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Durbidge, Wright and Peterson Given 2017 Injury Wildcards

Editor's Note: On Thursday afternoon the WSL Commissioners officially announced wildcard selections for the 2017 Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour, the final step in completing the rosters for both the men's and women's elite-tours. In addition, they have clarified the priority of next year's replacements, who will fill in as alternates should there be an injury. The full press release copy is below.

Lakey Peterson (USA) placed 1st in Heat 5 of Round Two at  Maui Women's Pro Lakey Peterson was given the injury wildcard after suffering an ankle break in 2016. The Californian is looking to jump straight into the hunt for a world title. - WSL / Poullenot/Aquashot

Official WSL Press Release

LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Thursday, December 22, 2016) - With the close of the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour and Qualifying Series seasons, the elite men's and women's classes for the 2017 tour in pursuit of the undisputed world surf crown have been set.

Tyler Wright (AUS), reigning WSL Women's Champion and winner of five of 10 CT events in 2016 (including the closer at the Maui Women's Pro), will lead the world's best female surfers into battle next season. The 2017 WSL Top 17 is comprised of the Top 10 finishers from the 2016 Championship Tour, the Top 6 finishers (barring double qualifiers) from the 2016 Qualifying Series and the WSL Wildcard.

Bianca Buitendag, on her way to a win in her Round Two heat at Cloudbreak. Bianca Buitendag will be the first alternate at next year's Championship Tour events after just missing the cutoff in 2016. - WSL / Ed Sloane

2016 CT Top 10 Finishers:
1 - Tyler Wright (AUS)
2 - Courtney Conlogue (USA)
3 - Carissa Moore (HAW)
4 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
5 - Johanne Defay (FRA)
6 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
7 - Malia Manuel (HAW)
8 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
9 - Sage Erickson (USA)
10 - Laura Enever (AUS)

Wildcard:

  • Lakey Peterson (USA)

2016 Top 6 QS Finishers:

  • Silvana Lima (BRA)
  • Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
  • Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
  • Keely Andrew (AUS)
  • Coco Ho (HAW)
  • Pauline Ado (FRA)

Replacements:

  • Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
  • Alessa Quizon (HAW)
  • Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
  • Isabella Nichols (AUS)

The 2017 WSL Women's Wildcard has been allocated to Lakey Peterson (USA).

Bede Durbidge surfing in Heat 5 of Round Two of the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeine, Oahu, Hawaii. Bede Durbidge took most of 2016 off after his horrific Pipeline injury in December of 2015, but he made an remarkable return in Hawaii. - WSL / Damien Poullenot

John John Florence (HAW), reigning WSL Men's Champion, will look to defend his maiden title against the 2017 WSL Top 34 in 2017. Wrapping the 2016 season on Monday with Michel Bourez's (PYF) victory at the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, next year's elite men's class has been solidified with the Top 22 finishers from the 2016 Championship Tour, the Top 10 finishers (barring double qualifiers) from the 2016 Qualifying Series and two WSL Wildcards.

Owen Wright, flyin' and stylin' Owen Wright's wildcard spot in 2017 is contingent upon a medical evaluation. - WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

2016 CT Top 22 Finishers:
1 - John John Florence (HAW)
2 - Jordy Smith (ZAF)
3 - Gabriel Medina (BRA)
4 - Kolohe Andino (USA)
5 - Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
6 - Michel Bourez (PYF)
7 - Kelly Slater (USA)
8 - Julian Wilson (AUS)
9 - Joel Parkinson (AUS)
10 - Filipe Toledo (BRA)
11 - Adriano de Souza (BRA)
12 - Sebastian Zietz (HAW)
13 - Josh Kerr (AUS)
14 - Adrian Buchan (AUS)
15 - Italo Ferreira (BRA)
16 - Caio Ibelli (BRA)
17 - Mick Fanning (AUS)
18 - Conner Coffin (USA)
19 - Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
20 - Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
21 - Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
22 - Miguel Pupo (BRA)

Alejo Muniz at the J-Bay Open. If Wright is not able to accept his injury wildcard spot it will be awarded to Brazil's Alejo Muniz, who surfed much of 2016 injured. - WSL / Pierre Tostee

Wildcards:

  • Bede Durbidge (AUS)
  • Owen Wright (AUS)

2016 Top 10 QS Finishers:

  • Connor O'Leary (AUS)
  • Ethan Ewing (AUS)
  • Frederico Morais (PRT)
  • Joan Duru (FRA)
  • Leonardo Fioravanti (ITL)
  • Jeremy Flores (FRA)
  • Jadson Andre (BRA)
  • Ian Gouveia (BRA)
  • Jack Freestone (AUS)
  • Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Nat Young enjoying a layday freesurf. Nat Young will be stepping in as first alternate in 2017 should any starters have to pull out. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Replacements:

  • Nat Young (USA)
  • Bino Lopes (BRA)
  • Keanu Asing (HAW)
  • Jesse Mendes (BRA)

The WSL Commissioner's Office has allocated the two available wildcards for the 2017 WSL Top 34 class to Bede Durbidge (AUS) and Owen Wright (AUS).

Wright's acceptance of his wildcard position for 2017 is contingent upon medical evaluation and approval for competition prior to the start of the season.

Should Wright be unable to accept his position for the 2017 season, the wildcard spot will then be allocated to Alejo Muniz (BRA).

The world's best surfers will return to competition at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast on March 14, 2017.