As the saying goes, "The cream always rises to the top" and, with the North America Men's Junior Tour's final event set for November 9 through 12, there's still plenty of churning left to be had at Soup Bowl for the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia. The event, aptly renamed after one of Barbados' finest young men who lost his life to heavy surf on the island, has been the capstone of North America's Junior Tour season for the past three years and prepares for an all-important fourth installment.
Only one surfer, current No. 1 Ryland Rubens, is completely safe heading into the final event of 2017 from all possible scenarios as he sits with 2,730 points after a groundbreaking year. The other three spots toward World Junior Championships qualification are open, though rare circumstances would have to arise to knock current No. 2 John Mel out of the Top 4 after accruing 2,500 points so far this season.
How It Works: Each of the eight regions (Australia/Oceania, Africa, Asia, Hawaii/Tahiti Nui, Europe, North America, South America) takes its Top 4 Pro Junior men and adds four wildcards into the mix which makes up the World Junior Championships draw.
Even with 2,500 points, is not completely safe if one of the following scenarios occurs:
Che Allan, Luke Gordon and Tyler Gunter make the Final with Gunter winning the event, Gordon earning runner-up, and Allan earning third-place.
Tommy Coleman wins the event, Gunter earns runner-up, and Allan earns fourth.
- Gordon wins the event, Gunter earns runner-up, and Allan earns third
The marquee battle will be between No. 4 Luke Gordon and No. 5 Tyler Gunter for a spot among the Top 4 with only 47 points separating them. But, after dropping their lowest result, Gunter leads Gordon by 40 points:
Whoever earns the better result between the two of them will claim the No. 4 spot
A last-minute decision to take part of the Live Like Zander Junior Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia from Tommy Coleman could throw a wrench into Gunter and Gordon's plans:
If Gordon and Gunter lose in their opening heat, Coleman will need to make the Quarterfinals.
If Gordon and Gunter lose in the Quarterfinals, Coleman will need to clinch a Semifinal berth
- If Gordon and Gunter make it to the Final, Coleman will need to best both of them
Beyond Coleman, opportunities, while there, run scarce as from the No. 7 ranked David Economos down to No. 13, Parker Cohn, must win the event and require both Gordon and Gunter to lose their first heat.
The Live Like Zander Pro In Memory of Zander Venezia will run November 9 through 12 and determine the North America Regional Junior Champions and World Junior Championships qualifiers.