- WSL / Sean Rowland
- WSL / Sean Rowland

LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA (Wednesday, March 21, 2018) - For the first time, the World Surf League's Surf Ranch will open its facility for National Squads to support their high-performance training needs.

The Surfing Australia National Squad is the first team signed on to utilize the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, Calif., and will bring their men's and women's teams and coaching staff for two training sessions in 2018: June 18 - 23, and again in August.

"We want to provide our athletes with every advantage possible when preparing for them for the WSL Tour and beyond, and going to Surf Ranch is the ultimate way to achieve that," said Andrew Stark, Surfing Australia CEO. "Coming to train at WSL's facility is aligned with our commitment to providing our team access to the best training and technology available."

Many of the Australian National Squad group have already tested -- and enthusiastically endorse -- the man-made wave at Surf Ranch, like two-time WSL Women's World Champion Tyler Wright, six-time WSL Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, Matt Wilkinson, Adrian Buchan, and Nikki Van Dijk. They will be joined by teammates 2017 WSL Men's Rookie of the Year Connor O'Leary, 2018 WSL Men's tour Rookie Wade Carmichael, Current WSL Men's Qualifying Series ratings leader Mikey Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons, Owen Wright, Julian Wilson, Ethan Ewing, and Stuart Kennedy.

"The facility and the wave at Surf Ranch is amazing," said Gilmore, who will captain the Australian team during the upcoming Founders' Cup of Surfing event in May. "It's such a fun wave to surf and really high-performance. The ability to train here will be extremely valuable to help achieve our WSL Championship Tour goals and beyond."

Since its online reveal in December 2015, the Surf Ranch has captured the world's attention as the best man-made wave in history: a 700-yard, high-performance, bi-directional wave featuring barrel sections and maneuver sections. Primarily existing as a testing facility, the Lemoore site has spent the past two years dialing in the technology under the guidance of 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and feedback from visiting WSL surfers.

"Surf Ranch provides the ideal location for athletes and their coaches to conduct their high performance training," said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO. "The consistency and power of the Kelly Slater Wave system delivers high quality waves in a controlled setting, allowing athletes to focus on technique to maximize training time."

The Surf Ranch will host two competitive events in 2018: the recently announced Founders' Cup of Surfing, May 5-6; and the Surf Ranch Open, a WSL Tour stop, September 6 - 9.

Founders' Cup is the first time the Ranch will be open to the public. Five teams representing USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and a World Team -- comprised of men's and women's surfers from the elite WSL Championship Tour -- will compete over the two-day event against a festival backdrop honoring the culture of surfing. Food, music, beverage, art, and special guests will all be on site for the inaugural event.

About Surfing Australia Surfing Australia is the representative body on the International Surfing Association (ISA) of which there are 86 member countries and is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission, the Australian Olympic Committee and is a member of the Water Safety Council of Australia. For more information, please visit SurfingAustralia.com.

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