The first event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing -- the Hawaiian Pro -- wrapped up Saturday, and the results there have raised the bar on how many points up-and-coming Qualifying Series (QS) surfers still need to make the cutoff for the 2016 Championship Tour. The next contest in the series, the Vans World Cup, is worth 10,000 more QS points, and for many of the surfers on the cusp of qualifying, it's their last chance to make the leap to the CT in 2016.
Before the action kicks off, here's the rundown of what happened at Haleiwa's Hawaiian Pro, and who to look for at Sunset's World Cup.
How it works:
Only the top 10 surfers on the QS rankings who aren't already qualified with CT points qualify to make the leap up to the higher-tier Tour. That means the Vans World Cup comes with a lot of pressure for surfers who are close to qualifying.
What happened at the Hawaiian Pro:
The point total for the Championship Tour qualification cutoff increased by 1000 points following the contest at Haleiwa. Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) made big moves up the QS rankings, but neither needed the QS points. Currently ranked No. 2 and No. 8 on the Championship Tour respectively, both are guaranteed to keep their elite CT spots without their QS rankings. That opened up two more spots on the QS rankings, leaving the current QS cutoff at No. 11, Australian Connor O'Leary and his 19,300 point total.
Other major jumps were made by event finalists: Hawaiian Pro winner Wade Carmichael (AUS) jumped 40 spots on the QS rankings, from 53rd to 13th, while Dusty Payne (HAW) leapt from 37th to 17th and Honolulu's Ezekiel Lau (HAW) moved from 40th to 19th.
Who Could Leap Past the New Cutoff Line:
Mathematically, every surfer down to Charly Martin (GLP), No. 56, has a shot to overcome that 19,300 point total. But there are some who stand a greater chance than others, depending on their performances at the Vans World Cup:
- Wade Carmichael only needs to make one heat at the Vans World Cup to increase his total by 250 points.
- Conner Coffin and Dusty Payne need to make it to the Quarterfinals.
- Michael Rodrigues, Stuart Kennedy, Ezekiel Lau and Nate Yeomans must make the Semifinals.
Current QS Top 10 (excluding Toledo and Flores):
Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Jack Freestone (AUS)
Kolohe Andino (USA)
Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Kanoa Igarashi (USA)
Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Davey Cathels (AUS)
Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Connor O'Leary (AUS)
Commonly Asked Question: How is a tie in the rankings broken?
Results for tied surfers are counted backwards. First their best 4, then 3 and so on. For example -- Right now Caio Ibelli has a better four event total than Jack Freestone. He is technically the No. 1 ranked surfer on the QS.
About Al Hunt:
Al Hunt is a former competitor who has helped develop the WSL since its inception. Hunt was Head Judge in 1983, the WSL's first year, and became Tour Manager in 1984. He has worked as WSL Tour Manager since then, attending more than 1,000 events. Hunt's Situation Room is designed to keep fans informed on QS rankings shifts throughout the 2015 WSL season.