’m really looking forward to this event and hopefully we get some swell. We’re going into the last two events and I’m just looking to have fun. I have nothing to lose right now and everything to gain, and I’m having a blast.”
Wright can only win in the following scenarios:
– If Wright wins the event
– If Wright finishes 2nd and Courtney Conlogue (USA) finishes no higher than 3rd
– If Wright finishes 3rd and Conlogue finishes no higher than 2nd
– If Wright finishes 5th and Conlogue finishes no higher than 3rd
– If Wright finishes 9th and Conlogue finishes no higher than 5th
– If Wright finishes 13th and Conlogue finishes no higher than 13th
Fellow Australian Stephanie Gilmore will return to competition after an absence from the Cascais Women’s Pro due to illness.
Despite her withdrawal from Portugal, Gilmore is still in sixth spot on the Jeep Leaderboard after a stunning runner-up finish at the Swatch Women’s Pro.
Gilmore has three previous CT event wins in France and will compete for another strong finish in the second to last event of the season.
“The Southwest of France is one of the most beautiful areas in the world,” said Gilmore.
“They’ve got beautiful waves, beautiful beaches and it’s a wonderful place to be. I’m feeling good and everything’s all better now. I’m ready to put on show here in France. The world title race this year is insane. To see Courtney step up in in Portugal was insane. To have all of that pressure and then win — that proved to me that Courtney has what it takes to be World Champion and fight it out all the way to the end. Tyler is still really strong and I’m sure she’ll come back here in France. It’s really exciting that we could see the title go down here in France!”
In the men’s event, Hawaiian superstar John John Florence is still on top of the rankings after taking over the number one position from Aussie Matt Wilkinson.
“This is a super exciting time, there are just three events left and they’ll be so much fun,” said Florence.
“It’s such an amazing place here and my ultimate goal is to win here in France. I just want to do the best I can. On the world title side of things, I’m trying not to think about it too much because I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I’m just having fun and, whatever happens, it’s been an amazing year.”
There are hopes the event will get underway later today as there is some good size swell expected across the first few days of the waiting period.
Quiksilver Pro France Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Nat Young (USA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 2: Kelly Slater (USA), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Jadson Andre (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA)
Heat 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Dusty Payne (HAW), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Conner Coffin (USA), Joan Duru (FRA)
Heat 7: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Stuart Kennedy (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 8: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 9: Julian Wilson (AUS), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Kolohe Andino (USA), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 11: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 12: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Adam Melling (AUS)
Roxy Pro France Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Sage Erickson (AUS), Lakey Peterson (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 6: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW)