News

Hiroto Ohhara and Mikey Wright Awarded Wildcards for Surf Ranch

The Championship Tour (CT) will soon head to Lemoore, California for the first-ever Surf Ranch Pro from September 6 - 9. The world's best surfers will compete at the Surf Ranch for Stop No. 8 on the CT and the event will be the first time since 1985 that a wave system event will help decide a World Title.

Hiroto Ohhara will join the men's Top 34 to compete at the Surf Ranch after winning the Hurley Trials last week. Ohhara is currently ranked 27th on the Qualifying Series (QS) following his recent victory at the Vans Pro QS 3,000, his first since winning the 2015 Vans US Open.

"I couldn't even imagine I would compete in the first CT stop at the Surf Ranch," said Ohhara. "I'm very excited now! I don't have many chances to practice there so I visualize myself by watching a lot of movies. I feel very honored to compete at an artificial wave of the highest quality. I have no idea how well I can do but I'll push myself as hard as I can and do my best for good result. I can't wait!"

Mikey Wright, current No. 11 on the CT Jeep Leaderboard, has been awarded the wildcard entry into the event alongside Ohhara. The Surf Ranch Pro will be Wright's seventh appearance on the CT this season, and with two Semifinal finishes so far this year, he's hoping to continue his success and qualify for the elite tour in 2019.

Wildcard: Mikey Wright at Surf Ranch Pro
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After being awarded the wildcard spot, the Australian gives us some insight into his plans for the upcoming CT event.

"It's definitely taking me some time to figure this wave out but I'm getting there and it's really fun," Wright said. "I'm pretty stoked to get the wildcard, I've been lucky enough to get a few this year, and I'm really looking forward to the event. I'm not on tour yet so this year has been a real learning experience for me and I'm just trying to take it all in and hopefully next year I'll make it."

Caio Ibelli continues to recover from his injury earlier this year and will be replaced by Miguel Pupo. John John Florence has also withdrawn due to injury and will be replaced by Wiggolly Dantas.

Global surfing icon Bethany Hamilton will rejoin the lineup against the world's best female surfers at the Surf Ranch Pro - the contest marks her first event back after giving birth to her son, Wesley, in March of this year.

Watch the Surf Ranch Pro live daily September 6-9 on the WSL website App, and Facebook. For ticket information visit wslsurfranchpro.com.

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