While the Men's side of the 2017 WSL CT requalification battle is a murky confluence of approximately 30 some surfers battling for 10 open spots, the Women's CT qualification remains a much more straightforward affair. With the opening days of the waiting period for the 2016 Target Maui Pro at Honolua Bay looming just a few short days away, the only real showdown is between perennial CT vet Aussie Laura Enever (No. 10) and South African Bianca Buitendag (No. 12).
Separated by Nikki Van Dijk at No. 11 (who will requalify through the QS), Buitendag went all-in on the 2016 CT and must produce a win at Honolua Bay to stay on tour next year. Which isn't to say it's outside the realm of possibility, she made three finals appearances last year.
On the surface, it might appear that the regularfoot Enever has a clear advantage at Honolua's bowly rights surfing on her forehand (not to mention, she's sitting two spots higher in the rankings and just over 7000 points to the good over her rival).
But Buitendag posses a lethal backhand attack. Only Carissa Moore and Steph Gilmore can match her technique on tour. At 6'1" she's able to use significant leverage and put her Channel Island boards into places regularfooters can only dream to go.
Enever, for her part, has experience on her side, but it may be her renewed commitment to pushing the envelope that ultimately produces the Quarterfinal result -- a fifth-place finish -- she requires to return to the CT for a seventh straight year.
Watch the women battle in Maui from November 23 - December 5, live daily on the WSL website and app.