Following Saturday's Final at the Reef Hawaiian Pro in Haleiwa, Qualification Series (QS) surfers on the bubble all lost early except Brett Simpson (USA). This allowed surfers already on the World Championship Tour (WCT) -- but in danger of falling off in 2015 -- to pounce on Top 10 QS spots.
Only the top 10 surfers on the QS rankings at the conclusion of the season will qualify for next year's elite Tour (the WCT) and only the Top 22 on the WCT will requalify. Simpson, who is ranked No. 31 on the WCT rankings, was already on his way to qualifying with his QS rank going into the event at Haleiwa. With solid results, Simpson, Jeremy Flores (FRA) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS) -- who finished seventh, third and ninth, respectively -- all jumped into the Top 10 QS. This came at the expense of Joan Duru (FRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA) and Charly Martin (GLP), who finished 17th, 49th and 81st.
The current cutoff point is at Jack Freestone (AUS), who actually dropped three spots to 10,440 points. Assuming that Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Adriano De Souza (BRA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) hold their Top 22 spots on the WCT, the QS Top 10 is comprised of:
- Matt Banting (AUS)
- Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
- Adam Melling (AUS)
- Italo Ferreira (BRA)
- Jeremy Flores (FRA)
- Brett Simpson (USA)
- Keanu Asing (HAW)
- Tomas Hermes (BRA)
- Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
- Jack Freestone (AUS)
Duru and Mendes are only a couple hundred points back. Following them is Jordy Smith (ZAF) who will leapfrog most of the Top 10 as he is counting a zero heading into the Vans World Cup. But because he's safe on the WCT, it makes no difference where he finishes.
Further down the rankings are Martin, Ricardo Christie (NZL) and Tim Reyes (USA) all in the 9,500 range and needing a Quarterfinal at Sunset. After them there are still 15-20 surfers who could jump into the Top 10 with Semifinal to Final results at Sunset.
Big movers upwards from Haleiwa are Wilson (+5 spots), Flores (+11 spots), Simpson (+6 spots) and Wilkinson (+9 spots). But the biggest mover was the Reef Hawaiian Pro champion Dusty Payne (HAW), who jumped from 97th to 24th. Payne is still well over 2,000 points behind the cut, but another showing like at Haleiwa and he is in.
The next event is the Vans World Cup at Sunset, which again will be filled with WCT seeds pushing all the QS hopefuls back a round or two.
The cutoff points? I should have stuck with 11,000 and it could go even higher. Way back in February I predicted 11,000 as the starting point so it will be close. The points jumped up about 1,000 at Haleiwa so if the same happens at Sunset it could be as high as 11,500. If this does happen, Asing and Hermes need an extra 500 points. With both carrying low scores of 1,200 and 1,300, they will need to finish 13th, at least, to be safe.
Al Hunt Bio:
Al Hunt is a former competitor who has helped develop the ASP since its inception. Hunt was Head Judge in 1983, the ASP's first year, and became Tour Manager starting in 1984.
Hunt has worked as ASP Tour Manager since that time, attending more than 1,000 events and contributing a wealth of professional surfing knowledge and history. Hunt's Situation Room is designed to keep fans informed on rankings shifts throughout the 2014 ASP season.