After a yearlong absence from the WSL Championship Tour (CT), Australian Owen Wright has accepted the 2017 WSL wildcard and will make his much-anticipated return at the Quiksilver Gold Coast Pro in one week's time.
Wright suffered a traumatic head injury surfing Pipeline in December 2015 and took the entire 2016 season off to recover.
"I'm so thankful for the support of my friends and family, my sponsors, the WSL and all the people in the community who sent positive thoughts to me throughout my recovery," Wright said. "I'm feeling stronger every day and I'm very much looking forward to returning to the Tour and further honing my fitness and surfing throughout the 2017 season."
The Byron Bay local capped an outstanding 2015 campaign with a No. 5 overall ranking and was a contender for the 2016 Title race until he was derailed by his accident. Due to the seriousness of his injury, Wright's decision to return this season was not confirmed until after he successfully competed last month at the Maitland and Port Stephens Toyota Pro QS6,000 in Newcastle, NSW.
"Owen Wright is one of the most electric and powerful surfers to ever grace the tour," said Kieren Perrow, WSL Commissioner. "The WSL's priority was Owen's well-being and a healthy return to the sport. After assessing his performance and health after the QS event earlier in the season...we're happy to have him back."
His return at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast marks a unique Wright Family triple threat -- his younger sister, Tyler, is the reigning WSL women's World Champion and will begin her Title defense at the Roxy Pro. His younger brother, Mikey, received the Quik Pro event wildcard and will compete alongside Owen at Snapper Rocks.
The Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro Gold Coast run March 14-25 at Snapper Rocks.