After the completion of back-to-back QS 6,000 events and the QS 10,000 Oi HD São Paulo Open, the most recent Qualifying Series (QS) rankings shift has been slight but significant as the race for a spot on the 2016 Championship Tour (CT) intensifies.
With a win in Brazil Pupo bettered his standing, moving from 10th to fourth, while runner-up Davey Cathels (AUS) officially entered the qualification picture with a jump from 20th to eighth. That's the biggest jump for ages and it's mainly due to the fact that the surfers inside the Top 10 did not get a good result and those just outside did. Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Alejo Muniz (injured) and Alex Ribeiro (BRA) all failed to improve on their respective point totals in São Paulo, allowing others to bridge the previously established gap. The current cutoff for next year's elite Tour is with Ryan Callinan (AUS), who has 18,200 points heading into Hawaii.
No. 1 Jack Freestone (AUS) 28,400
No. 1 Caio Ibelli (BRA) 28,400
No. 3 Kolohe Andino (USA) 27,660
No. 4 Miguel Pupo (BRA) 26,100
No. 5 Alejo Muniz (BRA) 23,450
No. 6 Kanoa Igarashi (USA) 23,350
No. 7 Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 21,550
No. 8 Davey Cathels (AUS) 21,300
No. 9 Connor O'Leary (AUS) 19,300
No. 10 Ryan Callinan (AUS) 18,200
Just outside the Top 10 are Michael Rodrigues (BRA), who needs a 13th-place finish at the Hawaiian Pro to break 18,200, and Conner Coffin (USA), who needs a 25th place finish. Since surfers only count their top 5 results over the Qualifying Series season, anyone between Coffin and No. 25 Cooper Chapman (AUS) will need at least a Semifinal finish (5,100-5,300 rankings points) to break into the 18,200 point total. Below Cooper as far down as Tomas Hermes (BRA) in 56th, a Final is needed (8,000-10,000 rankings points). Surfers ranked lower than Hermes will need more than just a great result at Haleiwa to qualify for next year's CT. Most of these surfers have low scores of 1,000 to 2,200 to improve on.
I am now looking at 18,500 being a bit low for qualification, depending on how things unfold at the Triple Crown's QS contests.
About Al Hunt:
Al Hunt is a former competitor who has helped develop the WSL since its inception. Hunt was Head Judge in 1983, the WSL's first year, and became Tour Manager in 1984. He has worked as WSL Tour Manager since then, attending more than 1,000 events. Hunt's Situation Room is designed to keep fans informed on QS rankings shifts throughout the 2015 WSL season.